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John Bull's Other Island

Bernard Shaw

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Book Excerpt: 
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DOYLE. A girl with a dowry of five pounds calls it a fortune in Rosscullen. What's more 40 pounds a year IS a fortune there; and Nora Reilly enjoys a good deal of social consideration as an heiress on the strength of it. It has helped my father's household through many a tight place. My father was her father's agent. She came on a visit to us when he died, and has lived with us ever since.

BROADBENT [attentively, beginning to suspect Larry of misconduct with Nora, and resolving to get to the bottom of it]. Since when? I mean how old were you when she came?

DOYLE. I was seventeen. So was she: if she'd been older she'd have had more sense than to stay with us. We were together for 18 months before I went up to Dublin to study. When I went home for Christmas and Easter, she was there: I suppose it used to be something of an event for her, though of course I never thought of that then.

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Community Reviews

This, of course, after Pygmalion, is one of the unsurpassed plays George Barnard Shaw has jotted down. You actually roll off your bed whilst reading this tongue-in-cheek humor, quite very waggish. About Ireland, seemingly, this play spoofs English Imperialism. Exceptionally well-written, I’d like to

i wish ireland was real

a great play about the tremendous effect of colonialism on the local values and traditions of a people - in this case, Irish people - and the way in which the obsession of outgrowing your own identity might determine one to embrace the destroyer's identity;

an amazing antithetical display of the self

A superb satire on the mutual regard between the Irish and the English about 120 years ago. Plenty here to make both parties angry. Shaw's three prefaces set out some complementary history.

Shaw wrote the third preface after the Irish had won home rule, and it is an incisive and grim summary of how I

Read this for school

Seems to portray the typical well-fed liberal Englishman in his quest to make common ground with a people who have endured hardships beyond his understanding and are split between humouring him good-naturedly or rebelling against the insidious form of British influence he represents. It seems endles

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