British newspaperman and casual chronicler (No. 10 Downing Street; The Edwardian Age) Mr. Minney knew Shaw on and off for thirty years and saw him five days before his death. Combining his own reminiscences with those of Frank Harris, Bertrand Russell (who thought Shaw ""rather silly and childish""), Wells (who according to Lovat Dickson called him a ""daring garrulous maiden aunt""), Ellen Terry and Sybil Thorndike, Rebecca West and his housekeeper Mrs. Laden, they present varied vistas of a man who considered himself his greatest piece of fiction. Shaw is seen here as philanderer-prig (chaste until 29 because of poverty and fastidiousness); as Fabian filibusterer; as husband of well-born and heeled Charlotte; as dramatist, as professed atheist, etc., etc. Mr. Minney lionizes the beard from its ""meagre red"" beginning to its final symbolic, imposing image; but while entertaining enough, the book is no more than elevated chitchat or lower case G.B.S.