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The Philanderer


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About the Author

Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an Irish-born playwright and political activist.

L.W. Conolly is Emeritus Professor of English at Trent University, Canada; an Honorary Fellow, Robinson College, Cambridge University; a Senior Fellow, Massey College, University of Toronto, Canada; and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the editor of the Broadview Edition of Bernard Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession (2005) and the author of many other books on Shaw.


Not until L.W. Conolly's excellent edition of The Philanderer were we able to read Shaw's original last act in printed pages. It has been worth waiting for...Conolly's first-rate introduction includes an account of Shaw's efforts to secure a production of The Philanderer and its production history. More importantly, it treats Shaw's changes to the final act...Conolly's explanatory footnotes are invaluable for teachers, directors, and actors as well as students.-- Bernard F. Dukore, English Literature in Transition 1880--1920

"This is the indispensable version of one of Shaw's most misunderstood plays. L.W. Conolly's edition of The Philanderer finally makes Shaw's original final act widely available for scholars and performers. Conolly provides the perfect biographical, historical, and philosophical source documents to decide whether or not Shaw was right to suppress his first ending--an important dramatic treatise on divorce laws and gender equality that is the foundation of later plays. Conolly is a sure-footed, amiable guide, illuminating the play's production and reception history while providing the reader with all the tools she needs to understand why this 'restored' text is not simply a neglected curiosity, but instead a major event in the history of modern drama." -- Lawrence Switzky, University of Toronto

"L.W. Conolly's excellent scholarship expertly guides both students and scholars through the tangled and fascinating history of Shaw's controversial first draft of The Philanderer. Expressly prohibited by Shaw's own will, the original third act was supposed to have been burned on the advice of a friend. Thankfully Shaw didn't follow that advice, and Conolly offers a richly detailed, terrifically readable, and insightfully persuasive justification for going against Shaw's will." -- Michael M. O'Hara, Ball State University

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