Printed Works

Works Online

Shaw Quotes





INTRODUCTION: As the listings below are meant to be suggestive rather than exhaustive, please note that the most complete listing of Shaw’s works is to be found in the two volumes by Dan H. Laurence entitled Bernard Shaw: A Bibliography, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1983, included in The Soho Bibliographies, XXII.   Out of print but available in many libraries.   Also available in many libraries and online (through the use of “Project Muse”) is “A Supplement to Bernard Shaw: A Bibliography,” which appears in SHAW 20: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies – “Bibliographical Shaw” (2000). 



            For a selected list of Shaw’s works and a brief biography, see http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/gbshaw.htm.

As Shaw died in 1950, many of his vast number of works are no longer “in print” in the sense of still being published and available for sale in unused form, but a surprising number of printed editions, now “out of print,” can still be found and purchased.  A search on the Internet under “George Bernard Shaw” or “Bernard Shaw” will turn up a considerable list. You could start with amazon.com and barnes&noble.com, and auction houses such as eBay also frequently have Shaw books for sale, but there are many other opportunities on the Net and in actual bookstores specializing in used books.  Even many of Shaw’s non-dramatic writings are available.  Seek and ye shall find.   Or let Google do it.  

            The only currently printed editions of Shaw’s plays and prefaces to be found in bookstores or available for purchase these days are the paperback Penguin Classics (on pp. 214-15 of their catalog) and various teaching editions of a few of Shaw’s works, such as L. W. Conolly’s Broadview Press edition of Mrs. Warren’s Profession, and among the Methuen New Mermaids are Arms and the Man, Major Barbara, Pygmalion, and Saint Joan (http://www.bloomsburyacademicusa.com Methuen_Drama_Catalog_for_web_2011.pdf, p. 13).  

 For the record, the major hardbound collections of Shaw’s works were, from the 1930s, the Constable “Standard Edition” (in several versions), the Dodd, Mead Bernard Shaw: Complete Plays with Prefaces (6 volumes, 1963), and the Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Complete Plays with Prefaces (7 volumes, 1974), and all three of these are to be found in many libraries.   The only hard copy concordance in existence, E. Dean Bevan’s A Concordance to the Plays and Prefaces of Bernard Shaw (Gale Research, 1971), refers to one of the Constable editions.

1.   Penguin Books: http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Search/QuickSearchProc/1,,George%20Bernard%20Shaw,00.html?id=George Bernard Shaw

2.   Moonstruck Drama Book Store

3.   Check Books in Print for additional listings.




An online search will probably turn up a lot more of Shaw’s works in digital form than are indicated below, some of which can be downloaded, and when Shaw’s works fall into public domain worldwide in 2020, doubtless many more will show up.   For now, here are some possibilities, just as illustration:

1.      Great Books Index (E-Texts and other info).

2.      Project Gutenberg (Shaw's E-texts: Caesar & Cleopatra, Captain Brassbound's Conversion, Dark Lady of the Sonnets, Man and Superman, Misalliance, Mrs. Warren's Profession, The Perfect Wagnerite: Commentary on The Ring, Treatise on Parents and Children, An Unsocial Socialist, You Never Can Tell).

3.      The On-Line Books Page--http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/ or http://digital.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/search?author=Shaw%2C+George+Bernard&amode=start

4.      The Marxists (at marxists.org) have put some Shaw works online that you don’t ordinarily see, especially in the editions that they choose (such as the first German edition of The Perfect Wagnerite, which has a really interesting new preface).   See their “Shaw Reference Archive” at http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/shaw/

5.      Great Books Index

6.      Pygmalion

7.      Man and Superman

8.      Major Barbara

9.      Mrs. Warren's Profession

10.  The Dark Lady of the Sonnets

11.  Shaw on Capital Punishment

12.  Shaw on Photography

13.  Shaw on Gold and Government




For one of the most quoted of authors, you only need to write in “Quotes by Bernard Shaw” in the Google search bar and you’ll find pages and pages of listings.    There of course have also been a number of printed editions of quotations from Shaw, and a search at amazon.com will turn up a few of those in “used” form.    By the way, you should be warned that some quotations ascribed to Shaw are apocryphal (as explained by the following story, provided by Julius Novick):

In the September 2011 Yale Alumni Magazine, Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, quotes another quotation maven as follows: "Nigel Rees, compiler of the estimable Brewer's Famous Quotations and Cassell's Movie Quotations, among many other works, has coined 'Rees's First Law of Quotations': 'When in doubt, ascribe all quotations to George Bernard Shaw.'"


Shaw in OPUS




          Shaw is reported to have over a million pieces of correspondence archived in various places, most notably in the British Library, not to mention private collections, and the largest printed collection is Dan H. Laurence’s 4-volume Collected Letters (Viking, 1988), no longer “in print” but possibly available in used copies.  There are many other, briefer and more specialist collections available, often focused on Shaw’s relations with particular people, especially the actresses of his day.   The most recent collection that is not only in print but still building is L. W. Conolly’s editions, currently up to 8 volumes, published by the U. of Toronto Press: http://www.utppublishing.com/_search.php?page=1&init=1&q=Shaw+Correspondence. 




            A remarkable collection edited and annotated by Stanley Weintraub is the two-volume Bernard Shaw: The Diaries (Penn State U. Press, 1985). 




            Although Shaw’s works are in public domain in Canada, and some of the older versions are in public domain in the U.S., world rights in the rest of the works are controlled by the Society of Authors in London until 2020, and they would have to be applied to for permission to quote from Shaw beyond a specified wordage amount in any work that wishes to be sold worldwide.   Go to http://www.societyofauthors.org/playwrights or write to Jeremy Crow at JCrow@societyofauthors.org for details.    Production rights in the U.S. may have to go through Samuel French.  







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