In 1897, after spending five years at St Thomas's Hospital I passed
the examinations which enabled me to practise medicine. While still
a medical student I had published a novel called Liza of Lambeth
which caused a mild sensation, and on the strength of that I rashly
decided to abandon doctoring and earn my living as a writer; so, as
soon as I was 'qualified', I set out for Spain and spent the best
part of a year in Seville. I amused myself hugely and wrote a bad
novel. Then I returned to London and, with a friend of my own age,
took and furnished a small flat near Victoria Station. A maid of
all work cooked for us and kept the flat neat and tidy. My friend
was at the Bar, and so I had the day (and the flat) to myself and
my work. During the next six years I wrote several novels and a
number of plays. Only one of these novels had any success, but even
that failed to make the stir that my first one had made. I could
get no manager to take my plays. At last, in desperation, I sent
one, which I called A Man of Honour, to the Stage Society, which
gave two performances, one on Sunday night, another on Monday
afternoon, of plays which, unsuitable for the commercial theatre,
were considered of sufficient merit to please an intellectual
audience. As every one knows, it was the Stage Society that
produced the early plays of Bernard Shaw. The committee accepted A
Man of Honour, and W.L. Courtney, who was a member of it, thought
well enough of my crude play to publish it in The Fortnightly
Review, of which he was then editor. It was a feather in my cap.
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