The slaying of his da and other recurrent problems in Shavian biography

A. M. Gibbs*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Shaw was self-admittedly an unreliable reporter in his autobiographical writings, and this is particularly true of his accounts of his immediate family. Too much credence has been given to these accounts by his biographers, and too little attention has been paid to evidence that calls them into question. Shaw himself is the sole source of negative views of his parents that have not only been unfair to them but also been deployed in weakly based theorizing and assertions about Shaw's psychological state and development in his early years. This article presents evidence that raises serious doubts about the frequently repeated negative views of Shaw's parents, and questions the idea that Shaw was beset by loneliness in his childhood and young manhood, with attendant psychological problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-254
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bernard Shaw
  • George Carr Shaw
  • Lucinda Elizabeth Shaw
  • Shavian
  • biography
  • autobiography

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