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Misalliance

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By: (1856-1950)

Misalliance, a 1910 play by George Bernard Shaw, is an ironic examination of the romantic entanglements of a varied group of people gathered at a wealthy man's country home on a summer weekend. Most of the romantic interest centers on the host's daughter, Hypatia Tarleton, a typical Shaw heroine who exemplifies his lifelong theory that in courtship, women are the relentless pursuers and men the apprehensively pursued. Hypatia is the daughter of newly-wealthy John Tarleton who made his fortune in the unglamorous but lucrative underwear business. She is fed up with the stuffy conventions that surround her and with the hyperactive talk of the men in her life. Hypatia is engaged to Bentley Summerhays, an intellectually bright but emotionally underdeveloped aristocrat. Hypatia is restless with her engagement as the play starts, even as it is revealed she has also had a proposal of engagement from her betrothed's father, Lord Summerhays. She longs for some adventure to drop out of the sky, and it does: an aircraft crashes through the roof of the conservatory. The plane's passengers, a handsome young pilot and a Polish acrobat, shake up the house party considerably.

First Page:

MISALLIANCE

by George Bernard Shaw

Notes on the editing: Italicized text is delimited with underlines (" "). Punctuation and spelling are retained as in the printed text. Shaw used a non standard system of spelling and punctuation. For example, contractions usually have no apostrophe: "don't" is given as "dont", "you've" as "youve", and so on. Abbreviated honorifics have no trailing period: "Dr." is given as "Dr", "Mrs." as "Mrs", and so on. "Shakespeare" is given as "Shakespear". Where several characters in the play are speaking at once, I have indicated it with vertical bars (""). The pound (currency) symbol has been replaced by the word "pounds".

MISALLIANCE

Johnny Tarleton, an ordinary young business man of thirty or less, is taking his weekly Friday to Tuesday in the house of his father, John Tarleton, who has made a great deal of money out of Tarleton's Underwear. The house is in Surrey, on the slope of Hindhead; and Johnny, reclining, novel in hand, in a swinging chair with a little awning above it, is enshrined in a spacious half hemisphere of glass which forms a pavilion commanding the garden, and, beyond it, a barren but lovely landscape of hill profile with fir trees, commons of bracken and gorse, and wonderful cloud pictures... Continue reading book >>


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