Publishing Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant
From Grant Richards, Author Hunting by an Old Literary Sportsman: Memories of Years spent mainly in Publishing, 1897–1925 (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1934) pp. 13–14, 124–5, 128–9, 134. Grant Richards (1872–1948), author and publisher, had worked with W. T. Stead on the Review of Reviews before he opened his own publishing firm on 1 January 1897. Late in 1896 he wrote to Shaw proposing to publish his plays; Shaw’s response was hardly encouraging but he subsequently agreed to meet Richards after a theatrical first night. This briefly conducted meeting opens the following selections from Richard’s account of the gestation of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant. The two volumes were finally published in April 1898, and issued simultaneously in Chicago by Herbert S. Stone. The Plays Unpleasant volume included Shaw’s first three plays, Widowers’ Houses, The Philanderer and Mrs Warren’s Profession. Plays Pleasant included Arms and the Man, Candida, The Man of Destiny and You Never Can Tell.
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