No Sample Chapter AvailableAwards
Honorable Mention, Robert Rhodes Prize for Books on Literature - 2006
Choice Outstanding Academic Title - 2007
"Brings us closer to this great man by shedding new light on some of the self-created myths concerning his life . . . Lively and informative."
"A provocative reapraisal of a canonical writer."
"Thanks to Gibbs's gloriously realized biographical efforts, readers will find in this book the mercurial Shaw in all his protean incarnations . . . This is a masterful biography: judicious, balanced, comprehensive, and accessible."
"Gibbs does justice to the rich life of Bernard Shaw, drawing interesting and original insights into Shaw's numerous relationships with women and the effect of his Irish middle class upbrining. Gibbs also traces Shaw's intellectual and literary development in relation to the massive events that occurred during Shaw's life, including two world wars and the decline of the British colonial empire. A leading authority on Shaw, Gibbs writes vividly and with a sure grasp of his material. This book is sure to entertain the literary or political-minded reader, or anyone who simply enjoys a well-written biography." --Bookseller and Publisher
--Australian Bookseller and Publisher
"Gibbs is excellent on uncovering Shaw's motivation. Shaw's rich and varied life is discussed clearly and one is reminded why, in 1937, Churchill called him 'the greatest living master of letters in the English-speaking world."
--Times Higher Education Supplement
[A] fresh, good-humored, magnificently sane, and revelatory traversal of one of the most entertaining and fascinating literary lives of the modern era."
--English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920
"Judicious and well-written."
"A well-documented, multi-dimentional, revisionist biography of Bernard Shaw seen from a variety of perspectives. Gibbs's careful attention to details and the impressive reconstruction of key happenings in Shaw's life make the book as intriguing as a novel!"
--English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature
"The sense that Gibbs has come to these matters fresh leads him to spot and articulate some important if simple truths, one of which is that his subject dedicated his life to a cause mightier than himself ('rather than, say, happiness'), and another is that he didn't have to."
--London Review of Books
"Readers will seek in vain a more concise, objective, scholarly, and eloquent biography than Bernard Shaw: A Life."
--Modern Langauge Review
"This newest of Shavianlives, the latest although not the last word, is the most authoritative yet and is likely to remain so for a long time to come."
--SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies
"This Shaw is less is less of a trumpet-blowing giant, more humanly flawed and therefore, on the 150th anniversary of his birth, more interesting, still a great Irishman."
"Not simply a record of a life but a serious and illuminating study of the playwriting and other activities of Shaw on paper. An admirable picture of a writer who made a most valuable contriibution to the life of his time."
"Scholars of theatre, of literature, and of Shaw will benefit from the addition of this impressively researched and engaging work to their library"
--Theatre History Studies
"Deploying dry, measured fact, accumulated over decades of research and source-hunting, Professor Gibbs distinguishes between the man and his self-constructions. Preserves a valuable strain of the biographical enterprise in English, one that is largely extinct in its former home. That is, a sense of decency"
--Australian Book Review