ABSTRACT

As Shaw's authorized biographer Archibald Henderson put it in the second of three biographies: “While Shaw may have a dozen labels—art critic, music critic, drama critic, novelist, dramatist, rationalist, Socialist, publicist, harlequin, sage, statesman, prophet—he has only one profession: journalism.”1 Especially remembered now for his achievements as playwright, whether in the vanguard of the New Drama at the end of the nineteenth century or as the established dramatist of world fame throughout the first half of the twentieth, Shaw worked first and last as a journalist in a working life stretching seventy-five years. Dan H. Laurence devoted nearly three hundred pages of the second volume of Bernard Shaw: A Bibliography (1983) itemizing Shaw's contributions to newspapers and periodicals between 1875 and 1950, amounting to almost four thousand entries.2 For fourteen of those years, from 1885 to 1898, he led the career of a full-time journalist, mostly as a critic of the fine arts, but criticism was by no means the whole story of Bernard Shaw's fourteen-year career as a full-time journalist sketched out in what follows.

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