When Mark Twain met George Bernard Shaw….

Among the achievements of Salisbury native Archibald Henderson, the wide-ranging UNC mathematician (polymathematician?), were major biographies of George Bernard Shaw and Mark Twain.

Henderson (1877-1963) once had the opportunity to introduce the two to each other. “There was the greatest world’s greatest wit and the world’s greatest humorist, meeting face to face,” he recalled, “and nobody said anything funny.”

Instead, Shaw and Twain “stood there and lied to each other. Each man told the other that they had read everything the other had written…. that they were greatly influenced by the other’s writings….

“It was the greatest disappointment in my life.”

 

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