SHAW, George Bernard (1856-1950). Autograph letter signed (''G. Bernard Shaw''), London, 4 April 1901. 1 page, 4to, headed stationery ''10 Adelphi Terrace. W.C.''.
SHAW, George Bernard (1856-1950). Autograph letter signed ("G. Bernard Shaw"), London, 4 April 1901. 1 page, 4to, headed stationery "10 Adelphi Terrace. W.C.".
THE PLAYWRIGHT DECREES THAT "THE AMATEURS CAN HAVE THEIR TURN AFTERWARDS"
A revealing letter early in his career as a playwright, in which Shaw refuses permission for his plays to be performed by "amateurs", preferring a professional production for their American debut: "Your letter to W. Grant Richards dated 3/20/1901 (what does 20 mean?), with reference to a proposed performance of my plays by the Footlight Club of Brooklyn, has just reached me. In the present I can only say that the two plays mentioned, 'You Never Can Tell' and 'Captain Brassbound's Conversion' should be introduced to the public & press in New York & Brooklyn by professional productions. The amateurs can have their turn afterwards. I usually refer such matters to my agent, Miss Elisabeth Marbury...If, however, the amateurs demand for my plays were to become extensive, I might find it to my interest to enter into a special management with some firm similar to Messrs. Saml. French of London, who could persuade my American publishers...to issue a separate edition of my plays for sale to amateurs."
It was in New York that Shaw had his first success with The Devil's Disciple (1897), a play about the American Revolution. His reputation in London was established a few years later with the production of Man and Superman (1903).