FINE FIRST EDITION OF SHAW’S AN UNSOCIAL SOCIALIST
SHAW, George Bernard. An Unsocial Socialist. London: Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey & Co., 1887. Octavo, original scarlet cloth. Housed in custom chemise and half morocco slipcase. $1500.
First edition of Shaw’s first published novel, his second published in book form.
Shaw began his literary career by ghosting music criticism and writing five novels that were not very successful (of which this is the fifth written and the first published). “During his first nine years in London Shaw calculated that he earned less than 10 pounds by his pen” (Drabble, 892). An Unsocial Socialist was serialized in To-Day (“Monthly Magazine of Scientific Socialism”), with no payment to Shaw, between March and December, 1884; Cashel Byron’s Profession followed in To-Day in 1885-86, but was also published in book form in March 1886, preceding An Unsocial Socialist in book form by a year. Second state, with Cashel Byron’s Profession correctly printed on title page.
A fine copy, scarce in this condition.