Arms and The Man by Bernard Shaw

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    First produced on the London stage in 1894, ‘Arms and the Man’ was one of George Bernard Shaw's most performed and studied plays and his first commercial success. It is a classic example of Shaw's comedic wit about idealized love versus true love. Set during the Serbo-Bulgarian war, it is a biting social commentary on the conflict that occurs in both love and war.

    It's heroine, Raina Petkoff, is a young Bulgarian woman engaged to Sergius Saranoff, one of the heroes of that war, whom she idolizes. On the night after the Battle of Slivnitsa, a Swiss mercenary soldier in the Serbian army, Captain Bluntschli, climbs in through her bedroom balcony window and threatens to shoot Raina if she gives the alarm. When Russian and Bulgarian troops burst in to search the house for him, Raina hides him so that he won't be killed. He asks her to remember that “nine soldiers out of ten are born fools.”

    • Author: Bernard Shaw.
    • Publisher: FQ Classics.
    • Publishing Date: 1894.
    • Pages: 115.

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    'Published with the approval of the Shaw estate, these fresh and up-to-date editions are sure to be of interest to both old Shavians and newcomers to his work.' -

    'The competence and breadth of Wearing's research...make this edition an obvious choice for classroom teaching and pleasure reading. Moreover, it should be the one of record for any serious scholar.' --Shaw: The Annual Bernard Shaw Studies (September 2009)


    About the Author

    George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, the son of a civil servant. His education was irregular, due to his dislike of any organized training. He moved to London as a young man (1876), where he established himself as a leading music and theatre critic in the eighties and nineties. He began his literary career as a novelist; as a fervent advocate of the new theatre of Ibsen, he decided to write plays in order to illustrate his criticism of the English stage. His earliest dramas were called Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant (1898) and included Widower's Houses, Mrs. Warren's Profession, and The Man of Destiny. Shaw's keen dialectic interest and verbal wit often turn the stage into a forum of ideas in such plays as Man and Superman (1903), Misalliance (1910) and Back to Methuselah (1921). In Saint Joan (1923) he rewrites the well-known story of the French maiden and extends it from the Middle Ages to the present. Other important plays include Caesar and Cleopatra (1901), Androcles and the Lion (1912), Major Barbara (1905), The Doctors Dilemma (1906), Candida (1898), and Pygmalion (1912). These proved some of Shaw's greatest successes on the stage. Shaw's complete works appeared in thirty-six volumes between 1930 and 1950, the year of his death

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