Private Shaw and Public Shaw


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WEINTRAUB, Stanley. Private Shaw and Public Shaw: A Dual Portrait of Lawrence of Arabia and G.B.S. London: Jonathan Cape, 1963. Octavo, original blue cloth gilt, original dust jacket.

First English edition of Weintraub’s dual biography of T.E Lawrence and George Bernard Shaw, from the library and with the bookplate of the star of Lawrence of Arabia, Peter O’Toole.

Weintraub achieves "an important feat of biographical exploration… His temporal boundaries, other than necessary background information, are Bernard Shaw and T.E. Lawrence's first meeting in 1922 and the latter's accidental death on a motorcycle (G.B.S.'s gift) in 1935" (Books Abroad, Summer 1963). The title references the fact that Lawrence adopted the name "T.E. Shaw" as a tribute to his friend. O'Brien E277. This copy belonged to Peter O'Toole, who portrayed Lawrence in director David Lean's 1962 epic film, Lawrence of Arabia. "In the two-odd years it took to shoot Lawrence, [O'Toole] read all he could about the man, studied Bedouin culture, lived in a Bedouin tent, taught himself the essentials of Arabic and learned to ride a camel" (New York Times). Nominated as Best Actor for his now iconic turn as Lawrence, O'Toole lost the Academy Award to Gregory Peck (To Kill a Mockingbird); the film, however, won seven statuettes, including Best Picture. With O'Toole's bookplate. Owner signature ("Phillips O'Toole") of Peter O'Toole's wife, the actress Siân Phillips O'Toole.

Spine head lightly bumped. Mild damage to lower edge of second half of text block. Dust jacket with light toning to spine and folds, modest loss to spine head and lower left corner of rear panel. A very good copy with notable provenance.

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