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The Green Bay Tree

The Green Bay Tree

Mordaunt Shairp

Oberon Books

A beautiful young man is forced to choose between the love of his fiancée and the lifestyle of his male mentor.


This is the infamous comedy of manipulation that, in 1934, made a leading Broadway star of Laurence Olivier, opposite his then-wife Jill Esmond. The Green Bay Tree (1933) was a scandalous hit in the West End and on Broadway.


Alexander Mordaunt Shairp was born in 1887 in Totnes, Devon. He was educated at St Paul's School and Lincoln College Oxford. He spent most of his life as a schoolmaster. The Green Bay Tree of 1933 was a controversial hit both in the West End and on Broadway. Shairp was then offered scriptwriting work in Hollywood which he took up. It did not last long and he returned to London and resumed teaching. He lived in Hampstead with his wife Hilda and stepson Hugh Williams who went on to become an actor and appeared in some of his stepfather's plays. Most of his plays propound the theories of Freud and Havelock Ellis. He died in January 1939.

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