London: Henry & Co, 1893.
First Edition. Hardcover. Signed by Author. George Bernard Shaw. WIDOWERS' HOUSES. Inscribed. London: Henry & Co, 1893. 8vo., 126pp. + 2pp. ads. Gilt-stamped publisher's original cloth, now a faded plum. A significant presentation copy inscribed in black fountain pen on the half-title: "To Robert Loraine / from G. Bernard Shaw. / 9th Nov. 1907". Loraine [1876-1935] was a man of action: actor-manager, soldier, aviator, Fabian & of course, a close friend to Shaw - perhaps best known as an actor he's seen most commonly on holiday with the Shaws & Harley Granville-Barker or at Fabian events. Loraine & Shaw shared political affiliations & a passion for theatre: it was Loraine who premiered as the lead in Man & Superman on Broadway, the production was massively successful & launched Shaw as a force to be reckoned with in the United States. A significant association copy of this very scarce first edition with only 500 printed & as few as 150 sold, many fewer signed thus. Widowers' Houses was the first of George Bernard Shaw's plays to be staged. It is one of the three plays Shaw published as Plays Unpleasant in 1898. It was deemed "unpleasant" because its purpose is not to entertain its audience as the traditional Victorian theatre was expected to do but to raise awareness of social problems & to censure the exploitation of the poor by the unproductive upper class. Custom TBCL embossed cloth slipcase in fine condition.
Item #32217 Price: US$4,500.00