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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 : Willliam 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 morroco, 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.

250

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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.
Crown 8vo (184 x 120mm). [viii],304pp. Bound in a smart recent half blue morocco; original cloth spine and upper cover preserved at rear; a few internal marks and spots, but an attractive copy.

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MAUGHAM,  W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY.

MAUGHAM, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY.

London : William Heinemann, [1939]. First edition. A presentation copy, inscribed "for Charlotte and Jan / with the author's love / Cap Ferrat. / May 29. 1939" and signed by Maugham with the WM monogram he appears to have favoured for genuine friends rather than mere acquaintances. The story of the entanglement between a well brought-up young Englishman and a White Russian exile in pre-war Paris had to be very much altered before becoming the basis for the 1944 Robert Siodmak film noir starring Deanna Durbin and Gene Kelly. "One reads it with a feeling of increasing respect for his mastery of the trade. One has the same delight as in watching a first-class cabinet-maker cutting dovetails" (Evelyn Waugh).
Crown 8vo (20cm). [vi],(290)pp. Original blue cloth, blocked and lettered in gilt and black; some minor wear to extremities; upper cover lightly flecked; text a little tanned and spotted, but otherwise a very good and still bright copy.

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