Other books byW. Somerset Maugham
Liza of Lambeth
Liza of Lambeth,W. Somerset Maugham's first novel, offers insight into the everyday lives ofworking class Londoners at the turn of the twentieth century. Liza Kemp is aneighteen-year-old girl working in a factory in the Lambeth slum along London'sVere Street. As Liza enters into a misguided affair with an older, married man,Jim Blakeston, the novel reveals the tragedies and abuses suffered by thoseliving in poverty. A mood of subdued acceptance of one's life conditionsprevails in this novel, which sparked the literary career of one of England'smost successful authors of the twentieth century.
Of Human Bondage
The first and most autobiographical of Maugham's masterpieces. It is the story of Philip Carey, an orphan eager for life, love and adventure. After a few months studying in Heidelberg, and a brief spell in Paris as a would-be artist, he settles in London to train as a doctor where he meets Mildred, the loud but irresistible waitress with whom he plunges into a tortured and masochistic affair. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Together with a Fragment of Autobiography
In 1897, after spending five years at St Thomas's Hospital I passed the examinations which enabled me to practise medicine. While still a medical student I had published a novel called Liza of Lambeth which caused a mild sensation, and on the strength of that I rashly decided to abandon doctoring and earn my living as a writer; so, as soon as I was 'qualified', I set out for Spain and spent the best part of a year in Seville. I amused myself hugely and wrote a bad novel. Then I returned to London and, with a friend of my own age, took and furnished a small flat near Victoria Station. A maid of all work cooked for us and kept the flat neat and tidy. My friend was at the Bar, and so I had the day (and the flat) to myself and my work. During the next six years I wrote several novels and a number of plays. Only one of these novels had any success, but even that failed to make the stir that my first one had made. I could get no manager to take my plays. At last, in desperation, I sent one, which I called A Man of Honour, to the Stage Society, which gave two performances, one on Sunday night, another on Monday afternoon, of plays which, unsuitable for the commercial theatre, were considered of sufficient merit to please an intellectual audience.