The Shavian or Shaw alphabet is named after George Bernard Shaw and was devised by Kingsley Read. Shaw saw use of the Latin alphabet for writing English as a great waste of time, energy and paper, so in his will he stipulated that a competition should be held to create a new writing system for English and made provision for a prize of £500. The competition took place in 1958 and Kingsley Read's system was chosen as the winner out of the 467 entries.
Shaw's will also stipulated that his play Androcles and the Lion should be printed in the winning alphabet. Few other texts were printed and the alphabet, which became known as Shavian, was never seriously considered as an alternative for writing English.
This is a cursive version of the sample text by Evan Gallagher
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the Shavian alphabet
Page last modified: 04.01.22
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