SOMERSET MAUGHAM FIRST EDITIONS – ASH RARE BOOKS

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FIRST EDITIONS OF W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM

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MAUGHAM,  W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : THE MOON AND SIXPENCE : A NOVEL.

MAUGHAM, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : THE MOON AND SIXPENCE : A NOVEL.

London : William Heinemann, 1919. First edition : with the integral advertisements announcing Heinemann’s new novels for 1919. Renegade stockbroker turned artist in London, Paris and Tahiti – Maugham’s celebrated Gauguinesque tale.
Post 8vo (20cm). [iv],(264),[iv]pp. Bound in a handsome later (second half of the twentieth century) Hatchard’s binding of half tan morocco, banded and gilt; top edge gilt; olive labels; marbled endpapers; text somewhat tanned, as always, but otherwise a very good copy, attractively bound. With the striking bookplate of the late Jack Hodges (1924-2014), writer and book collector.

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 MAUGHAM,  W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : THE PAINTED VEIL.

MAUGHAM, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : THE PAINTED VEIL.

New York : George H. Doran Co., (1925). First edition. Published a month earlier than the London edition and retaining a textual integrity which the British publication did not – two separate libel actions having necessitated changes in the names of characters in the latter, as well as the substitution of the fictional place-names of Tching-Yen, Pleasant Vale, and The Mount, for the real places of Hong Kong, Happy Valley, and The Peak. “Like many other of Mr. Maugham’s stories, the scene of his latest – and best – book is laid ‘East of Suez’. The theme, a loveless marriage and its disastrous aftermath, though old as the hills, is invested with modernity and freshness by means of a photographic realism” (Nottingham Journal, 21st May 1925). Filmed in 1934 (Greta Garbo), and in 2006 (Naomi Watts).
Crown 8vo (192 x 127mm). (290)pp. Bound in an attractive recent half red morocco, banded and gilt; a handful of minor marks and spots, but a very good copy.

£400

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MAUGHAM,  W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : THE CASUARINA TREE : SIX STORIES.

MAUGHAM, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : THE CASUARINA TREE : SIX STORIES.

London : William Heinemann, (1926). First edition. Six short stories set in the Far East – “Before the Party”, “P. & O.”, “The Outstation”, “The Force of Circumstance”, “The Yellow Streak”, and “The Letter”, together with an introduction and a postscript. One of Maugham’s finest collections, notable in particular for “The Letter”, adapted for the stage by Maugham himself and the basis of the famous Academy Award winning William Wyler 1940 film, starring Bette Davis.
Crown 8vo (20cm). viii,(312)pp. Original blue-green cloth, blocked and lettered in gilt and black; just lightly rubbed; some spotting, mainly to edges and prelims, but otherwise a very good copy. With the attractive 1938 library bookplate of the surgeon John Herbert Bankes (1879-1950).

£75

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 MAUGHAM,  W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : ASHENDEN : OR THE BRITISH AGENT.

MAUGHAM, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : ASHENDEN : OR THE BRITISH AGENT.

London : William Heinemann, 1928. First edition. Clearly based on Maugham’s own experiences working for British Intelligence during World War I and very much the prototype of the modern espionage novel. It is alleged that Churchill himself urged Maugham to burn a number of further stories originally intended for the book. Turned into a TV series in 1991, with Alex Jennings, Joss Ackland, Ian Bannen, Jason Isaacs, etc.
Crown 8vo (185 x 120mm). [viii],304pp. Bound in a smart recent half blue morocco, banded and gilt; original cloth spine and upper cover preserved at rear; a few internal marks, tiny nicks and small flaws, but a good copy in an elegant binding.

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