George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century

By Archibald Henderson | Go to book overview

APPENDIX II
"The Voice"--an Original, Unpublished, Shorthand, Ghost-Written Version by G. B. Shaw

I am indebted to Mr. M. H. Mushlin, bibliopole and discriminating collector of Shaviana, for photostat copies of the original manuscript in Pitman shorthand and its translation into readable English by Mr. H. R. Light, Principal of Pitman's Correspondence College. The manuscript is untitled, and bears on the inner cover in Shaw's longhand the following:

G. B. Shaw
37 Fitzroy St. W.
10th Jan 1882


INDEX
Singing in Tune 1
Pronunciation 4
The Common Dread of Classical Music 7
Qualifications of a Singer 10
Physiology of the Vocal Organs 13
Classification of the Voice 17
Effort 19

Following the sixth chapter, which specifically refers to "The Voice," is Shaw's manuscript note: "(Laid aside early in 1882)." The heading of the seventh chapter is dated "6.5.83."

"The Method," which Shaw, his mother and sister Lucy, and indeed all George John Vandaleur Lee's pupils swore by, was expounded in a small book, The Voice: Its Artistic Production, Development and Preservation. This was published by subscription by M'Glashan and Gill ( Dublin, 1869); also in London by Simpkin, Marshall & Co. Originally ghost-written by a man whom Shaw described as "a scamp of a derelict doctor," it bears the name of G. J. V. Lee as author. It is surmised that after Lee removed to London and set up a fashionable school of singing in Park Lane, he discovered that a new version of his book was needed for his new clientèle of the daughters in aris-

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