Read Pygmalion & My Fair Lady by George Bernard Shaw Alan Jay Lerner Online


The ancient Greeks tell the legend of the sculptor Pygmalion, who created a statue of a woman of such surpassing beauty that he fell in love with his own creation. Then, Aphrodite, taking pity on this man whose love could not reach beyond the barrier of stone, brought the statue to life and gave her to Pygmalion as his bride. Centuries later, George Bernard Shaw captured tThe ancient Greeks tell the legend of the sculptor Pygmalion, who created a statue of a woman of such surpassing beauty that he fell in love with his own creation. Then, Aphrodite, taking pity on this man whose love could not reach beyond the barrier of stone, brought the statue to life and gave her to Pygmalion as his bride. Centuries later, George Bernard Shaw captured the magic of this legend in his celebrated romantic play, Pygmalion. Pygmalion became Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, his statue an untutored flower girl from the streets of London, and the barrier between them the difference in their stations in life.In My Fair Lady, Alan Jay Lerner takes the legend one step further—the barrier is swept away and Higgins and Eliza are reunited as the curtain falls on one of the loveliest musical plays of our time—winning seven Tonys® for its original Broadway production, and seven Oscars® for its film adaptation....

Title : Pygmalion & My Fair Lady
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451530097
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pygmalion & My Fair Lady Reviews

  • Rachel
    2018-12-02 16:07

    I absolutely love My Fair Lady! I only just realized, after completing the book and reading the back, that Pygmalion is a Greek Myth--the one where Pygmalion falls in love with his sculpture and Aphrodite pities him and makes the statue real. This play is based off of that, where Higgins sculpts Eliza into a creature with beautiful speech, and falls in love with his creation. It's interesting to see the contrasts between the play and the adaption, but I like both endings (they're different). There is a strong emphasis on phonetics and speech. I learned something very important from Eliza, that "the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she's treated."

  • Em
    2018-11-28 14:55

    I absolutely love my fair lady. It is a wonderful story that depicts social class and their values. Henry higgins is a brilliant character, i love how he is depicted but always hated the way that he treated eliza dolittle.i thought the story was at some points witty, i especially love the times eliza makes a mockery of henry higgins!on a musical note, i grew up watching my fair lady with my wonderful grandma who gave me my love of musicals! The lyrics were fitting and catchy... I used to sing along lol.i remember a few years ago watching confessions of a teenage drama queen, which is also based on the book by dyan sheldon! Fantastic book! Anyway, the character lola is audition ing for the main part in a school play and she makes a reference to pygmalion written by george bernard shaw and i thought it was lovely that classics from the past are still recognised in modern fiction and it!

  • Kirsten (
    2018-12-12 13:20

    SOOOOOOOOO much better than the movie My Fair Lady even though Audrey Hepburn is always stunning and it was directed by Uncle George, and the songs really are fantastic.I LOVE that she ends up with (spoiler alert)) Freddy instead of that misogynistic knucklehead (i'm being kind and gentle with my words) Rex Harrison, I mean Henry Higgins. and she gets to run a flower-shop - VERY COOL!

  • Lauryn
    2018-12-14 09:55

    Pygmalion - A Play by George Bernard ShawNot many people in their teen years have heard of the play Pygmalion. I mean most of us don’t even read plays! I read this for a school assignment but for me it became so much more. As an avid fan of the movie My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, I was extremely excited to hear that this play is what the movie was based off.Set in the early 1900's under Edwardian rule, this play is about a teacher of phonetics, the science of speech, and Eliza Doolittle a poor flower girl trying to get by on the little amount of money she makes. Higgins meets Eliza in not the best of situations with her convinced he's a cop and thinks she was ‘coming onto’ an older gentlemen. She is absolutely horrified to say the least. You can imagine the noises she makes with her horrid cockney accent when she’s in a rush! As the play progresses Higgins decides to take Eliza on as a bet of a sort with a friend of his, Colonel Pickering a fellow linguist (scientist of speech if you will) that he could transform Eliza and even pass her off as the queen of Sheba within 13 months. A the bet progresses and Eliza is taught how to speak and act like a proper elegant and well-dressed lady, more problems, feeling, and characters come to light. The real question is will Eliza ever be able to pull it off and what will happen to her now if she doesn’t?As a play it is very different from a book in how you read it and how to understand what exactly is happening so I’ll give you some tips. All stage directions will be in italics and [brackets], it gives actors directions for movement and expression. At the beginning of each act, think of them as chapters if you will, there will always be a very detailed setting so that you know exactly of your surroundings because that is how it was meant to be done on stage. When one character is speaking to the other it may come up with them speaking their name and then saying something aimed to them and them alone. One thing that I found to be a great help was if you completely had no clue what a word meant just have a dictionary on your lap or on a laptop. By the end of the book your vocabulary will clearly be so resplendently refined that you will be able to baffle all whom you meet just like Eliza does.If you happen to enjoy the movie that was based of this play then I recommend you read this too as it opens your eyes so much to all of these other ideas and things that were meant to happen and coincide with each other, I for one find it absolutely fascinating.I see now that I have rambled on quite a bit about this play probably because for me I’ve always wondered if more happened beyond the movie because as they say all of the best movies are based off books.As far as I know this doesn’t have any prizes behind it like many others of the time but it does have a string of performances and a movie featuring some of the most brilliant actors and singers alike starring in it. Also I can add that My Fair Lady won many awards in 1965 - including Best Picture Oscar, Best Actor in a Leading Role Rex Harrison , Best Director George Cukor, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Music. L.E Simpkin

  • Cindy
    2018-11-17 15:58

    I liked this more than I expected. It was a sweet and realistic romance to me, so I wasn't at all disappointed with the ending. In fact, I loved the ending. Maybe it was because Shaw didn't really push the Eliza/Higgins pairing. I couldn't exactly tell if either of them had romantic feelings for the other. It was comical and enjoyable, always a good combination for a book/play. I plan to read My Fair Lady soon afterwards, but right now, other things are occupying my time. :(

  • Amy
    2018-12-05 08:03

    I have seen the movie version of My Fair Lady, so Audrey Hepburn's accent was in my head through the entire first act. I gained a lot more appreciation for the story from reading Pygmalion. I discovered that Shaw makes witty, philosophical remarks on society, reminding me of Oscar Wilde, whom I adore. The stage directions add depth to the character's unseen emotions and watching Eliza's development was truly enjoyable. I need to go read more Shaw.

  • Hiba
    2018-11-19 15:15

    I LOVEDDD THIS PLAY! It was so funny & witty, & the undertones were on point. Just amazing! Best play i've read so far.

  • Ashni Clayton
    2018-11-22 13:19

    Pygmalion is one of those stories that reaffirm the old adage that the original is always better. The story of Professor Henry Higgins teaching and molding the down on her luck flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, into a “lady” has been done countless times (Pretty Women and My Fair Lady probably being two of the most famous examples), but Shaw’s original play still holds something unique and special.Despite the story that is funny and endearing on the surface, Shaw utilizes his play to attack social hierarchies and the very idea of status. Eliza captures the audience’s sympathy with her headstrong and fight back attitude as well as her bold ambition to do whatever it takes to improve her lot in life and go after her own success, but she is more than just a mere flower girl. Instead the character of Eliza represents the lower classes of English society who are barred from achieving greater status, opportunity, and respect due to circumstances out of their control. Higgins, on the other hand, proud, arrogant, and privileged, represents those in England that benefit from a stroke of luck.Such a juxtaposition reveals the central question of the work: what makes a lady or a gentleman? Their birthright? Their fortune? Their behavior? Their access to education?Moreover, Shaw deepens this comparison between the two classes in presenting the higher echelons of society to be the most constricting and miserable. After achieving her transformation in being taken for a princess, Eliza feels lost and unhappy, realizing she has lost the ability to be herself. When poor and impoverished she was allowed to feel and display natural emotions as well as assert her own opinion without fear of rejection or judgement. After seeing her goal through, however, Eliza states she is no longer fit to sell anything but herself. Marriage has become her only opportunity while the thought of her own flower shop becomes a lost dream, begging yet another question: what is the price of status?It is these questions that give the original play so much more depth. A depth that has a tendency to get lost in translation every now and then. So,no, I would not say the story of Pygmalion is one of an unconventional romance between a wealthy professor and a poor flower girl. That particular plot is one left for the movies and musicals. In fact, in Shaw’s original work Eliza doesn’t end up with Higgins at all.That said, the play’s deeper meanings and critiques are hidden under witty banter that leaves them feeling a little less daunting (I found one of my new favorite insults a la’ Henry Higgins- “you draggle-tailed guttersnipe”). The adventures and trials Eliza must face in her attempts to pass as a lady are hilarious under most circumstances and entertaining under all. The clash of personalities and the pride of both lead characters will have you, if nothing else, laughing.What I Liked:1. The language. Reading Eliza’s cockney accent was like trying to solve a puzzle, and both she and Professor Higgins had colorful language to say the least. The banter and arguments that ensue give the play its more lighthearted feel and keep the play’s societal critiques from bogging down both the plot and its audience.2. The female characters. Eliza and Mrs. Higgins, the main two female characters of the play, were both presented as headstrong, intelligent, and independent. Despite being of two different worlds, the two women admired one another for these characteristics and bonded over their refusal to allow men to dictate their lives and behavior as well as ignore their contributions and abilities.Colonel Pickering. Eliza’s kind benefactor, who held two purposes: to act as a foil to Higgins and to remind the audience that another’s status is not determined by birth or behavior but in how you treat them.3. The depth. As always, I love any story that can make me think a little harder about life, society, and everything in between. A book that can do that and make me laugh? It must be a score.What I Didn’t Like:1. Henry Higgins. Well, at least his attitude. Initially described as almost childlike and unused to getting his way, Higgins underwent very little transformation throughout the play, save realizing he did indeed enjoy Eliza’s company and in fact needed her around. Other than that, he stayed rude, petulant, and arrogant. While other characters chastised him or called him out for his bullying behavior, they often ended up meekly accepting the fact he would not change and moving on from there. I would have liked to see Higgins have more development and maybe a moment of humility.2. The emphasis placed on Eliza’s ignorance. While it is mentioned that Eliza was a good student with a quick ear for language, the fact she is naive and ignorant in manners and education is also repeated again and again. So much so as to have her later repeat the same phrases. I don’t have a clear reason why this bothered me so much. I just know that it irked me to no end.P.S. Did you know that the original idea for Pygmalion came from a greek myth of the same name in which a sculptor, Pygmalion, fell in love with one of his statues, invoking Aphrodite’s pity, as his love while true could not overcome the barrier of stone, so much so as to persuade her to bring the statue to life and present her as his bride?***If you liked this review, please visit my blog at for more reviews and articles***

  • Marisa
    2018-11-24 09:21

    I read Pygmalion when I was a senior in high school, and we read it along with the Showtime version of Pygmalion starring Peter O'Toole (boy, was he amazing). I still enjoyed reading it this time around, and I think I have a better sense of the seriousness of the play and its meaning. I admire Eliza for knowing herself well enough to go her own way at the end of the play. Good for her that she left that awful Higgins behind! Now, I have never seen My Fair Lady, so I have no idea how it differs from the play. I can't say that I liked the "My Fair Lady" play all that much because it was a somewhat romanticized version of Pygmalion. I don't think the raw ending of Pygmalion needed to be changed. I like the thought of Eliza leaving Higgins and never looking back.

  • Alan
    2018-11-30 09:15

    Great story that really plays with the idea of class, upbringing, and gender. For those who don't know, both Pygmalion and My Fair Lady are essentially the same thing. One's a play and the other is a musical. There are also slight plot differences. A great read and a classic of modern theater.

  • Ne'Hmat
    2018-12-04 15:21

    You finish this play and in your mind still spins the question what is the relationship like between Professor Higgins and his made-up girl? It is a masterpiece for Bernard Shaw that inspires a lot of writers to have such a relationship on the stage or in filmsI’ve liked it and it is a proof how a person can change someone’s life.

  • Nina
    2018-11-27 10:19

    It was great.

  • Tsvetoslav Shalev
    2018-11-25 13:10

    In a way - thought provoking! Enjoyable little read!

  • Bella
    2018-12-06 12:13

    I picked this book up because I wanted to discover the origins of the musical My Fair Lady. It has the script for Pygmalion first (the play which My Fair Lady was based on), then My Fair Lady. They were both really good, but it's quite astonishing that two plays with nearly the same script can have such drastically different endings with regard to the primary romantic relationships.Before I read Pygmalion, I thought that My Fair Lady was probably a very loose adaption of it, but I was surprised to find out that the two scripts are nearly identical. There are a few things added or taken away in My Fair Lady, but other than the ending, the most glaring difference was the addition of songs. A large percent of the dialogue in My Fair Lady is just copied and pasted from Pygmalion.So what, you may ask, could possibly make the endings so different if close to the entire musical is copied and pasted? Well, in My Fair Lady, as we all know, she ends up marrying Henry Higgins, the man who took her out of the gutter to teach her proper speech and pass her off for a Duchess. In Pygmalion however, she ends up marrying Freddy Eynsford-Hill, the man who's been chasing after her since they met. It's funny, because I when I first Saw My Fair Lady, I never questioned her ending up with Henry, because it's a musical and I knew it was coming because that's what happens in musicals. In Pygmalion on the other hand, it was clear to me that they don't belong together. They're just two people who could never fully get along, and yet needed each other as friends. In the same vain, it never seemed to me as though she REALLY ever liked Freddy either. In the end, I'm not even totally sure which one I think she should have ended up with. It's just not at all clear.Welp, as George Bernard Shaw said in a short hand fragment after the play was written, this is a play to mainly call public attention to the importance of phonetics and the role it plays in our society. On that front, it's quite entertaining! Not to say the romance confusion makes it not entertaining, but the focus on phonetics is really interesting and very well done. Overall, even with the contrasting endings, I enjoyed reading both of these plays.

  • Dr.J.G.
    2018-11-17 10:17

    This is the original play that the very famous and popular "My fair Lady" is based on, except that was more of a sweet version, and this retains the original English, perhaps British or even Irish, taste - not sweet, not sour, not bitter or hot, but a little salt and some of that sixth taste that is called "kasaila", from "kashaaya", meaning tea in the old medicinal sense of the word. Here at the end there is a very well written epilogue that explains why the professor does not propose to any woman or have any romantic affair with any woman (and certainly with no man either) - not as a sickness on his part, but as a matter of evolution, and he is very evolved indeed. Unlike US of today the social norms of Britain then were quite different and sex was not a compulsory activity to prove one was normal, and for that matter normal was never defined as average, either. So eccentricity was not only allowed it positively thrived and flourished, and benefitted the society enormously. Men like the professor could devote their time and energy to their prefered pusuits. He does end up baffled and quite unable to escape Elizabeth Dolittle though.

  • KaitlynSaunders
    2018-12-08 11:05

    First of all, Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison make an amazing Doolittle and Higgins. (I know Julie Andrews should have been Eliza, but that's not how it turned out, and I love Audrey, so there.) I love classics, and I love My Fair Lady, so I thought I might as well give this book a try. I was very pleased with it, actually. Not much of a surprise, since I've seen the movie thousands of times, but the familiarity of it made reading that much more enjoyable. I think the biggest difference between the play and the movie is the fact that Henry Higgins is a total jerkface in the original. Not that he isn't a little rude in the new movie, but at least he gets better... The character in the original play is definitely flawed. Eliza too, I guess. Good play. I would definitely recommend reading it, if you get a chance.

  • Josie
    2018-11-22 09:22

    I'm not exactly a big fan of reading plays. I would much rather watch it. I guess there have been just a few too many times in English where my teachers have forced me to read these plays and look into depth the underlying themes and whatnot, and I just have never liked them because of that. But Pygmalion and My Fair Lady was different. I actually enjoyed reading the story, and seeing how it differs in each play I found exciting. If you're going to read a play, this is definitely the one to do it, though, My Fair Lady is best if you know the music to the songs, because it just isn't as fun to read the words as it is to sing them in your head.

  • Gabe
    2018-11-22 08:00

    a wonderful story. The makes of the musical really did a fantastic job of not messing around too much with the original play. I did kind of cheat and just watched the musical movie instead of reading the script but it's pretty much the same. It's really funny though because I saw Julie Andrews was supposed to play Eliza in the movie as she originated the role on Broadway but passed it up due to Mary Poppins so Audrey Hepburn got the part but Julie beat her out for the Academy Award ;) that being said Hepburn still did a fantastic job and I would have killed to see Rex Harrison play this role on the stage.

  • Shannon
    2018-11-25 11:57

    It was interesting to read Pygmalion side-by-side with My Fair Lady. What interested me more (and disappointed me that it wasn't included) was the reference to Shaw writing a follow-up to Pygmalion where Eliza ends up with Freddy. I would have like to compare since I never did like Eliza going back to Higgins in My Fair Lady--he never deserved it. I'm not sure Freddy would have either though. It was definitely interesting to compare. I'll have to see if I can find the follow-up that Shaw wrote.

  • S.E. Anderson
    2018-12-11 09:54

    Okay I grew up watching and loving My Fair Lady. When I finally read Pygmalion I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved it as well. Not as literal an original text as some plays that are turned into musicals but very true to the core value of My Fair Lady. When you take someone and tell them that what they are is wrong and train them to be something that you say is right, what world do they exist in? She could walk and talk like a lady...but underneath it all she was just the flower girl.

  • Rachel
    2018-11-30 15:13

    Constantly had Audrey Hepburn in my head as I read, but that only made this play all the more enjoyable. Higgins voices in is cold and wonderful manner so much that I would like to! I think I will have my seniors read it. They being Liza and myself Higgins... I may not care what happens to them in the end, but they will leave my tutelage with an increased vocabulary and a grasp on how to use words.

  • Susanna
    2018-12-08 15:54

    My Homeschool drama group is performing My Fair Lady. I play Mrs. Eynsford-Hill and some other minor parts.It was interesting to read both plays alongside each other. One thing that became clear while reading Pygmalion is that Higgins is really not a nice guy. In the MFL movie he somehow seems kind of charming; but in the play his abusive and self-centered nature is much more obvious. The ending is a bit hopeless and depressing.

  • Brian Burns
    2018-11-17 12:01

    An oldie and a goodie. "The rain in spain falls mainly on the plain" I can't get those words outta my head, even though I might have swallowed a marble or two in getting it right. Shaw's impeccable wit and wisdom shines through this work, as does his knowledge of Linguistics. I wish I had Professor Higgins as my teacher.

  • Maya Nunez
    2018-12-12 11:23

    I atcually liked it. It was fun to read even though I don't think it has anything to deal with the roman myth. I hated the ending! I mean seriosly she just leaves and never comes back because she runs off and marrys Freddy. Freddy was only in the play for what? Five Minutes and they get married! Ugh! Overall I liked it.

  • Cassa
    2018-11-16 08:01

    I enjoyed Pygmalion quite a bit, though I was confused as to Eliza's father's role at first. I was, however, skimming stage directions, so I might have missed a crucial clue.My Fair Lady was difficult to read as a musical, since my only reference as to tune was having seen Stewie's occasional satire on Family Guy (the viewing of which made the reading of this absolutely hilarious).

  • Michelle Lynne
    2018-11-25 13:23

    I found the juxtaposition of the musical and its original play to be quite jarring. There were things that I liked more about one work over the other, and the comparison having read them back-to-back was weird for me. I much preferred the ending of Pygmalion over My Fair Lady, but I liked the dialogue of My Fair Lady more than Pygmalion in some cases.

  • Theresa
    2018-12-05 13:20

    Surprisingly, Pygmalion was no where near as engaging as My Fair Lady. For the first time, my attention was drawn to the story's study of language, which was Shaw's original intent, but I was really distracted by how choppy and empty the story was. I had very little emotional response to the characters, except that Higgins came off as an even bigger jerk than in the movie.

  • Ramana
    2018-11-26 15:19

    A glaring reflection of early nineteenth century english aristocracy and it's take on a woman from a lower class in the most entertaining and enticing way. Only Shaw can make it look like there isn't any class warfare!

  • Nur
    2018-12-07 11:10

    Beautiful story !! Very nice ! Its a story of a girl who is poor becoming a lady who is taught by a detective who falls in love with her!!THe speech of ur tounge gives a change to u loungs!!THe speech is one part to become a lady!!!

  • Mary
    2018-12-13 12:56

    Pygmalion was great. I like My Fair Lady also, because the movie played in my head the entire time I was reading it. (Who can beat Rex Harrison, honestly? And the guy who played Alfred P. Doolittle--amazing.)