Mrs. Warren's Profession

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9781616403942: Mrs. Warren's Profession
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Middle-aged Mrs. Warren is a madam, proprietress of a string of successful brothels. Her daughter, Vivie, is a modern young woman, but not so modern that she's not shocked to discover the source of her mother's wealth. The clash of these two strong-willed but culturally constrained Victorian women is the spark that ignites the ironic wit of one of George Bernard Shaw's greatest plays, a withering critique of male domination, sexual hypocrisy, and societal convention. Initially banned after its 1893 publication with its startling frankness, Mrs. Warren's Profession remains a powerful work of progressive theater. Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925 and an Academy Award for Adapted Screenplay in 1938, the only person to achieve both honors. Among his many renowned plays are Arms and the Man (1894), Candida (1894), Man and Superman (1903), Major Barbara (1905), and Pygmalion (1913).

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Review:

"This edition of Mrs Warren's Profession, with its astonishing range of associated documents, provides an invaluable resource for students and Shaw enthusiasts, and has a good deal to offer to the seasoned Shaw scholar as well. The introduction offers a wonderfully detailed and informative account of the social, political, and theatrical contexts of Shaw's first major play, and Conolly's analysis of the dramatic texture of Mrs Warren's Profession allows insight into the qualities of the play itself and why, despite the excitement of the early scandals, it has more than historic interest, and lives on today's stage."--Jean Chothia

"L.W. Conolly's edition of Mrs Warren's Profession will be exceedingly helpful to readers of all sorts--undergraduate students, Shaw specialists, and general readers alike. Insight into Shaw's play benefits from a knowledge of its various late-19th-century contexts, and this edition includes a wealth of contextual materials, in areas ranging from prostitution to Cambridge University. This thorough, well-researched edition is a major contribution to everyone's understanding of Shaw's always-up-to-date dramatic study of prostitution and capitalism."--Jonathan Wisenthal

"L.W. Conolly's edition of Mrs Warren's Profession will be exceedingly helpful to readers of all sorts--undergraduate students, Shaw specialists, and general readers alike. Insight into Shaw's play benefits from a knowledge of its various late-19th-century contexts, and this edition includes a wealth of contextual materials, in areas ranging from prostitution to Cambridge University. This thorough, well-researched edition is a major contribution to everyone's understanding of Shaw's always-up-to-date dramatic study of prostitution and capitalism." -- Jonathan Wisenthal, University of British Columbia

"This edition of Mrs Warren's Profession, with its astonishing range of associated documents, provides an invaluable resource for students and Shaw enthusiasts, and has a good deal to offer to the seasoned Shaw scholar as well. The introduction offers a wonderfully detailed and informative account of the social, political, and theatrical contexts of Shaw's first major play, and Conolly's analysis of the dramatic texture of Mrs Warren's Profession allows insight into the qualities of the play itself and why, despite the excitement of the early scandals, it has more than historic interest, and lives on today's stage." -- Jean Chothia, University of Cambridge

"L.W. Conolly's edition of Mrs Warren's Profession will be exceedingly helpful to readers of all sorts--undergraduate students, Shaw specialists, and general readers alike. Insight into Shaw's play benefits from a knowledge of its various late-19th-century contexts, and this edition includes a wealth of contextual materials, in areas ranging from prostitution to Cambridge University. This thorough, well-researched edition is a major contribution to everyone's understanding of Shaw's always-up-to-date dramatic study of prostitution and capitalism." -- Jonathan Wisenthal, University of British Columbia

"This edition of Mrs Warren's Profession, with its astonishing range of associated documents, provides an invaluable resource for students and Shaw enthusiasts, and has a good deal to offer to the seasoned Shaw scholar as well. The introduction offers a wonderfully detailed and informative account of the social, political, and theatrical contexts of Shaw's first major play, and Conolly's analysis of the dramatic texture of Mrs Warren's Profession allows insight into the qualities of the play itself and why, despite the excitement of the early scandals, it has more than historic interest, and lives on today's stage." -- Jean Chothia, University of Cambridge

From the Back Cover:

One of Bernard Shaw's early plays of social protest, Mrs Warren's Profession places the protagonist's decision to become a prostitute in the context of the appalling conditions for working class women in Victorian England. Faced with ill health, poverty, and marital servitude on the one hand, and opportunities for financial independence, dignity, and self-worth on the other, Kitty Warren follows her sister into a successful career in prostitution. Shaw's fierce social criticism in this play is driven not by conventional morality, but by anger at the hypocrisy that allows society to condemn prostitution while condoning the discrimination against women that makes prostitution inevitable.

This Broadview edition includes a comprehensive historical and critical introduction; extracts from Shaw's prefaces to the play; Shaw's expurgations of the text; early reviews of the play in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain; and contemporary contextual documents on prostitution, incest, censorship, women's education, and the "New Woman."

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