Lot 259: SHAW, GEORGE BERNARD. Autograph Letter Signed, "G. Bernard Shaw," to Lady [Constance?] Leslie, responding to her critique of his play [
01 November 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: "YOU INSULT ME--A PLAYWRIGHT--BY SAYING THE PASSAGE SHOCKS YOU 'IN A PLAY'" SHAW, GEORGE BERNARD. Autograph Letter Signed, "G. Bernard Shaw," to Lady [Constance?] Leslie, responding to her critique of his play [Major Barbara?]. Additionally signed and inscribed by Lady Leslie at lower left ("answer to my letter, below CL"). 1 page, oblong 4to, personal stationery; folds, faint scattered soiling. [London], 30 November 1905
"The time has not come for me to put those words away on a Gothic bracket and revere them: I still have plenty of hard everyday use for them. That child is being born everyday and several times a day; and when you and I have succeeded in getting him and his mother properly fed and clothed and housed so that he may be fit, when he grows up, to have the government upon his shoulders, then we shall have time to sit down and be reverent.
"Why do you insult me--a playwright--by saying that the passage shocks you 'in a play'? If the theatre is not a fit place for the utterance of those words, it is still less fit for the presence of that much more sacred thing, a living woman--'The word became Flesh'--and you shouldn't go there."