20 November 1923. King’s Hall, 43 King Street, Covent Garden. Ticket of admission, 3” x 4” on blue cardstock. CONDITION: Very good, extremely light wear to edges, light dampstain at top.
Bernard Shaw’s lecture on the question “Is Civilisation Desirable?” was delivered before The Fabian Society, the socialist organization for which he was a chief representative. The event made news across the pond, with several U.S. papers reporting on Shaw’s eccentric views. The Philadelphia Inquirer bemusedly reports: “Right to Be Dirty and Sleep in Open Called Utopian by Poet” (18 Sept. 1923), and The Indianapolis Star, with a bit more attitude, elaborates: “his definition of civilization is division of labor, and that division of labor is producing a mass of persons who can not do anything and do not know how anything is done. The lecture is much longer than this, but even from this it is reasonable to assume that Shaw does not think civilization is desirable. Which is too bad” (21 Dec. 1923). The Montgomery Advertiser explains all by saying that “Shaw himself is the bad boy of English literature. It is his chief characteristic to say shocking things” (19 Dec. 1923). The bearer of this ticket was evidently the most unimpressed of all, however, noting on his ticket: “I couldn’t see that he said anything.”