Bernard Shaw and Alfred Douglas: A Correspondence - Edited by Mary HydeNew Haven & New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1982, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. A little faded at the spine and onto the margins of the panels. Gift inscription to the first blank. Text complete, clean and tight otherwise.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Appendices ;
From the cover: “It is hard to believe that a correspondence between these two opposites ever took place. But it did — and now these extraordinary letters are published for the first time.
The two men were antagonists in every way. Shaw, the self-made man, world-famous playwright, spartan, and socialist, had little patience with Douglas, the aristocratic poet, aesthete, and ultraconservative.
But in 1931, many years after the downfall of Oscar Wilde — the scandal with which Douglas’s name is always associated — Douglas, hoping to boost American sales of his autobiography, asked Shaw to write a preface for it. Shaw promptly refused, retorting, “What! YOU among the preface hunters! Have you no self-respect?"
The exchange did not end there, however. Indeed, it was to continue for more than a decade, until Douglas’s death at seventy-four.
Warm, witty, revealing — the letters are a wonder. They begin, inevitably, in argument, but soon an enduring friendship develops, the correspondents addressing one another as “St Christopher” and “Childe Alfred” and exchanging lively comments on Wilde and his circle and such diverse figures as Shakespeare and Ibsen, Einstein, Freud and Marx, Eliot and Auden, Chamberlain, Hitler, and many others.
The existence of these letters has long been suspected, and many writers have tried to gain access to them. At last, under Mary Hyde’s expert hand, this remarkable correspondence is offered in its entirety — a significant literary event.”