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okt 1, 2010, 5:31 am

Acanthus Press just released a book about Somerset's wife: "Syrie Maugham: Staging Glamorous Interiors."

okt 1, 2010, 5:35 am

Copied from Facebook:
Random House's office in New York has one floor of conference rooms (14 rooms), all named for RH authors. One of the rooms is named for W. Somerset Maugham. He’s in good company as the others are: Douglas Adams, James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Willa Cather, Joseph Conrad, R...alph Ellison, Katherine Graham, Chester Himes, Langston Hughes, James Joyce, Rudyard Kipling, Louis, L’Amour, and Dr. Seuss. It's great that of the thousands of authors RH publishes – it was Maugham that they chose to honor by naming a room for him.

okt 1, 2010, 5:42 am

Sit Up Straight Films is looking for fans of W. Somerset Maugham who are willing to be interviewed on camera for a documentary about Maugham. People can be from anywhere in the world, and will be interviewed in studio, via ichat or google video. If you're interested, please contact the producers at

okt 7, 2010, 7:35 pm

Six favorite novels of Jason Hartley (incl The Moon and Sixpence)

nov 17, 2010, 4:51 pm

Here's an interesting auction

Maybe we should chip in and purchase it for Waldstein :-)

nov 17, 2010, 5:21 pm

This auction looks expensive! Do you think they accept bids online? I'd love to see the entire catalog of items for sale.

nov 17, 2010, 8:37 pm

the books and other items aside, any auction with a bust by Epstein is going to be well beyond my budget :-)

Redigeret: nov 18, 2010, 5:36 pm

If you're going to chip in for something, you may want to start with The Bishop's Apron, mere 266 euros:

You've missed my birthday with about three weeks, but there's always Christmas. :-)

Seriously, these people are insane to spend such money on books. Unfortunately, there is no other way in this case - not that I am going to spend this money, even I could afford it.

The Bishop's Apron is often badly neglected - an ex-play, potboiler, etc. - but if John Whitehead himself, a very discriminating critic, thinks it is worthy of reprinting, than it most probably is. Not to mention that Maugham is very adept at satirizing the clergy.

nov 18, 2010, 5:09 pm

Another auction, if you want a first British edition of Of Human Bondage for a very reasonable sum between 4000 to 6000 pounds, dustjacket and all.

Two editions of The Bishop's Apron, from 100 pounds up. :-(

dec 2, 2010, 2:09 am

Not Maugham, but perhaps of interest to some friends of Maugham:

he University of Chicago Press offers one free ebook from its catalog each month. They pick; you don't. Up to now and perhaps in the future, these all had to be read on the Adobe Digital Editions platform (free but different from Adobe Reader). But this month they are offering the first volume of Anthony Powell's 12-volume very long novel A Dance to the Music of Time in a variety of e-book formats for free. I just downloaded my freebie from Amazon. Oh and for those of you who prefer the physical format, that will be available as well (for the December offering). There's a promo code for the physical book at the bottom of this post, but I don't know if that's specific to me. So please don't use it. But you can go to and sign up for your own free account. Here's the message U of C P sent me.

Since you previously requested a free e-book from the University of Chicago Press, we thought you'd like to know about the December free e-book selection. (If you prefer not to hear about future e-books from Chicago, you may unsubscribe below.)

Anthony Powell’s universally acclaimed epic A Dance to the Music of Time offers a matchless panorama of twentieth-century London. Now, for the first time in decades, you can read the books of Dance as they were originally published—as twelve individual novels—but with a twenty-first-century twist: the individual novels are available only as e-books. And in the month of December, the first novel, A Question of Upbringing, is free!

Get your free e-book edition of A Question of Upbringing during the month of December.

During the month of December, all Dance volumes—physical and e-book—are 30% off! Use promo code DANCE30.

And, this month, gifted in more formats! The 12 volumes of Dance to the Music of Time are being released this month in the Kindle, B&N Digital, Sony, and Borders e-book stores. And the first novel, A Question of Upbringing, is free in all those stores through the end of December! Happy Holidays!

P.S. Powell isn't to everybody's taste but this is a chance to try him out for free.

dec 4, 2010, 9:44 am

Thanks for the info, urania. I have to confess to being one of those not overly-impressed by Powell; I read the first two DANCE TO THE MUSIC etc. novels and found them remarkable only for the number of coincidences employed (all the major characters from the first book showing up in the second simultaneously in the middle of the night at a London coffee stand, etc.). Still, this sounds like a great opportunity for new readers to judge for themselves.

Thanks, Dan, for all the auction info. As Waldstein says, a copy of THE BISHOP'S APRON would be great to own and read, as editions are so scarce. It's probably the only Maugham novel I've never seen in print.

dec 19, 2010, 5:17 pm

dec 19, 2010, 5:25 pm

Thanks, Dan, for another interesting article.

dec 24, 2010, 8:41 pm

Merry Christmas!

I see LibraryThing informs me on the Home page that Somerset Maugham died on Christmas day as well. It is almost true: he died on 16th of December 1965.

But the mistake reminds to commemorate, rather belatedly, 45 years of Maugham's death.

I don't think a Requiem would be appropriate. For one thing, death was a mercy for Willie. For another, we should not grieve that such men die, but rejoice that they have lived.

After a little reflection, I have chosen to commemorate the anniversary with one of the most haunting among Schubert's songs: Der Wanderer, D 493. The beautiful text by Georg Philipp Schmidt von Lübeck, I think, suits Maugham to perfection: the eternal wanderer who could never find a real home and a real happiness wherever he went.

If anybody wants to hear the magnificent performance of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, together with the original text, an English translation and the art of Caspar David Friedrich, he or she may do so here:

RIP, Willie: you are not forgotten!

dec 24, 2010, 9:34 pm

beautiful sentiments, beautifully put, Waldstein !

dec 24, 2010, 10:46 pm

Thanks so much, Waldstein, for this link and what it means to you vis-a-vis WSM. To echo Dan, a beautiful piece of music beautifully presented. I consider this your Christmas gift to all of us. Merry Christmas, my friend.

jan 10, 2011, 10:13 pm

This isn't exactly new news, but I knew it as new old news. Some years ago Modern Library presented a list of the Best 100 Novels (in English). They also published a reader's list, based on reader responses.

Of Human Bondage made both lists.

FYI Henry James has two entries on the ML choices, but none on the readers' list

jan 10, 2011, 10:33 pm

#18 That is interesting, Dan, and pretty much dovetails with what I've heard on this site. Reading Maugham is like slipping into an old shoe; James is too often like slipping on an Iron Maiden. The critics do love their Iron Maidens, however.

jan 10, 2011, 11:20 pm

18-19> Well, he was into horror, but Iron Maiden? He's a tortuous writer, not torturous!

jan 11, 2011, 12:34 am

#20 All in fun, Katie, but torture can be in the mind of the beholder. And while I do acknowledge how fortunate I was among the world's children, still, the only torture I recall from growing up is being forced to read people like James by teachers following a curriculum. There never seemed to be enough time for Ray Bradbury, Heinlein, and, eventually, Maugham.

jan 11, 2011, 3:32 am

#21 Ah, I am just grateful no one forced me to read Lovecraft. Arooo!

jan 11, 2011, 10:49 pm

speaking of Mr James, I thought I'd have a little fun with a review

That it is sophomoric, I cheerfully admit. :-)

jan 11, 2011, 11:23 pm

#23 Not sophmoric at all, Dan, but very well put. THE TURN OF THE SCREW (if it's painful, at least it's brief) is probably a good place to start whenever I consider a re-exploration of James; WASHINGTON SQUARE, source for the superb 1949 film THE HEIRESS and also brief, is another. I would agree that James is not a total loss--his longest novel, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, I found quite readable and easy to enjoy. Then I moved on to WINGS OF A DOVE and found the sludge to be impenetrable. If only James had followed the path of Maugham, progressing from the florid, sometimes lumpy writing of MERRY-GO-ROUND to becoming one of the most lucid and direct prose stylists in English literature.

jan 23, 2011, 5:27 pm

feb 6, 2011, 5:26 pm

at the moment, Somerset Maugham is identified as the eminent author of David Copperfield. Apparently he was more prolific than we thought (and not limited by the spatio-temporal continuum).

hopefully this willl be changed by the time too many of you read this

feb 6, 2011, 5:53 pm

LOL! I n 400 or so years I forsee a Shakespeare or Bacon (or Marlowe?)-type literary controversy and this will be its chief piece of evidence.

feb 12, 2011, 11:20 am

Here is information on the Somerset Maugham Award for fiction. It was instituted and endowed by WSM in 1947.

I confess I only know of a very few of these authors, but was interested to see that one of my favorites (Ian McEwan) was a winner.

jan 21, 2012, 10:14 am

The Wikipedia user Johndoeqwe has made an outstanding contribution to Maugham's bibliography: three short stories which, amazingly, seem never to have been collected in book form:

1. ''A Really Nice Story: A Short Tale'', Black & White, Nov. 30, 1901, pp. 768-769.

2. ''The Image of the Virgin: A Short Story'', Black & White, Dec. 14, 1901, pp. 840-842

3. ''The Criminal'', Lloyd's Weekly News, July 31, 1904, p. 14.

I have asked Johndoeqwe for more information and he has been kind enough to offer it. For his detailed explanation, you are invited to visit my talk page on Wikipedia:

Exactly as he says, ''A Really Nice Story'' can be read on the the PapersPast New Zealand website. Apparently the story was published in at least three periodicals in 1902:

At least the last two are quite readable. And the story, so far as I can say, is certainly not among the 112 ones by Maugham that have appeared in book form.

The total number of Maugham's stories, just edited in Wikipedia, is now 115.

mar 21, 2012, 12:00 pm

I wonder what this movie looks like. Both the title and the blurb seem rather suspicious.

"For the first time, the full story is told of one of literatures most influential and misunderstood Gay Writers..."

Indeed! As long as Maugham is regarded as "Gay Writer", the misunderstanding will continue.

As for the title, what could be more revealing about Mr Maugham than The Summing Up? I can't imagine.

Redigeret: mar 27, 2012, 9:50 pm

Sigh, not available on netflix yet - instead they offered me Revenge of the Nerds because it has an "REV" in it. Amazon's closest suggestion is What would Mr. Darcy Do. Sigh. I wanted to see footage of Armistad Maupin remembering meeting Willie walking arm in arm with Freddie Mercury to the theatre. ;)

Redigeret: maj 19, 2012, 7:13 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

Redigeret: maj 19, 2012, 7:13 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

Redigeret: maj 19, 2012, 7:12 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

Redigeret: maj 19, 2012, 7:20 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

Redigeret: maj 19, 2012, 7:13 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

okt 9, 2013, 12:58 pm

This is perhaps no longer new, but it seems that last year Anthony Curtis wrote a one-man show about Maugham titled "Mr Maugham at Home". It has been on tour at least since October 2012; and still is, somewhere in the UK. This is the FB page of the show, starring one Anthony Smee:

And this is one short excerpt on YT:

I think the actor is great. I remain sceptical about the value of the work itself, as I do about every work that concentrates on the facts of Maugham's life and thus neglects the value of his works.

jan 16, 2014, 5:44 pm

"Revealing Mr. Maugham", the relatively recent documentary, if anybody feels patient enough to watch the whole thing:

Redigeret: jan 25, 2014, 3:20 am

Some Maugham admirers not only have remembered Willie's 140th birthday today (don't you believe this "1875" on LT's "On this Day") but have gone to some trouble to celebrate it. Here is a wonderful video full of rare stuff.

Redigeret: mar 12, 2014, 8:51 am

If you wish to agree/disagree on the merits/demerits of this or that book concerning WSM, join me on this list.

Redigeret: feb 6, 2015, 10:32 am

I have just learned that Anthony Curtis, the greatest Maugham scholar of our time, has died on 29 June last year, aged 88. Here is the obituary in The Telegraph.

PS Among many other things, Mr Curtis is the author of the best description of Maugham's symbol I've ever heard: "spiky wigwam".

feb 18, 2015, 12:40 am

"spiky wigwam". -- yes, that covers it :-)

Redigeret: dec 14, 2015, 4:59 am

The Bishop's Apron, the rarest of all Maugham's novels, has finally been reprinted - indeed, twice. Here is one by Lushena Books, here is another by the splendidly named CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Both editions are evidently cheap reprints on demand. Be careful. The quality may be dismal. The CreateSpace edition Looks nice Inside, but one never knows.

Redigeret: feb 2, 2016, 8:20 pm