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W.T. Stead by George Bernard Shaw

Quoted in J.W. Robertson Scott, The Life and Death of a Newspaper (1952) p. 85.

I never spoke to Stead in my life, nor even saw him except once at a public meeting, where he behaved so outrageously that I walked out in disgust. I was a contributor to the Pall Mall under his editorship; but as my department was literature and art, and he was an utter Philistine, no contacts between us were possible. Outside political journalism such as can be picked up in a newspaper office he was a complete ignoramus. I wrote him a few letters about politics which he acknowledged very sensibly as "intended for his instruction"; but he was unteachable except by himself.

We backed him up over The Maiden Tribute only to discover that the Eliza Armstrong case was a put-up job of his. After that, it was clear that he was a man who could not work with anybody; and nobody would work with him. When he was set up years after as editor of a new London daily he had learnt nothing and forgotten nothing, being so hopelessly out of date journalistically that the paper collapsed almost at once. He wanted me to review for it on the old P.M.G. terms though I had become a Big Noise in the interval.

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