Bernard Shaw Volume 2: 1898-1918 The Pursuit of Power - Michael HolroydRandom House, 1988, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the tail of the spine with a pull, and nick, to the dust wrapper. Text complete, clean and tight.
Illustrated by way of: Black and White Photographs;
From the cover: “Michael Holroyd began his magnificent biography of Shaw with The Search for Love, published in 1988. The second volume, The Pursuit of Power, is the story of Shaw in his prime. He has put behind him the disappointments of his Irish childhood, as well as the years of his anonymity in London, and started on the terrible adventure of marriage. By 1914 the author of Pygmalion has become the most popular writer in England.
An author’s business, Shaw believed, is to mind everyone else’s business, and that is what he did, so in a unique way his life is a history of the times. This is the period of his great middle plays: Caesar and Cleopatra, Man and Superman, Major Barbara and The Doctor’s Dilemma. He has opinions on medical ethics, disarmament, unemployment, the conflict between men and women, and relations between Britain and the United States and between England and Ireland. With Granville Barker he revolutionizes the British stage and becomes the idol of the young.
Shaw’s activities on the Fabian front helped advance socialism in Britain. He had an extraordinary political instinct that makes his works remain topical — sometimes even ahead of their time. He used laughter as an anesthetic for the operation he wanted to perform on British society. (King Edward VII laughed so much at John Bull’s Other Island that he broke the chair he was sitting on. ) Shaw is still making us laugh today.
In The Pursuit of Power subject and author are once again perfectly attuned. Mr. Holroyd has risen to meet the challenge of Shaw’s protean personality and achievement with extraordinary versatility. He underscores the public man with the complex narrative of his private life: from perilous exploits in an automobile and on motorbike as he travels around the Continent from his home at Ayot St. Lawrence, to the jousting friendships with G. K. Chesterton and H. G. Wells and the unexpected passion and pain of his love for Mrs. Patrick Campbell. In this second volume, the author presents a magnificent portrait of a man born fifty years too soon that is at once a tragicomedy, absorbing, moving and intensely funny.”