In 1882, Shaw heard Henry George lecture on land nationalization. This had a profound effect on Shaw and helped to develop his ideas on socialism. Shaw joined the Social Democratic Federation; and its leader, H. H. Hyndman, introduced him to the works of Karl Marx. Shaw was convinced by the economic theories in Das Kapital, but was aware that it would have little impact on the working class. He gave lectures on socialism on street corners and helped distribute political literature. He opposed Britain’s involvement in World War I.
In 1925, he was awarded the Nbel Prize for Literature for his work, which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty. The Malvern Festival in England began in 1929 as a tribute to him.
He was a freethinker; a supporter of women’s rights; an advocate of equality of income, the abolition of private property, and a radical change in the voting system. He campaigned for the simplification of spelling and the reform of the English alphabet. He was not a naturally good public speaker, but he schooled himself to become a brilliant one. He was a strict vegetarian and never drank spirits, coffee, or tea.
His wife died in 1943. He died in 1950.