Edward McNulty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Matthew) Edward McNulty (1856–1943) was an Irish playwright and novelist, known for his penned portrayals of Irish peasant life. Two of McNulty’s plays, the 1914 comedy The Lord Mayor and the 1921 comedy The Courting of Mary Doyle, were successfully produced at the Abbey Theatre. McNulty’s other works include the novels Misther O’Ryan (1894), The Son of a Peasant (1897), Maureen (1904) and Mrs. Mulligan’s Millions (1918). All of these novels were published by Edward Arnold, London, except Mrs. Mulligan’s Millions, which was also a play and was published separately as a novel and as a play by Maunsel, Dublin. The play The Lord Mayor was published by Talbot, Dublin. McNulty’s other remaining play, The Courting Couple, was published by Gill, Dublin, posthumously, in 1944. McNulty’s close personal friend, the Nobel laureate in literature and literary critic, George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), referred to McNulty as a “genius”.[1]

McNulty is today most remembered, though, as an indispensable historical source used in both live interview and archive by biographers of the eminent Irish playwright and socialist, George Bernard Shaw, himself a founder of the Fabian Society. The importance of McNulty as a primary biographical source on Shaw will quickly become apparent to any reader upon their perusal of just the first volume of Michael Holyroyd’s three volume Bernard Shaw, Random House, NY © 1988. 41 pages of McNulty’s manuscript recollections of Shaw, including copies of Shaw’s letters to him, were obtained from McNulty’s estate by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and are housed in its Rare Book Collection. A few pages of this uncopyrighted cache are reprinted with attribution as “Shaw as a Boy” at pp. 17–21 of Shaw Interviews and Recollections, A.M. Gibbs, ed., University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, © 1990.

McNulty was the close childhood friend, and probably the only intimate friend ever, of Shaw,[2] the then severely impoverished and neglected son of an abusive, drunkard, father and an equally neglectful mother.[3] Shaw would drag his childhood soul mate, the ever accommodating McNulty, to Dublin’s National Gallery, where the oddly matched pair (a very tall, thin and fair Shaw and the very, short, dark and pudgy McNulty), both precociously talented artists, would wander for hours studying the gallery’s paintings, until they could recognize the technique of any Flemish or Italian painter of the human figure on sight.[4]

The two boys were inseparably bound. In fact, the earliest photograph of Shaw, taken by T. McKay and Co. in 1874 when Shaw was just 15, is with McNulty at his side. The pair took an art class together and, first, as noted above, dreamed of becoming successes as great artists. Then, later, they replaced this ambition with the dream of becoming successes as great literary figures, with Shaw taking a brief solo sojourn to dream of founding his own religion to achieve wealth, power and success.[5] Both McNulty and Shaw achieved their dream of becoming literary figures, although, Shaw, quite more grandiosely.

McNulty and Shaw, who both lived to what for then was quite advanced age, maintained their intimate friendship throughout McNulty’s slightly shorter life, through a tremendous and consuming, often, even, twice daily, written correspondence, when residing in different cities.[6]

References

  1. ^ Michael Holyroyd, Bernard Shaw, Random House, NY © 1988, Vol. 1, p. 37
  2. ^ Shaw Interviews and Recollections, A.M. Gibbs, ed., University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, © 1990, p. 17; See, again, also, Michael Holyroyd, Bernard Shaw, Random House, NY © 1988, Vol. 1, p. 37.
  3. ^ [1] See, also, Michael Holyroyd, Bernard Shaw, Random House, NY © 1988, Vol. 1, p. 29 (In childhood, Shaw was often left by his parents to fend for himself entirely. McNulty notes, further, that, even, when “Sonny”, being Shaw’s childhood nickname, finally, relocated from the Shaw family’s deplorable Synge Street reside to the improved circumstances of a new family habitat on Hatch Street, Shaw’s bedroom still, there, could barely fit just a bed. Shaw’s abysmal childhood circumstances clearly pulled at his schoolmate McNulty’s heart strings.)
  4. ^ Again, Michael Holyroyd, Bernard Shaw, Random House, NY © 1988, Vol. 1, p. 37; See, also, again, Shaw Interviews and Recollections, A.M. Gibbs, ed., University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, © 1990, p. 17, “I had been until then the acknowledged caricaturist of the school … my rival had appeared.” (from McNulty’s uncopyrighted U.N.C. archived typed manuscript with attribution) (While accommodating, McNulty did appear to put some boundaries on his friendship with Shaw. When Shaw suggested that since the pair of school boys couldn’t afford a live nude model with which to gain mastery of their painting of the human figure, they should pose nude for each other for hours daily, so they could become master human figure artist and, thereby, gain great advantage over Dublin’s other aspiring artists, McNulty adamantly and persistently declined. McNulty, though, stated, later, that he did feel very guilty about depriving Shaw of his long sought dream of a free nude model and, very, very, sorry for Shaw, because a nude model with which Shaw could hone his artistic skills was, otherwise, unobtainable to him.)
  5. ^ Shaw Interviews and Recollections, A.M. Gibbs, ed., University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, © 1990, p. 21
  6. ^ Once more, Shaw Interviews and Recollections, A.M. Gibbs, ed., University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, © 1990, p. 17; And, once again, Michael Holyroyd, Bernard Shaw, Random House, NY © 1988, Vol. 1, p. 37
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Edward_McNulty&oldid=765992663"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_McNulty
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Edward McNulty"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA