George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century

By Archibald Henderson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 29
The Impact of Ibsenism

"WHEN PINERO, JONES, WILDE, AND CARTON CAME," SAYS BERNARD SHAW IN a sketchy account of the renascence in English drama in the nineteenth century, "he [ Robertson] vanished like a star at daybreak. When Ibsen came from Norway with his characters who thought and discussed as well as acted, the theatrical heavens rolled up like a scroll."1

The real pioneer in introducing Ibsen to the English-reading public was a young journalist and talented critic of twenty-two, Edmund Gosse, later famous as literary critic and biographer. Already the author of verses of delicacy and skill, this representative of the Spectator and Fraser's Magazine was instantly fascinated by Ibsen's little volume of poems ( Digte, 1871); and published an unsigned review of one and a half columns, entitled "Ibsen's New Poems."2 Gosse, who happened to be a minor official of the British Museum, entered vigorously upon a campaign of publicization of Ibsen in England; and in the summer of 1872 published reviews of Peer Gynt and The Pretenders.3

Ibsen was much pleased to read the review of his Digte, which Gosse had sent him; and during the years 1872-1874, wrote him six letters, in the first of which he says: "I could not wish a better or more laudable introduction to a foreign nation than you have given me in your excellent review, nor is there any nation to whose reading public I should feel it a greater honor to be made known than yours. If it can be done through your friendly and capable intervention, I shall be everlastingly indebted to you."4 In 1873 Gosse published an extended article, "Ibsen, the Norwegian Satirist," in which he says concerning Love's Comedy, Brand, and Peer Gynt: that they "form a great satiric trilogy, perhaps for sustained vigor of expression, for affluence of execution, and for brilliance of dialogue, the greatest of modern times."5 Aside from nine

____________________
1
G. B. Shaw, "Then and Now," Play Pictorial, March, 1927.
2
Spectator, March 16, 1872.
3
The long unsigned review of Peer Gynt appeared in the Spectator, July 20, 1872; the shorter review of The Pretenders appeared in the Academy, August 1, 1872.
4
These letters bore dates: April 2 and 30, October 14, 1872; February 10, October 15, 1873; January 15, 1874. See Letters of Henrik Ibsen, translated by John Laurvik and Mary Morison ( New York, 1905), passim.
5
Fortnightly Review, January, 1873. This article, signed by Gosse, is often erroneously cited as Ibsen's introduction to the English-speaking public. It was reprinted in the magazine, Every Saturday, February 1, 1873.

-393-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 978

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.