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Heartbreak House: A Fantasia In The Russian Manner On English Themes
by Bernard Shaw
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Set during a house party at the eccentric household of Captain Shotover and his daughter Hesione, this comedy of manners takes a probing look at the conflict between old-fashioned idealism and the realities of the modern age. Heartbreak House was Shaw's favorite play.
MANGAN [throwing himself into the chair distractedly]. My brain won't stand it. My head's going to split. Help! Help me to hold it. Quick: hold it: squeeze it. Save me. [Ellie comes behind his chair; clasps his head hard for a moment; then begins to draw her hands from his forehead back to his ears]. Thank you. [Drowsily]. That's very refreshing. [Waking a little]. Don't you hypnotize me, though. I've seen men made fools of by hypnotism.
About the Author
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was one of the most prolific writers of the modern theater. He invented the modern comedy of ideas, expounding on social and political problems with a razor-sharp tongue, yet never sacrificing the comic vitality that ensures regular revivals of his plays. He also wrote several important political works, including The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism.
Dan H. Lawrence, edited Shaw's Collected Letters, his Collected Plays with their Prefaces, and Shaw's Music and (with Daniel Leary) The Complete Prefaces. He is Series Editor for the works of Shaw in Penguin.
David Hare is a playwright and director. His plays include Plenty, The Secret Rapture, and Via Dolorosa.
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