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George Bernard Shaw

Book Overview: 

Misalliance, a play by George Bernard Shaw, is an ironic examination of the romantic entanglements of a varied group of people gathered at a wealthy man's country home on a summer weekend. Most of the romantic interest centers on the host's daughter, Hypatia Tarleton, a typical Shaw heroine who exemplifies his lifelong theory that in courtship, women are the relentless pursuers and men the apprehensively pursued. Hypatia is the daughter of newly-wealthy John Tarleton who made his fortune in the unglamorous but lucrative underwear business. She is fed up with the stuffy conventions that surround her and with the hyperactive talk of the men in her life.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I was twenty-three. I always used to take it as a matter of course that I should be married before I was twenty. BENTLEY'S VOICE. [in the garden] Youve got to keep yourself fresh: to look at these things with an open mind. JOHN TARLETON'S VOICE. Quite right, quite right: I always say so. MRS TARLETON. Theres your father, and Bunny with him. BENTLEY. Keep young. Keep your eye on me. Thats the tip for you. Bentley and Mr Tarleton (an immense and genial veteran of trade) come into view and enter the pavilion. JOHN TARLETON. You think youre young, do you? You think I'm old? [energetically shaking off his motoring coat and hanging it up with his cap]. BENTLEY. [helping him with the coat] Of course youre old. Look at your face and look at mine. What you call your youth is nothing but your levity. Why do we get on so well together? Because I'm a young cub and youre an old josser. [He throws a cushion at Hypatia's feet and sits do. . . Read More

Community Reviews

One of my favorite Shaw plays so far. Social critique is nicely blended with an engaging story and delightful characters. Nicely over the top while still remaining grounded. Though some of the concerns are certainly dated, it works as long as you keep it in the timeperiod in which it was written...more

This was my first acquaintance with George Bernard Shaw. And WTF?!

Over the years I have read so many interesting quotes by this author. Now after finishing this revelry of a drama, I really want to read more.

Like his previous play, "Getting Married," George Bernard Shaw's "Misalliance" is written in one continuous act. Lots of characters come and go. The basic theme seems to be that the men and women are paired incorrectly (misallied). One of the best characters was an aviatrix who literally falls fr...more

A little dated, enjoyable, fine acting

It's enjoyable to listen to the conversation mixing cynicism with idealism, men's desire with women's wishes. Shaw's comments on marriage are always funny. Somehow I don't imagine Shaw was having a bad marriage, but rather he thinks the concept is a little dull. It's paradoxical that what he deem...more

Read this before seeing The Orange Tree Theatres production. If I had read it afterward, it might have got a fourth star! The cast and direction were superb and really brought Shaws lopsided and over-wordy contraption to life. Good things here: he plays quite radically with gender roles and assum...more

Love all the feminism in this book, and it was funny and charming. Mostly it was little pointless and pretty harsh on marriage. It's easy to dismiss marriage if you've never had a good one.

Certainly an experiment for Shaw, at least in the character Lina Szczepanowska, who goes further to defy gender norms. This play was from 1908, but feels so contemporary! Thanks again to L.A. Theatre Works, whose 2004 version I listened to. Superbly acted, it's a real joy for my morning commutes....more

There are very few areas of literature about which I'm not utterly ashamed to be almost-entirely ignorant, but perhaps none is quite so egregious as the amount of Irish classics I've largely foregone. And so to my first Shaw (not only have I never read any; I once lost out on winning a film quiz...more

Long and the ending is a little dissatisfying (except for the fact that you've reached the end). However, there are some great thoughts in there and some hilarious moments. Overall I enjoyed it and would love to see this done locally.

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