Bernard Shaw’s Other Island

  • A. M. Gibbs


The decision of the Corporation of Dublin in 1946 to offer Mr Bernard Shaw the Honorary Freedom of the City was not arrived at unanimously. One councillor declared Shaw to be not a fit mentor for either the youth or the adults of Ireland. Another complained that all he could find that Shaw had done for Ireland was to send ‘an occasional long-distance wisecrack’.[1] Other compatriots of Shaw were more generous in their recognition of his achievement and more discerning in their understanding of his relations with Ireland. But even today there are those who, like the councillor in 1946, think of Shaw as having almost completely cast off his connections with Ireland, and even find themselves able to describe him as ‘not very Irish’.[2] He is often omitted from critical books on Anglo-Irish literature, a fate he does not deserve, despite the fact that he was wont to deny the existence of the species Anglo-Irish.


Residual Power Press Cutting IRISH Culture Liberate Experience Protestant Congregation 
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  1. 1.
    Bernard Shaw, The Matter with Ireland, ed. David H. Greene and Dan H. Laurence (London, 1962) pp. 292–3.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Bernard Shaw, Collected Plays with their Prefaces ed. Dan H. Laurence, 7 vols (London, 1970–4) vol. ii, p. 842.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    Bernard Shaw, Sixteen Self Sketches (London, 1949) p. 72.Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    Lady Gregory, note to The Jester in The Collected Plays of Lady Gregory ed. Ann Saddlemyer, 4 vols (London, 1971) vol. iii, p. 379,Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    Herbert Howarth, The Irish Writers, 1880–1940 (London, 1958) p. 18.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    W. B. Yeats, Essays and Introductions (London, 1961) pp. 338 – 9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 19.
    W. B. Yeats, ‘The Irish National Literary Society’, in A. Norman Jeffares (ed.) W. B. Yeats: Selected Criticism (London, 1964) p. 18.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    David Krause, ‘Sean O’Casey and the Higher Nationalism: the Desecration of Ireland’s Household Gods’, in Robert O’Driscoll (ed.) Theatre and Nationalism in Twentieth-Century Ireland (London, 1971) p. 115.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    Cited by M. J. Sidnell, ‘John Bull’s Other Island-Yeats and Shaw’ PMLA, vol. lxxxii (1967) p. 546.Google Scholar
  10. 24.
    See A. M. Gibbs, ‘Yeats, Shaw and Unity of Culture’ Southern Review (Australia) vol. vi (1973) pp. 194–5.Google Scholar
  11. 25.
    Hesketh Pearson, G. B. S: A Postscript (New York, 1950) p. 61.Google Scholar
  12. 26.
    M. H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature (London, 1971).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Oliver MacDonagh 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Gibbs

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