The Project Gutenberg EBook of An Unsocial Socialist, by George Bernard Shaw This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no. Shaw’s An Unsocial Socialist is a mixed bag of a book to say the least. It begins in an upper class boarding school for girls where we are. This reissue makes available one of the early works of George Bernard Shaw: a galloping, witty novel with a wealth of pertinent things to say about the creaking.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. In the dusk of an October evening- a sensible looking woman of forty came out through an oaken door to a broad landing on the first floor of an old English country-house.

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Be the first to ask a question about An Unsocial Socialist. Lists with This Book. Jun 15, DeAnne rated it really liked it Shelves: George Bernard Shaw was a master of the satire, and he used his pen as a knife to cut through the bejeweled ribbons of a class structure that he found to be both unsustainable and at the pinnacle of it’s success.

In this work, he elucidates the concepts of socialism far better than any of the actual proponents of the philosophy did, and yet also showed the relative difficulties in ridding society of the evils of rampant capitalism. I find it striking, that a hundred years after this story was wr George Bernard Shaw was a master of the satire, and he used his pen as a knife to cut through the bejeweled ribbons of a class structure that he found to be both unsustainable and at the pinnacle of it’s success.

I find it striking, that a hundred years after this story was written, that the barons of capitalism have still not changed their course, and the poor are still slaves to a system they have no chance to escape.

The discussions of economic systems in the book are enrobed in a light tale of Regency-style romance, which is not uncommon in Shaw’s work I believe this to be one of Shaw’s finest satires, and I recommend it highly. Oh, my sweet Fabian Jesus, was Shaw ever unbearable when he wrote this!

It is from his early ish yearsI grant him, and in his preface he draws a line between himself as young novel writer and the older playwright and man of political experience.

I try not to confuse authors with characters, especially whey they are attempting a vaguely humourous novel. Trefusis may well be something of a caricature. Still, the heavily expository nature of this novel seems to indicate that in the main t Knsocial, my sweet Fabian Jesus, was Shaw ever unbearable when he wrote this! Still, the heavily expository nature of this novel seems to indicate that in the main these are essentially Shaw’s views on Socialism, the position of wealth, the workings of class and most abysmally, the nature of women.

I hate bernar when wit, satire and misogyny get confused. Trefusis has more public school arrogance than sociaalist he mocks in others, a great desire to constantly hear his own voice, and the emotional reach of a twig.

Small wonder the Fabians bwrnard get far with the working classes. That said, he was right and occasionally witty on a number of points. At Cambridge they taught me that bernrd profits were the reward of abstinence Then came the question: The workmen abstained from meat, drink, fresh air, good clothes, decent lodging, holidays, money, the society of their families and pretty nearly everything that makes life worth living, which was perhaps the reason why they usually died twenty years or so sooner than people in my circumstances.

Yet no one rewarded them for their abstinence. The reward came to my father, who abstained from none of these things, but indulged in them all to his heart’s content Pages contain as good an account of globalisation and the move of industry to countries of cheaper labour socia,ist any written today, though he believed the workers would follow the jobs. As the British factories are shut up, they will be replaced by villas; the manufacturing districts will become fashionable resorts for capitalists living on the interest of foreign investments On the other hand, egorge I written down every grating insult to women phrased as wit contained in these pages, this post would have been as long as the book.

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I don’t know why these two in particular called me to mark them as I feel sure there was worse, wocialist still: But we Socialists need to study the romantic side of our movement to interest women in it. If you want to make a cause grow, instruct every woman you meet in it. She nernard or will one day be a wife, and will contradict her husband with scraps of your arguments. A squabble will follow.

The son will listen, and will be set thinking if he be capable of thought. And so the mind of the people insocial leavened. I have converted many young women. Most of them know no more of the economic theory of Socialism than they know of Chaldee; but they no longer fear or condemn its name On reflection, the quote sodialist might just have been the most infuriating.

I hadn’t wanted to punch an author in the stomach this much since reading Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, but that feeling started up from the very beginning when he abandons his wife and commences flirting with several year old school girls. Yes; you sometimes have to answer a woman according to her womanishness, just as you have to answer a fool according to his folly Socialist women certainly had their work cut out for them in fighting for respect, a place and a voice in this movement.

It makes the efforts of those like Maud Pember Reeves and the Fabian women’s group all the more impressive, and I now blame Shaw and his ilk entirely for their steadfast seriousness and abandonment of any kind of ‘femininity’ as they battled to overturn the image of flighty, emotional society women incapable of serious thought unsoocial here.

What a waste of women’s goerge.

A very low fellow indeed

The geographies of this? From a countryside finishing school to London houses in Belsize Park and Bernars John’s Wood and back out to a baron’s country house Dec 20, Karan Gupta rated it really liked it Shelves: It was back in the days, when I had a compulsion for buying books, that I veorge myself in the back alleys of the famous M.

I was wandering without purpose when I found myself in front of a second-hand-book-store. I was in love with graphic novels then, having discovered Moore recently, but my browsing through the shop resulted in this book. I made a mental note to come back to the shop again when I needed books but, as happens with most notes, it got lost and I never went ba It was back in the days, when I had a compulsion for buying books, that I found myself in the back alleys of the famous M.

I made a mental note to come back to the shop again when I needed socialust but, as happens with most notes, it got lost and I never went back to that shop. However, the book persisted in my collection; hopping shelves in Bangalore and Delhi before I picked it up recently, almost two years since I had picked it up from the small store in Bangalore. I was introduced to G. Shaw in Roorkee through “Candida”, one of the plays georhe was a part of an elective course. I liked his writing then and I had remembered this book being sociaist by a then close friend over our endless telephonic discussions.

Hence Shaw’s novel was something that held an intrigue and I was looking forward to what lay in store. The novel proved to be quite amusing. The story was interlaced with dollops of humour, so subtle that I still wonder about what it was that the author tried to mock! I initially thought he was mocking socialism, bernar later it seemed his views on socialism were in the earnest.

Maybe the Victorian society as such. Or maybe there was no mockery at all, the humour being a result of the ridiculous nature of the conflicting demands of society from individuals. The story revolves around a certain Sidney Trefusis who is introduced as an eccentric character. Having found am marriage unbearable, he flees his wife sociallist hides from her.

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He takes up the life of a common wage worker and is introduced to the young ladies in Alton College, in whose vicinity he has chosen to hide. Socilaist social conduct is appalling and he tries his best to cause outrage in social settings and gatherings. His grooming, which he tries to shun so, comes back in his dealings with the ladies of the society, who he never fails to charm.

The story twists and turns with Trefusis’s socialist propaganda and his resumed social contact with a three ladies of Alton: Jane, Getrude and Agatha. There are flirtations and outrages and absurd social meetings.

With Sidney nothing is ever quite simple! The novel lived up to any expectation that I might have had from it.

It was fast paced and thoroughly entertaining. I specially liked the subtle humour and the complete unassuming way that Shaw had weaved it with his story. This will definitely make me look up more of Shaw’s novels in the future.

Dec 24, Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it.

An Unsocial Socialist – Wikisource, the free online library

Sidney Trefusis, son and heir to a cotton merchant, despises the world of class and privilege he was born into and takes up the socialist cause. Deserting his wife of six weeks, he poses as a laborer and-once rumbled in that guise-as a gentleman agitator for the socialist cause. But chief among his people to reform and convert are the society women in his circle who are simply expected to be unthinking adornments to their husbands who offer “Class” and “Good breeding” to atone for the vapid life Sidney Trefusis, son and heir to a cotton merchant, despises the world of class and privilege he was born into and takes up the socialist cause.

But chief among his people to reform and convert are the society women in his circle who are simply expected to be unthinking adornments to their husbands who offer “Class” and “Good breeding” to atone for the vapid life they offer. If women can be made to wake up to their condition, surely the socialist cause will advance far quicker! Shaw’s novel is entertaining enough, but isn’t really sure what it wants to be-the comedy of the early chapters soon switching to political preaching and melancholy.

Trefusis is a ridiculous prig and the naivety of his politics is made more grating by the fact there is no challenge to them. That capitalism is brutal-earning the merchants such as Trefusis’s father more than they could ever hope to spend, whilst the working class are denied the right to earn even enough to subsist-is undeniably the great social evil of its and subsequent days; but Shaw is naive in thinking flowery political solutions that sound great in theory, rarely never? Perhaps a better answer already existed-Cadbury who built quality homes for his workers and paid them well, or the John Lewis model where the workers still to this day take a share in the profits they help generate-and could have been used by social reformers to force all capitalists to follow a just model, whereas the political model just caused a superb reason for them to entrench their position.

All in all, ‘An Unsocial Socialist’ is a bit of a quaint curiosity now as far as the politics goes, but it still stands up as a beacon for the feminist cause and the role of women in society. It also gives a useful window to look into and see the winds for social change that were blowing in to Victorian Britain and the world in general. An old-fashioned read, I’m afraid. What starts as a light-hearted description of events at a school for girls, finishes as an embarrassingly boring romance, with some pages on socialism thrown in between.