8220;G. Bernard Shaw.” London: 1898.
SHAW, George Bernard. Autograph Letter Signed. “G. Bernard Shaw.” 29 Fitzroy Square W. London: 23rd April, 1898.
Autograph letter signed “G. Bernard Shaw.” Letter addressed to "Mrs. Bloomfield Zeisler" famous Austrian concert pianist. Four pages on two octavo sheets (8 x 5 inches; 201 x 130 mm) with manuscript letter on recto and verso of both sheets. Paper is lightly toned. Two horizontal creases from mailing. Two small splits at creases with no loss. Overall very good.
The letter is a reply to Zeisler's request for Shaw to come see her perform at the Philharmonic and act as a music critic. Letter is sent from Shaw's residence at 29 Fitzroy Square in London where he lived until 1898. This address is interesting in that a few years later in 1907, this same address was the home of Virgina Woolf.
"29 Fitzroy Square W. 23rd April 1898.
Dear Mrs Bloomfield Zeisler I am sorry to say that/ our friend Mr. Hamlin Garland is 4/ years out of date as to my proceedings./ From 1888 to 1894 I was a musical/ critic; and it would have given me great/ pleasure then to have heard you play at/ the Philharmonic and done my best to/ spread the news of your visit to England./ Now unfortunately I am quite out of/ the musical world, and am absolutely/ not worth troubling about./ When you play at the Philharmonic,/ all the London critics will be invited,/ with, possibly, one very important/ exception: I mean Mr. J.F. Runci-/man, of the Saturday Review. It/ would be well I think for you to/ send him a ticket and ask him to be/ present on your own account. By the/ way, do not mention this to any of the/Philharmonic people, as the relations/ between Mr. Runciman nd Sir A.C./ Mackenzie have been severely strained/ by a libel action. With this exception,/ you may leave the critics to be pro-/vided for in the ordinary routine of/ concert business. All the leading musical/ organizations and concert agents invite/ the Press as a matter of course; and your/ playing will do the rest./ If I can give you any further/ information, let me know./ Yrs. faithfully/ G. Bernard Shaw/P.S. Mr. Runciman's private address is/ 30 Great James St. Theobalds Road, W.C."
"George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but each also includes a vein of comedy that makes their stark themes more palatable. In these works Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.... He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938). The former for his contributions to literature and the latter for his work on the film 'Pygmalion' (adaptation of his play of the same name). Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright, as he had no desire for public honours, but he accepted it at his wife's behest. She considered it a tribute to Ireland. He did reject the monetary award, requesting it be used to finance translation of Swedish books to English." (Good Reads).
“'She plays like a man' was a near-refrain in critiques of Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler, a brilliant pianist who emerged in the young, male-dominated American concert world of the 1880s. With magnetic energy and articulate technique, Zeisler broke out of the “lady pianist” molds to become a virtuoso revered for her musical intellect, expressivity, bravura, and scintillating touch in a wide range of concert repertoire. Her popularity peaked in the late 1890s, following highly acclaimed European tours, and continued into the first two decades of the twentieth century. Through much of her life the pianist juggled fifty-engagement seasons with teaching (at Chicago’s Bush Temple of Music and in a private studio) and family duties... Despite her husband’s wishes that she settle down to a domestic life, Zeisler returned to Vienna by fall 1888 for a five-month “refresher course” with Leschetizky. Her determination to excel paid off within the next decade, when she solidified artistic relationships with the orchestras of New York, Boston, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, performed at the Colombian Exposition of 1893, toured Europe, and appeared in numerous recitals throughout the United States, including an 1896 West Coast tour that featured seven different programs in eighteen days. Although “nervous prostrations” had cut short her first European tour of 1893–1894, her triumphs during this and the following season in Europe marked a career turning point. By 1896, American writers were dubbing her “America’s greatest virtuoso” and, at times, the “Sarah Bernhardt of the piano.” Zeisler performed in England in 1898 and returned to the Continent in 1902 and 1912." (The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women).