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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1165
AUTHOR: St. John Greer Ervine (1883–1971)
QUOTATION: But the main purpose of marriage will compel us to revise the institution so that we shall not waste any useful woman, expecially if she is a woman of notable ability. It is a significant fact that there are no ‘unwanted women’ in polygamous countries. These derelicts are to be found only in countries which are monogamous; and they represent, less today, perhaps, than formerly, sheer waste of mother-power. Even as things are, the ‘unwanted woman’ is still doomed to lead a solitary life, unless she has an illicit lover, and can contemplate old age and retirement only with dismay.
ATTRIBUTION: ST. JOHN ERVINE, Bernard Shaw, His Life, Work and Friends, p. 424 (1956).

In this comment on Shaw’s play, “Getting Married,” Ervine summarizes one of the arguments in Shaw’s lengthy Preface to the play.
SUBJECTS: Marriage