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Somerset Maugham is the acknowledged master of the short story, and
his full range is represented in this collection. In acclaimed
stories such as 'Rain', 'The Letter', 'The Vessel of Wrath' and
'The Alien Corn', Maugham illustrates his wry perception of human
weakness and his genius for evoking compelling drama and an acute
sense of time and place.
Reading the stories of Somerset Maugham is rather like curling up
and up listening to the delicious, risque tales of an old, dear and
rather wicked friend. You turn the pages and enter a magical world
of fabulous characters, are transported to the very place, the
villa, the street, the bar, of which he writes. This Macmillan
Collector's Library selection features ten of his finest and most
vivid stories: 'The Letter', 'The Verger', 'The Vessel of Wrath',
'The Book-Bag', 'The Facts of Life', 'Lord Mountdrago', 'The
Colonel's Lady', 'The Treasure', 'Rain' and 'P&O'. This elegant
edition of W. Somerset Maugham's Best Short Stories features an
afterword by writer and journalist Ned Halley. Designed to appeal
to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of
beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan
Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
OF HUMAN BONDAGE is the first and most autobiographical of Maugham's masterpieces. It tells the story of Philip Carey, an orphan eager forlife, love and adventure. After a few months studying in Heidelberg, and a brief spell in Paris as a would-be artists, Philip Settles in London to train as a doctor. And that is where he meets Mildred, the loud but irresistible waitress with whom he plunges into a formative, tortured and masochistic affair which very nearly ruins him. It is inOF HUMAN BONDAGe that the essential themes of autonomy and enslavementwhich dominate so much of Maugham's writing are most profoundly explored.
Crippled and disconsolate, sixteen-year-old Catalina is the one person unable to join in the festivities of the Feast of the Assumption. Yet that is when she miraculously meets and talks with the Blessed Virgin as though she were her own mother. But in the dark days of the Spanish Inquisition, the Church is apt to take a serious view of such an ostentatious claim. The last of Maugham's novels, Catalina is a romantic celebration of Spain and a delightfully mischievous satire on absolutism.
The Great War changed everything and the years following it were
tumultuous - most of all for those who lived the war first-hand.
Maugham himself is a character in this novel of self-discovery and
search for meaning, but the protagonist is a character named Larry.
Battered physically and spiritually by the war, Larry's physical
wounds heal, but his spirit is changed almost beyond recognition.
He leaves his betrothed, the beautiful and devoted Isabel. He
studies philosophy and religion in Paris. He lives as a monk. He
witnesses the exotic hardships of Spanish life. All of life that he
can find - from an Indian Ashrama to labor in a coal mine - becomes
Larry's spiritual experiment as he spurns the comfort and privilege
of the Roaring '20s. Maugham's theme is the contrast of spiritual
content between Larry and the growing materialism and
sophistication of those he left behind - and the surprising irony
of where both of those paths lead.
Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the
story of the beautiful but love-starved Kitty Fane. When her
husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany
him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British
society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought
so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening
conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.
The Painted Veil is a beautifully written affirmation of the human
capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.
From 1892, when he was eighteen, until 1949, when this book was first published, Somerset Maugham kept a notebook. It is without doubt one of his most important works. Part autobiographical, part confessional, packed with observations, confidences, experiments and jottings it is a rich and exhilarating admission into this great writer's workshop
Maugham's popular comedy of modern manners espouses that so long as
a wife is supported by her husband she must remain faithful, but
when the tables are turned freedom becomes the currency with which
both must pay. Revived by New York's Roundabout Theatre
Company...-5 women, 4 men
Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of his spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brilliant characters - his fiancée Isabel whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions, and Elliott Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob. Maugham himself wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.