Exclusive to Penguin Classics: the definitive text of Shaw’s telling indictment of the generation responsible for World War I—part of the official Bernard Shaw Library
A Penguin Classic
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 fiancé—a wealthy industrialist—enter the debate.
Heartbreak House was written between 1916 and 1917, as war raged across Europe. With its bold combination of high farce and bitter tragedy, it remains an uncannily prophetic depiction of a society on the threshold of an abrupt awakening.
This is the definitive text under the editorial supervision of Dan H. Laurence. This volume includes Shaw’s preface of 1919, the cast list from the first production of Heartbreak House, and a list of his principal works.