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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.
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.
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.
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.
From an orphan with a clubfoot, Philip Carey grows into an impressionable young man with a voracious appetite for adventure and knowledge. Then he falls obsessively in love, embarking on a disastrous relationship that will change his life forever. Revised reissue.
"The Moon and Sixpence, published in 1919, was one of the novels that galvanized W. Somerset Maugham's reputation as a literary master. It follows the life of one Charles Strickland, a bourgeois city gent whose dull exterior conceals the soul of a genius. Compulsive and impassioned, he abandons his home, wife, and children to devote himself slavishly to painting. In a tiny studio in Paris, he fills canvas after canvas, refusing to sell or even exhibit his work. Beset by poverty, sickness, and his own intransigent, unscrupulous nature, he drifts to Tahiti, where, even after being blinded by leprosy, he produces some of his most extraordinary works of art. Inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, "The Moon and Sixpence is an unforgettable" study of a man possessed by the need to create?regardless of the cost to himself and to others.
An obsessive love affair provides the pivot of this powerful evocation of a young man's progress to maturity in the years before the First World War.
Maugham learned his craft from Maupassant, and these stories, featuring his alter-ego Ashenden, display the unique and remarkable talent that made him an unsurpassed storyteller.
1950 collection of three vignettes from short stories written by W. Somerset Maugham and introduced on screen by the writer himself. 'The Verger' follows the fortunes of Albert Foreman (James Hayter) a man of the cloth at St Neville's whose position is terminated when it emerges that he is illiterate. Forced to change his life, he rejects reading and writing lessons and instead opens a tobacconist shop. He then becomes something of an unlikely business tycoon. In 'Mister Know All' we're introduced to Max Kelada (Nigel Patrick) the type of bigmouth everyone loves to hate. A Jeweler to trade, he goes on a cruise where his inability to keep quiet leads him into an awkward situation. When he identifies the necklace of a fellow passenger's wife as authentic and almost reveals a secret affair. His ability to finally keep his face shut earns him a newfound respect. Finally, 'Sanitorium' is set in a TB ward in the Scottish countryside. New patient Ashenden (Roland Culver) checks in and begins immediately to observe the lives of the other patients. A touching romance between resident patients Major Templeton (Michael Rennie) captivates his imagination while the incessant bickering between elderly residents McLeod (Finlay Currie) and Campbell (John Laurie) provides comic relief.
Filled with keen observations, autobiographical notes, and the
seeds of many of Maugham's greatest works, "A Writer's Notebook "is
a unique and exhilarating look into a great writer's mind at work.
The stories collected here, including "The Alien Corn," "Flotsam and Jetsam," and "The Vessel of Wrath," reconfirm Maugham's stature as one of the masters of the short story.
Cakes and Ale is a delicious satire of London literary society between the Wars. Social climber Alroy Kear is flattered when he is selected by Edward Driffield's wife to pen the official biography of her lionized novelist husband, and determined to write a bestseller. But then Kear discovers the great novelist's voluptuous muse (and unlikely first wife), Rosie. The lively, loving heroine once gave Driffield enough material to last a lifetime, but now her memory casts an embarrissing shadow over his career and respectable image. Wise, witty, deeply satisfying, Cakes and Ale is Maugham at his best.
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