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Liza of Lambeth (edition 2016)
by W. Somerset Maugham (Author)
Liza of Lambeth by W. Somerset Maugham
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While reading the book, I can't help but feel that Liza and Jim are very silly. Do they really think that nobody will know of their relationship? Do they think that they can hide it from his wife? Of course, the wife ends up knowing, and what ensued is an ugly fight between the wife and Liza. The story ends in a tragedy, with Liza dying from a miscarriage.
I really loved this book, I discovered while in England, and recall sitting in a lounge chair thoroughly engrossed and wondering what her end would be. Dickens seems to be the gold standard for slum life and its miseries, but this book, The Nether World and Child of the Jago, leave him in the dust. These 3 will break your heart in two.
It's 'er own fault...she didn't oughter mess about with 'er 'usbind"
By sally tarbox on 24 Feb. 2014
Short (136 page) novel set amid the working classes of London. Maugham brings the era to life - albeit with a rather smiling, patronising air, as we see the 'lower orders' socialising in the street, going out on a Bank holiday picnic, and indulging in alcohol and wife beating. All the dialogue is in Cockney.
The story opens with our leading character, Liza, walking down the street in her new dress. Loved and admired by all the locals, a sparky lass, with a faithful if drippy suitor, Liza is just about to run into Mr Blakeston - a married man....
The sort of book that has you reading it in one sitting - I particularly liked Mrs Kemp, Liza's awful drinking, whining mother!
Classic tragic tale of a good girl gone bad and the sorrow that ensues. I read it now as we prepare for an upcoming trip to London (and it showed up in a "London in fiction" list), and because I've liked other Maugham books (and may check out the new biography). Worth reading.
Belongs to Publisher Series
The Travellers' Library (141)
Is contained in
Cakes and Ale / The Painted Veil / Liza of Lambeth / The Razor's Edge / Theatre / The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
THE SELECTED NOVELS OF W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM VOLUME ONE: LIZA OF LAMBETH; CAKES AND ALE; THEATRE by W. Somerset Maugham
The Selected Novels - Volumes I, II, III by W. Somerset Maugham (indirect)
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:
Liza of Lambeth (1897) narrates Liza's last four months alive. She lives in a working-class area of London, and as the youngest of thirteen siblings she is left to look after their incompetent mother. She rejects a local suitor, but finds herself attracted to a mysterious stranger on a site-seeing trip. The novel gives insight into working-class London at the turn of the century..
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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.
Much of the novel is written in Cockney dialect, which I initially found distracting and difficult to become accustomed to. I had to read much of it aloud so that I could translate in my head and follow the thread of the conversations. After I settled into that, however, it moved quickly and gathered momentum, to its inevitable end.
I do not want to explore any of the details of the plot, it is a very short book and it would be difficult to give even a slight synopsis without risking spoilers. Liza is a complex character, she makes you laugh as she bounces about the neighborhood and spares with the young men and boys on her street, she displays both a savvy mind and an innocent heart, while at the same time she is confused about what love is and shows a total lack of conviction or sense of morality. I hated her mother.