The Shaws of Dublin
From ‘George Bernard Shaw’, in Irish Literary Portraits, ed. W. R. Rodgers (London: BBC, 1972) pp. 119–27. The following discussion of Shaw, his family and early life in Dublin, formed part of a programme broadcast by the BBC in September 1954. The speakers included: Denis Johnston (b. 1901), playwright, BBC director and university professor; St John Greer Ervine (1883–1971), playwright, novelist, dramatic critic and author of Bernard Shaw: His Life, Work and Friends (1956); Frank O’Connor, pseudonym of Michael O’Donovan (1903–66), journalist, author of short stories, novels and plays, and a director of the Abbey Theatre during the 1930s; Lady Constance Geraldine Hanson, patroness of the arts and friend of the Shaw family, who held a literary salon in the days of Oliver St John Gogarty; her mother, Mrs Ada Tyrrell, poet and wife of a Regius Professor of Greek at Trinity College, Dublin; Father Leonard, an Irish priest, on the staff of St Mary’s College, Twickenham, when Shaw consulted him about Saint Joan; and Dr Thomas Bodkin, who was associated with Dublin’s National and Municipal Galleries and became curator of the Birmingham Art Gallery during the 1930s.
KeywordsTouring Company April 1885 Funeral Procession Religious Prejudice July 1880
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- 1.One of the four schools attended by Shaw was the Central Model Boys’ School, Marlborough Street. Shaw describes his reaction to being sent there in the chapter entitled ‘Shame and Wounded Snobbery’, in his Sixteen Self Sketches (London: Constable, 1949) pp. 20–9. According to Shaw the school was ‘undenominational and classless in theory but in fact Roman Catholic’ (p. 22).Google Scholar
- 2.This needs some qualification. Mrs Shaw returned to Dublin in 1874 to supervise the transfer of her son and husband from 1 Hatch Street to lodgings at 61 Harcourt Street (see Bernard Shaw: Collected Letters 1874–1897, ed. Dan H. Laurence [London: Max Reinhardt, 1965] p. 7; hereafter cited as Collected Letters 1874–1897). It is true, however, that George Carr Shaw died alone in lodgings at 21 Leeson Park Avenue, Dublin, in April 1885, and that no members of the family attended his funeral.Google Scholar
- 4.A fuller version of Mrs Tyrrell’s recollections of Shaw is supplied in Frank Harris, Contemporary Portraits, 4 vols (London: Methuen, 1915–24) II, 42–3:Google Scholar
- 10.This was a letter dated 3 April 1913, in which Shaw wrote: ‘I drove into Dublin today and cursed every separate house as I passed’ (see Bernard Shaw and Mrs Patrick Campbell: Their Correspondence, ed. Alan Dent [London: Victor Gollancz, 1952] p. 106). Sir Horace Plunkett (1854–1932) was Shaw’s host on several of the latter’s visits to Ireland.Google Scholar