Although Shaw dismissed Village Wooing as a “very trivial comedietta,” it deserves serious attention. Village Wooing shares several themes with Pygmalion, including a language bet and a contentious relationship between a working-class young woman and a gentleman who corrects her diction. Like Pygmalion, it explores several important language ideas. John Bertolini calls it “a play of reading and writing,” and Peter Gahan describes it as “an encounter between writer and reader.” I have used Walter Ong’s provocative “The Author’s Audience Is Always a Fiction” to examine the complex relationship between an author and a reader in Village Wooing.

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