CHESTERTON, Gilbert Keith (1874-1936). Autograph manuscript signed (on title) of his biography George Bernard Shaw, , heavily revised working manuscript on a variety of paper-stocks, a number of leaves having doodles and sketches on verso by Chesterton, including on ff.26v and 76v. more highly-realised depictions of gentlemen in evening dress, title and 218 pages, 4to (205 x 168mm - 220 x 190mm) (occasional damage to upper and lower margins from rubbing, severe to ff.36, 75, 82 & 190), in a red cloth slip case; with G.K. Chesterton. George Bernard Shaw. London, John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1910; and G.K. Chesterton. Gloria in Profundis. London: Faber & Gwyer Ltd, n.d.
Chesterton's light, epigrammatic study adopts a critical yet affectionate tone -- 'I am the only person who understands him, and I do not agree with him' -- ultimately appreciated by the subject himself: Shaw described the work as 'the best work of literary art that I have yet provoked'. George Bernard Shaw considers its subject first in his character in chapters entitled 'The Irishman', 'The Puritan' and 'The Progressive', and second in terms of activity, as 'The Critic', 'The Dramatist' and 'The Philosopher'. Written with knowledge drawn from intimacy, yet with dispassionacy, it is one of Chesterton's most successful works, always bearing in mind that 'It is indefensibly foolish to attempt to explain a man whose whole object in life is to explain himself'. (3)