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W. Somerset Maugham

The Complete Short Stories:
I. East and West
II. The World Over

Doubleday, Hardback, 1953.

8vo. 2 vols. New prefaces by the author.
Vol. 1: East and West. xx+955 pp. [preface, v-xx]
Vol. 2: The World Over. xv+681 pp. [preface, v-xii]

First published thus by Doubleday, 1952. Reprinted, 1953.
East and West first published by Doubleday, 1934. Published in England by Heinemann as Altogether.
The World Over first published by Doubleday, 1952.


Vol. I: East and West

The Fall of Edward Barnard
The Pool

[First published in book form as The Trembling of a Leaf, 1921]
The Letter
Before the Party
The Force of Circumstance
The Outstation
The Yellow Streak
P. & O.

[First published in book form as The Casuarina Tree, 1926]
The Round Dozen
The Creative Impulse

[First published in book form in First Person Singular, 1931]
Miss King
The Hairless Mexican
Giulia Lazzari
The Traitor
His Excellency
Mr. Harrington's Washing

[First published in book form as Ashenden, 1928]
Footprints in the Jungle
[First published in book form in Ah King, 1933]
The Human Element
The Alien Corn

[First published in book form in First Person Singular, 1931]
The Book-Bag
The Vessel of Wrath
The Door of Opportunity
The Back of Beyond
Neil Macadam

[First published in book form in Ah King, 1931]

Vol. II: The World Over

A Woman of Fifty***
The Man with the Scar*
The Bum*
The Closed Shop*
An Official Position**
A Man with a Conscience**
French Joe*
German Harry*
The Four Dutchmen*
The End of the Flight*
Flotsam and Jetsam***
A Casual Affair***
Mr. Know-All*
Straight Flush*
The Portrait of a Gentleman*
Raw Material*
A Friend in Need*
The Dream*
The Taipan
The Consul
A Marriage of Convenience
Princess September
In a Strange Land*
The Lotus Eater**
The Wash Tub*
The Happy Man*
The Point of Honour***
The Mother***
The Romantic Young Lady***
The Poet*
A Man from Glasgow***
The Lion's Skin**
The Three Fat Women of Antibes**
The Happy Couple***
The Voice of the Turtle**
The Facts of Life**
Gigolo and Gigolette**
Appearance and Reality***
The Luncheon*
The Unconquered***
The Ant and the Grasshopper*
The Escape*
The Judgement Seat*
Lord Mountdrago**
A String of Beads*
The Promise*
The Verger*
The Social Sense*
The Colonel's Lady***
The Kite***
The Treasure**
Winter Cruise***

* First published in book form in Cosmopolitans (1936). All stories for this volume were written between 1923 and 1929.

** First published in book form in The Mixture as Before (1940). All stories for this volume were written between 1933 and 1939.

*** First published in book form in Creatures of Circumstance (1947). All stories for this volume, Maugham's last, were written between 1934 and 1946, except for "A Man from Glasgow" and "The Mother" which were originally published in magazines as early as 1905 and 1909, respectively (the first under the title "Told in the Inn at Algeciras"), but later were only very slightly revised.

Note on different versions

"The Luncheon" (as "Cousin Amy"), "The Happy Couple" and "A Marriage of Convenience" are the other three examples for early short stories Maugham made a better use of later in his life. The original versions were published in magazines between 1906 and 1908; they all can be found in Seventeen Lost Stories (Doubleday, 1969), edited and with an Introduction by Craig Showalter. Unlike "The Mother", however, all three were significantly rewritten and quite a bit improved in their later versions. Interestingly, "A Marriage of Convenience" appeared for the first time in book form, not in one of Maugham's short story collections, but in one of his travel books: The Gentleman in the Parlour (1930), Chapter XXXIV.

Note on different first appearances in book form

It should also be noted that, in addition to the one case just mentioned in the previous note, six short stories more appeared first in book form as parts of Maugham's travel books:

The Gentleman in the Parlour (1930)
- Mabel (Chapter VI)
- Masterson (Chapter X)
- Princess September (Chapter XXXII)
- Mirage (Chapter XLIII)

On A Chinese Screen (1922)
- The Consul (XXX)
- The Taipan (XLIX)

Last but not least, the short story "The Buried Talent", a fine Malay shocker, was the only mature short story by Maugham that was never published in book form during his life. It appeared in magazine in 1934, but never in any of his collections or collected editions. It had to wait 50 years to appear in book form: A Traveller in Romance, edited by John Whitehead (Clarkson N. Potter, 1984).


There is little doubt that of all literary genres Somerset Maugham tried during the six decades of his writing career, he was most conspicuously and most consistently at his best in the genre of the short story. If we count the three stories in his oeuvre which exist in two rather different versions, not as six, but as three pieces, the total number of short stories Maugham wrote during his life is exactly 109. His career in the genre lasted for about 50 years: his last collection was published in 1947, his first in 1899, and his earliest short stories were written at least a few years earlier. This is a stupefying period of time and a stupendous output.

But what truly fascinates me is the consistency. Maugham's early short stories – written before the First World War – are certainly immature and inferior in comparison with his later masterpieces, but much less so than his novels, or travel books, or plays, though in the last two genres Maugham again showed amazingly consistent pen, but that's another story – and not a short one. It must be noted, though, that after 1920, when his first mature short stories appeared in magazines, Maugham uncannily often reached the greatest heights in the genre for some quarter of a century.

It is interesting to investigate in some detail the pattern of Maugham's short story output. Until the First World War he wrote about 17 stories, the last of which were published in magazines as early as 1908; until 1919 he appears not to have written a single story. Maugham's first visit to the South Seas during the war fired his imagination and creative faculties as nothing before or since. It seemed to him that the huge amount of material he had amassed in his notebook is quite suitable for short stories. He was quite right and that's how his first mature collection was born: six stories set in the South Seas and first published in 1921 as The Trembling of a Leaf.

Maugham's later and extensive travels gave his short stories more cosmopolitan outlook than any other part of his oeuvre. Today he is, rightly, most famous for his Far Eastern tales dealing on the surface with British gentlemen and ladies, but in fact exploring the deepest and darkest depths of human nature. These are actually only two collections of six stories each, but they all are of great length and complexity: The Casuarina Tree (1926) and Ah King (1933). Meanwhile Maugham wrote and published two other volumes, again six stories each: one with dramatized versions of his spy adventures during the war, Ashenden (1928), and one with diverse stories but all set in Europe, First Person Singular (1931).

Then came his first collection of collected short stories – East and West in America or Altogether in England – which was first published in 1934 and consisted of all five aforementioned collections, or 30 stories overall. Afterwards Maugham published three collections more: 29 ''very short stories'' written on magazine commission in the 1920s and logically titled Cosmopolitans (1936), one set of ten pieces, neither too long nor too short, The Mixture as Before (1940), and finally Creatures of Circumstance (1947) in which he collected all of the rest that he thought merit publishing, mostly newly written pieces but also some that were about 40 years old at the time.

Never in his life did Maugham allow any of his early magazine short stories to be published in book form, nor his early collection Orientations (1899) to be reprinted. He stopped writing fiction one year after his last short story collection appeared.

What a pattern, eh!

Somerset Maugham's popularity as a short story writer is tellingly reflected in the collected editions of his short stories. There are three major ones: in two, three or four volumes; they all contain exactly the same 91 stories. Maugham's most conscientious bibliographer, Raymond Toole Stott, hails as the definitive edition the three-volume set titled The Complete Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham and first published by Heinemann in 1951, with new prefaces by the author and in order arranged by him. One year later came the First American edition of The Complete Short Stories by Doubleday, in two volumes and with completely different prefaces. As a matter of fact, the first of these volumes reprints word for word East and West (1934) and the second is identical with The World Over, first published separately in the same 1952. The prefaces to both collections were written in 1934 and 1952, respectively, and they have nothing to do with the ones in the Heinemann edition from 1951. The last major edition of Maugham's complete stories is in four volumes and bears the title The Collected Short Stories. It was first published by Penguin in 1963 and later reprinted by numerous other publishers, most recently by Vintage. The prefaces and the order of the stories are the same as in the Heinemann's three volume set from 1951, except for a few very slight modifications to accommodate the contents to one volume more.

The First American edition by Doubleday is a beautiful one: two massive octavo hardbacks, closely printed but still very comfortable for reading. The paper is of high quality and the fore edges – thank God! – are cut; altogether some 1500 pages – incidentally, pretty much the same number as in the three volumes by Heinemann.

The stories in the first volume are arranged in strictly chronological order of writing which must have taken some pains since it doesn't always correspond to the final volumes. Thus three of the stories from First Person Singular (1931) were really written before Ashenden (1928), even though they appeared in book form three years later; and thus "Footprints in the Jungle", one of Maugham's most famous exotic tales as well as one of the few crime stories he ever wrote, was actually written in 1927, at least a few years before all other pieces from Ah King (1933). This chronological order does not make a lot of sense and it is somewhat odd to find an exotic tale between two ''European'' ones; but, then again, such editions are not made to be read systematically from cover to cover.

Interestingly, the order appears to have been arranged by Maugham himself, for he thought the reader might want to follow his progress. Little can the reader do such a thing because even the earliest of these short stories already are masterpieces.

The second volume makes no such use of order and rightly so for it is much more diverse. Though the stories were written in the span of more than twenty years, I would challenge anybody to guess the year by any apparent diminishing of the quality; there is none. But the reader should remember that many of these stories were written on a magazine commission and therefore are naturally much shorter, simpler and designed exclusively for light entertainment. He is wise to refrain from comparisons. He certainly shouldn't lapse into the folly of John Whitehead who claimed that Maugham did a great disservice to his reputation as a short story writer when in the end of his life he arranged them in collected editions – because, mind you, his best stories were greatly diluted with mediocre ones. This is nonsense.

Of course Maugham is not always at his best – only the mediocre is, as he used to say – but even at his worst he is perfectly readable and even enjoyable. Even in those few cases when Maugham runs contrary to all his dictums about form and content – like "The Portrait of a Gentleman", for instance, where there is actually no story; it's a character sketch – he is still a pleasure to read. Moreover, a good many of Maugham's ''very short stories'' – "Mr Know-All", "The Wash Tub", "Louise", "A Friend in Need", "The Ant and the Grasshopper" or "The Verger", to name but a few – are as perfect masterpieces as the severe limitation of space allows. But that is neither here nor there.

Save the short stories which you can find in many a modern paperback, by far the most important part of this two-volume Doubleday edition are of course the prefaces, and they are not so easy to find. Both of them were later reprinted in Selected Prefaces and Introductions of W. Somerset Maugham (1963), but with minor deletions at request of Maugham himself. The preface to the second volume is rather short and not altogether important, but the preface to the first is not only quite long, but a real gem, too. Both pieces contain a good deal of repetition of course; in the second one, for instance, you'll find large chunks from the original preface to Cosmopolitans copied almost verbatim. Maugham always was highly repetitive and always admitted as much. For my part, I would much sooner have a writer who repeats himself and shows a remarkable consistency, than some fickle creature who changes his opinions on a whim or one who always racks his brains in search of new and original ways to say what he already has.

Together with the introduction to his anthology of short stories Teller of Tales (Doubleday, Doran, 1939) and his late essay The Short Story (from Points of View, 1958), the preface to East and West ranks as one of the most substantial pieces Maugham ever wrote entirely dedicated to a literary form he excelled at. It is worth having a closer look at it.

Some half of the preface is dedicated to the two most revered short story writers by Maugham: Chekov and Maupassant. Their styles and personalities are subjected to as close a scrutiny as the limited space allows. Though Maugham have some pretty harsh words for them, especially for Maupassant, it is quite obvious that he has a great deal of admiration for them, especially for Chekov. The other half is of course Maugham's. The most prominent part in it is taken by the eternal question, wrongly believed to be ethical, of basing fictional characters on real persons. Maugham was extremely notorious for doing just that, a bit too often and virtually always in very bad taste indeed. Naturally, he has a lot to say on the topic.

First of all, he shows conclusively that all great writers have used this technique: Dickens, Turgenev, Flaubert, you name the fellow. Maugham himself never denied it and he always claimed that it is inevitable; if you want your characters to have any life in them you must use a life model – and yourself, too. But Maugham always claimed that his characters – with only one exception, which he confessed – are no portraits; indeed, the author is very unwise to put the shadowy and insubstantial men from the real life directly as characters in his fiction; they always ring false and never convince. He insisted that character creation is an art and the real persons are simply its raw material; they need the author's imagination, inventiveness and insight; the complete character is a composite result of elaboration and invention.

From all that he drew his famous conclusion that we know our friends by their defects rather than by their merits – for when a real person behind a character, rightly or wrongly, is recognised, it is always by his negative qualities. No one has said it better than Maugham himself; the following excerpt from the preface to East and West (1934) in taken almost verbatim from Maugham's preface to his short story collection First Person Singular (1931), but it is well worth reading twice:

The complete character, the result of imagination founded on fact, is art, and life in the raw, as we know, is of this only the material. The odd thing is that when the charge is made than an author has copied this person or the other from life, emphasis is laid only on his less praiseworthy characteristics. If you say of a character that he is kind to his mother, but beats his wife, everyone will cry: Ah, that's Brown, how beastly to say he beats his wife; and no one thinks for a moment of Jones and Robinson who are notoriously kind to their mothers. I draw from this the somewhat surprising conclusion that we know our friends by their defects and not by their merits.

That's why in this preface Maugham spends considerable time to explain his method of creating characters and writing short stories. It is fascinating to observe that he quotes from his notebooks full fifteen years before they were officially published in A Writer's Notebook (1949). The notes that more inspired than served as some basis for the short stories "Rain" and "Before the Party" are given here and discussed at length. Allowing for some disingenuous overtones on Maugham's side, not untypical for him, and his omission of some additional notes both from this preface and from the later collection of notes, the real life foundations of both stories would again remain very, very slight. The subtle, penetrating and vivid characterization never could have come from such mundane matters like notes; it must have come directly from Maugham's mind.

Finally, Maugham finishes with a short but delightful fling with the critics. Though he confesses that he has always wanted to learn and improve from them, Maugham makes no bones that he has rarely found anything valuable in their evaluations. He quotes one perfectly charming remark of Chekov:

''Critics are like horse-flies which prevent the horse from ploughing,'' said Chekov. ''For over twenty years I have read criticisms of my stories, and I do not remember a single remark of any value or one word of valuable advice. Only once Skabichevsky wrote something which made an impression on me. He said I would die in a ditch, drunk.

Cute. Having read a good deal of Maugham as well as literary criticism about him, I cannot but agree, at least from my point of view as a reader. It is very seldom that I find something in the critical ramblings which is insightful and sensible enough as to improve at least a little bit my appreciation of Maugham. It is disconcertingly often that they write a strange mixture of obvious platitudes and stupendous nonsense, sometimes spiced up with degree of personal animosity which would have been revolting had it not also been amusing. And one can't help feeling sorry for such people. Hate, come to think of it, is really a very pathetic thing. ( )
2 vote Waldstein | Aug 12, 2010 |
W. Somerset Maugham.

The Complete Short Stories

Heinemann, Hardback, 1952.

8vo. 3 vols. New prefaces by the author and in order arranged by him.
Vol. 1: viii+1-528.
Vol. 2: viii+529-1048.
Vol. 3: viii+1049-1576.

First published thus by Heinemann, 1951. Reprinted, 1952.

Table of Contents:

Volume 1

The Fall of Edward Barnard
The Luncheon
The Ant and the Grasshopper
The Pool
Appearance and Reality
The Three Fat Women of Antibes
The Facts of Life
Gigolo and Gigolette
The Happy Couple
The Voice of the Turtle
The Lion's Skin
The Unconquered
The Escape
The Judgement Seat
Mr. Know-All
The Happy Man
The Romantic Young Lady
The Point of Honour
The Poet
The Mother
A Man from Glasgow
Before the Party
The Vessel of Wrath
The Promise
A String of Beads
The Yellow Streak
The Force of Circumstance
Flotsam and Jetsam

Volume 2
The Alien Corn
The Creative Impulse
The Man with the Scar
The Closed Shop
The Bum
The Dream
The Treasure
The Colonel's Lady
Miss King
The Hairless Mexican
Giulia Lazzari
The Traitor
His Excellency
Mr. Harrington's Washing
Lord Mountdrago
The Social Sense
The Verger
In a Strange Land
The Taipan
The Consul
A Friend in Need
The Round Dozen
The Human Element

Volume 3
Footprints in the Jungle
The Door of Opportunity
The Book-bag
French Joe
German Harry
The Four Dutchmen
The Back of Beyond
P. & O.
The Kite
A Woman of Fifty
The Lotus Eater
The Wash-tub
A Man with a Conscience
An Official Position
Winter Cruise
Princess September
A Marriage of Convenience
The Letter
The Outstation
The Portrait of a Gentleman
Raw Material
Straight Flush
The End of the Flight
A Casual Affair
Neil Macadam


For detailed reviews of the separate volumes, see... well, the four separate volumes.

Few remarks about editions.

This three volume set is the definitive edition of Maugham's short stories as his bibliographer, Raymond Toole Stott, points out in the 1973 Revised Edition of his fascinating study Bibliography of the Works of W. Somerset Maugham.

The Vintage Classics edition, as well as all other editions of Maugham's short stories in four volumes and under the title Collected Short Stories I guess, contains all 91 stories from the original edition as well as the prefaces by the author written especially for the occasion. The order chosen by Maugham in the original edition from 1951 is slightly different in the four-volume set for the simple reason that it contains one volume more. For the same reason the preface to the original volume 2 from 1951 is split between volumes 2 and 3 of the four-volume set and several small changes were made to adjust the context to another number of volumes.

Anyway, these changes are of no consequence whatsoever. So do not worry yourselves if you do not have the original Heinemann edition from 1951 or 1952 but some of the later ones in four volumes (Penguin, Pan, Mandarin, Vintage, etc.). It will do very nicely.

The question where are the other 20 or so short stories that Maugham wrote during his career is quite interesting but here is not the place to discuss it into detail.

For those who are interested when and where all these 91 stories appeared originally in book form, below is a list of Maugham's short story collections together with their tables of contents and years of first edition. Seven short stories are something of a exception because they were originally published in book form, not in collections of short stories but as parts of travel books; they are also listed here but the contents of the books are omitted.

It should be noted that almost all of Maugham's short stories first appeared in magazines and later in book form, often under different titles (included here) and with a great deal of slight changes (not mentioned here) especially when the magazine version preceded the one in book form with more than a decade (which is the case, for example, with most of the stories commissioned by Cosmopolitan and later included in the short story collection Cosmopolitans). The year every single short story appeared in a magazine form and its alternative title if any, as well any other additional information I consider relevant, can be found in square brackets after its name.

The Trembling of a Leaf: Little Stories of the South Sea Islands*
[6 Short Stories. First published by Doran, 1921.]

I. The Pacific [Introduction]
II. Mackintosh [1920]
III. The Fall of Edward Barnard [1921]
IV. Red [1921]
V. The Pool [1921]
VI. Honolulu [1921]
VII. Rain [1921, as Miss Thompson]
VIII. Envoi [Epilogue]

*In 1935 Maugham wrote a wonderful preface to this collection of short stories especially for its inclusion in The Collected Edition. The preface is reprinted in the Heron edition from 1968.

The Casuarina Tree
[6 Short Stories. First published by Heinemann, 1926.]

The Casuarina Tree [preface]
The Letter [1924]
Before the Party [1923]
P. & O. [1923, as Bewitched]
The Outstation [1924]
The Force of Circumstance [1924]
The Yellow Streak [1925]
Postscript [not a short story of course]

Ashenden: or the British Agent
[6 Short Stories*. First published by Heinemann, 1928.]

Miss King [1928]
The Hairless Mexican [1927]
Giulia Lazzari [never published in magazine]
The Traitor [1927]
His Excellency [1927]
Mr. Harrington's Washing [1928]

*The book actually consists of 16 chapters. All but one of them were later merged into the six well known short stories. For the sake of clarity the names of the original chapters are omitted here.

Six Stories Written in the First Person Singular
[6 Short Stories. First published by Doubleday, 1931.]

Virtue [1931]
The Round Dozen [1923]
The Human Element [1930]
Jane [1923]
The Alien Corn [1931]
The Creative Impulse [1926]

Ah King
[6 Short Stories. First published by Heinemann, 1933.]

Ah King [Preface]
Footprints in the Jungle [1927]
The Door of Opportunity [1931]
The Vessel of Wrath [1931]
The Book-Bag [never published in magazine*]
The Back of Beyond [1931, as The Right Thing is the Kind Thing]
Neil Macadam [1932, as The Temptation of Neil MacAdam]

*Ray Long was compelled to turn down this brilliant short story since its plot is concerned with incest; although Maugham does not mention the word even once, the short story was considered too scandalous for the pages of Cosmopolitan. Ray Long, however, did publish the story in a book form after all; it was included in a volume with his favourite short stories and subtitle 20 Best Short Stories in Ray Long's 20 Years as an Editor. He named the book The Book-Bag.

Cosmopolitans: Very Short Stories
[29 Short Stories. First published by Doubleday, 1936.]

Raw Material [1923, as The Imposters]
Mayhew [1923]
German Harry [1924]
The Happy Man [1924]
The Dream [1924]
In a Strange Land [1924]
The Luncheon* [1924]
Salvatore [1924, as Salvatore the Fisherman]
Home [1924, as Home from the Sea]
Mr. Know-All [1925]
The Escape [1925, as The Widow's Might]
A Friend in Need [1925, as The Man Who Wouldn't Hurt a Fly]
The Portrait of a Gentleman [1925, as The Code of a Gentleman]
The End of the Flight [1926]
The Judgement Seat [never published in magazine]
The Ant and the Grasshopper [1924]
French Joe [1926, as Another Man Without a Country]
The Man with the Scar [1925]
The Poet [1925, as The Great Man]
Louise [1925, as The Most Selfish Woman I Ever Knew]
The Closed Shop [1926]
The Promise [1925, as An Honest Woman]
A String of Beads [1927, as Pearls]
The Bum [1929, as A Derelict]
Straight Flush [1929]
The Verger [1929, as The Man Who Made His Mark]
The Wash Tub [1929, as In Hiding]
The Social Sense [1929, as The Extraordinary Sex]
The Four Dutchmen [1928]

*Significantly rewritten version of "Cousin Amy" which was first published in magazine in 1908 but had to wait more than 60 years to appear in book form: Seventeen Lost Stories (1969).

The Mixture as Before
[10 Short Stories. First published by Doubleday, 1940.]

The Three Fat Women of Antibes [1933]
A Man with a Conscience [1939]
The Treasure [1934, as The Best Ever]
The Lotus Eater [1935]
The Lion's Skin [1937]
Lord Mountdrago [1939, as Doctor and Patient]
Gigolo and Gigolette [1935]
The Voice of the Turtle [1935]
An Official Position [1937]
The Facts of Life [1939]

Creatures of Circumstance
[15 Short Stories. First published by Heinemann, 1947.]

The Author Excuses Himself [Preface]
The Colonel's Lady [1946]
Flotsam and Jetsam [1940]
Appearance and Reality [1934]
The Mother* [1947]
Sanatorium [1938]
A Woman of Fifty [1946]
The Romantic Young Lady [1947]
A Casual Affair [1934]
The Point of Honour [1947]
Winter Cruise [1943, as The Captain and Miss Reid]
The Happy Couple** [1943]
A Man from Glasgow*** [never published in magazine]
The Unconquered [1943]
Episode [1947]
The Kite [never published in magazine]

*This appears to be one of the very few cases when Maugham was satisfied with an early work of his. "The Mother" was first published in magazine in 1909 and almost 40 years later was only slightly revised for its inclusion in book form. Apparently, the early version was reprinted in magazine form the same year (Liberty, 26 April 1947) and even appeared in book form 11 years later: The Cassell Miscellany (1958). I am quite sure about the latter, but I might well be wrong about the former.

**First published in Cassell's Magazine in 1908 but later significantly rewritten. The later version appeared in Redbook (February, 1943) and in the book four years later.

***Different version of this story, titled ''Told in the Inn at Algeciras'', was published as early as 1905 in magazine. It is reprinted in The Ash-Tree Press Annual Macabre 1998, ed. Jack Adrian.


Short stories that also appear in Maugham's travel books:

On A Chinese Screen
[58 short travel sketches. First published by Doran, 1922.]

The Consul [1922, as Mr Pete; 1926 as The Consul]
The Taipan [1922]

The Gentleman in the Parlour
[Travel book. First published by Heinemann, 1930]

[Chapter VI; appeared in magazine form under the title "The Woman Who Wouldn't Take a Hint" in 1924]
[Chapter X; appeared in magazine form under the title "On the Road to Mandalay" in 1929]
Princess September
[Chapter XXXII; appeared in magazine form in 1922 under the title "The Princess and the Nightingale"; under the same title appeared in Queen's Dolls' House Library in 1924 and in pamphlet form in 1939; in 1969 published in pamphlet form as "Princess September"]
A Marriage of Convenience
[Chapter XXXIV; significantly rewritten version of an early short story first published in magazine in 1906 and in book form 63 years later in Seventeen Lost Stories; the rewritten version appeared in magazine form in 1929.]
[Chapter XLIII; appeared in magazine form in 1929] ( )
4 vote Waldstein | Sep 27, 2009 |
Vol. 2 i'm not sure why i like maugham. witty, a timepiece. ( )
  pingobarg | Jan 26, 2007 |
Vol. 1 i'm not sure why i like maugham. witty, a timepiece. ( )
  pingobarg | Jan 26, 2007 |
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Rain (1932IMDb)
Trio (1950IMDb)
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First words
Volume 1: "Rain":  It was nearly bed-time and when they awoke next morning land would be in sight.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The situation with collected editions of Somerset Maugham's short stories is complex.

Complete Short Stories
have been published in three volumes (Heinemann, 1951), in two volumes (Doubleday, 1952: I. East and West; II: The World Over) and even in four volumes (Washington Square Press, 1967). In contrast, Collected Short Stories have been published only in four volumes, first by Penguin in 1963, later by many other publishers (Pan, Mandarin, Folio Society, Vintage).

All of these editions, regardless of the number of volumes, contain the same 91 short stories. Therefore they all belong to this work, even though the Heinemann and the Doubleday editions contain two very different sets of prefaces by Maugham.

Please do not combine with separate volumes from any of these multivolume sets (e.g. East and West, Altogether* or The World Over), nor with any other single-volume collections. There is no one-volume edition of Maugham's short stories to approach such state of completeness as any of the multi-volume sets does.


*English title of what was published in the USA as East and West.
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3.5 1
4 12
4.5 3
5 23

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