Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw, 1943 by Yousuf Karsh

In an article in the UK Observer the author of a new book talks about how Charlotte Shaw was heavily involved in her husband’s work as a writer. Forgotten Wives: How Women Get Written Out of History by Ann Oakley is out next month from Bristol University Press.

“Throughout history, records of high-achieving women have been lost through the pervasive assumption of male dominance. Independently performing women disappear as supporters of their husbands’ work, as unpaid and often unacknowledged secretaries and research assistants, and as managers of men’s domestic domains.”

“Charlotte read every single thing that George Bernard Shaw wrote, and edited it and revised it.” She also helped him to stage many of his plays for the first time and suggested casts for some of them, “yet her role has been relegated by biographers in the past to that of a secretary – despite the fact that Shaw actually employed a secretary to do all his secretarial work.”

Karsh photographed George Bernard Shaw on Karsh’s trip to Britain in 1943 in the autumn of 1943. Although the majority of Sitters came from British politics and royalty, Karsh also photographed the author H.G. Wells.