The Story of Shaw's Saint Joan
The literary genetics of Shaw's most famous play are here examined for the first time. The sources of Saint Joan are closely compared with the original shorthand manuscript and that is compared with its subsequent revisions. This evidence is supplemented by facts drawn from Shaw's correspondence in print, in the British Library, and in private collections, and by accounts both in print and in the correspondence of people who knew Shaw at the time of his writing Saint Joan. The manuscript and its revisions are examined in the light of all that has been written about the play since it first appeared in 1923. Tyson examines the events that led Shaw to write Saint Joan, establishes the times and places of its composition, and speculates on the "models" upon which Shaw may have based his heroine. The scene-by-scene investigation of the original manuscript accounts as far as possible for later alterations and revisions and discusses passages of critical or historical interest. The concluding chapters survey the circumstances surrounding the first production of the play in the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany and reflect on the impact that Saint Joan has had on drama for more than half a century.
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