SHAW, George Bernard (1856-1950).
This lot is offered without reserve.
SHAW, George Bernard (1856-1950).

Autograph letter signed (with initials, 'G.B.S.') to Ellen [Terry], Wyndham Croft, 15 June 1916.

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SHAW, George Bernard (1856-1950).
Autograph letter signed (with initials, 'G.B.S.') to Ellen [Terry], Wyndham Croft, 15 June 1916.
One page, 114 x 177mm, with printed address of 10 Adelphi Terrace. Provenance: Parke Bernet, New York, 16/17 May 1961, lot 402; Bonhams, 12 June 2012, lot 140. With a picture postcard of Terry in costume, signed by her.

An extravagant love-letter to the great actress Ellen Terry. 'My blessedest darling Ellen – for such were the feelings that rushed over me when you appeared, willow slender, on the roof the other day – I have been away from London ever since the book came out, and so have been unable to send a single copy to anyone. When I return you shall have your own copy; so you may give away the sordid commercial sample you have acquired. / Why do I make you nervous? I know why you make me nervous. It is because people are looking on, and the way I want to and ought to behave would be ridiculous and indecorous. But meet me by moonlight alone; and – my word! – you shall see'.

The book referred to is the new edition of Androcles and the Lion, Overruled and Pygmalion, which had appeared in New York on 21 April and London on 25 May. Shaw's long friendship, and correspondence, with the great actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928) is thought to have been no more than an amitié amoureuse, in spite of the exuberance of the present letter. The Shaw-Terry correspondence was published in 1931.
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