VERY SCARCE PRESENTATION FIRST EDITION OF THE INTELLIGENT WOMAN'S GUIDE TO SOCIALISM AND CAPITALISM, INSCRIBED BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
SHAW, George Bernard. The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism. London: Constable, 1928. Octavo, original gilt-stamped green cloth, top edge gilt, original dust jacket.
First edition, first issue, of Shaw's self-described "confounded book," inspired by a request from his sister-in-law to send a "few of your ideas on Socialism," an exceptional presentation/association copy, inscribed on the half title to an author and theater critic: "To Mr. W.S. Meadmore from G. Bernard Shaw. 28th Sept. 1929."
"While Marx was in the Reading Room of the British Museum Library in the 1880s, Shaw was there too writing his early (unsuccessful) novels… Shaw read Marx's Capital in 1883 and declared himself a convert, and joined the newly formed Fabian Society" (Egan, Shakespeare and Marx, 46-47). After the success of Saint Joan (1924) and receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925, Shaw was intrigued by a request from his sister-in-law, who "asked him to send her 'a few of your ideas of Socialism'… planned as a booklet of about 50,000 words, it ended up as a large volume of well over 200,000 words… Shaw chose the title, partly because the work was, in fact, written to a request from intelligent women." When Shaw returned to writing plays, "his dramatic creation was given a new incentive in the political direction as a result of his labors on what he had called the 'confounded book" (Innes, Cambridge Companion, 240-257). It was hailed on publication as "one of the most interesting publishing events of the year" (New York Times). At his death in 1950 Shaw "was unchallenged as the leading English dramatist of the century, and a master of prose style. Since his death, there has been no substantial change in this estimate" (Evans, George Bernard Shaw, 1). First edition, first issue: with "were" for "was" (p 442, line 5). The recipient of this copy was a British theater critic as well as an author on topics related to Buffalo Bill and the American West.
Book fine, dust jacket with minor soiling and light wear to extremities. A near-fine inscribed copy.