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Shaw uses a re-telling of Ovid's classical tale of the sculptor who falls in love with his statue of the perfect woman to promote his feminist views and satirize the British class system. In the play Professor Higgins plans to present the cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle as a duchess. Pygmalion both delighted and scandalised Edwardian audiences in 1914. The actress who played the role of Eliza was considered to have risked her career by speaking the line "Not bloody likely!". Later used as the basis for the film MyFair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn.
Ruth Hilton, a young orphaned seamstress, becomes involved with Harry Bellingham - a gentleman who ultimately deserts her, leaving a terrible legacy. Ruth copes and begins to re-build her life, only to re-encounter Harry. The honest portrayal of Ruth and her illegitimate child were a challenge to the views of the society when it was written in 1853.
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