Heartbreak House

Heartbreak House

By George Bernard Shaw; David Hare (Introduction by); Bernard Shaw

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780140437874, 160pp.

Publication Date: January 2001

When Ellie Dunn joins a house-party at the home of the eccentric Captain Shotover, she causes a stir with her decision to marry for money rather than love, and the Captain's forthright daughter Hesione protests vigorously against the pragmatic young woman's choice. Opinion on the matter quickly divides and a lively argument about money and morality, idealism and realism ensues as Hesione's rakish husband, snobbish sister and Ellie's fiance - a wealthy industrialist - enter the debate. Written between 1916 and 1917 as war raged across Europe, Heartbreak House is a telling indictment of the generation responsible for the First World War. With its bold combination of high farce and bitter tragedy, Shaw's play remains an uncannily prophetic depiction of a society on the threshold of an abrupt awakening.

About the Author
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was born in Ireland. He wrote a variety of novels, plays, essays, and short stories. He is best known for his plays, which include Pygmalion, Man and Superman, Caesar and Cleopatra, Major Barbara, The Doctor's Dilemma, and others. He is the only person to have won both a Nobel Prize in Literature and an Oscar.

David Hare was born in Sussex, England in 1947. His first play, "Slag," was produced in 1970. His other works include "Plenty" (1978), "A Map of the World" (1983), and "Pravda "(1985). A founder of the Portable Theatre and the Joint Stock, he became resident dramatist and literary manager of the Royal Court Theatre, London (1967-71), and at the Nottingham Playhouse (1973). Until recently, Hare served as director of the National Theatre, London. In 1982, Hare founded a film company, Greenpoint Films. He has written several screenplays including "Plenty" (1985), "Weatherby" (1985), S"trapless" (1989), and "Damage" (1992). Several of his best-known plays," The Secret Rapture," "Racing Demon," "Skylight,"" The Judas Kiss," "Via Dolorosa" and "Amy's View" have been presented on Broadway.

Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 - 2 November 1950) was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems with a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw's attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.