November 18, 1926

Irish writer and playwright George Bernard Shaw refuses to accept the Nobel prize money of £7,000 on this day in 1926. After nomination for the award for literature a year prior, Shaw at first wanted to turn down the Nobel Prize because he had no desire for accolades. However, he accepted on his wife’s request, because she believed it was a tribute to Ireland. He still rejected the monetary award, saying “I can forgive Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.” He instead requested that the £7,000 be used to finance the translation of Swedish books into English.

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