Monday, 22 April 2013

Liza of Lambeth - First Edition by W. Somerset Maugham

Liza of Lambeth by W. Somerset Maugham, First edition
Liza of Lambeth 1897 front cover
Liza of Lambeth by W. Somerset Maugham, first edition
Liza of Lambeth 1897 back cover

Liza of Lambeth (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1897)



Liza of Lambeth by W. Somerset Maugham, first edition
Fisher Unwin's monogram and title page  
Liza of Lambeth (1897) is Maugham's first novel; he wrote it when he was still in the medical school at St. Thomas's. When it was accepted and published, Maugham made up his mind to ditch medicine and launched himself into the writing career. Liza of Lambeth is currently out of copyright, and you can find a link to a free digitalised copy of this novel, among others, by Somerset Maugham on the Free eBook page on this blog. This post is about the details of the first edition of this book by Maugham.

First Edition - Liza of Lambeth by W. Somerset Maugham


I can hardly contain my excitement. I just received my first edition of Maugham's first book! I have already possessed the jubilee edition that I reviewed some time ago, which is in itself a beauty, especially since it's a signed copy. At that time the first edition was too pricey for my budget, but I recently came across the opportunity of an affordable copy.

My copy is the variant described by Stott:
Liza of Lambeth by W. Somerset Maugham, first edition
title page verso
It has been noted that copies of the first issue and also of the Colonial Edition exist with a variant on the verso of the title page, the words 'All rights reserved' appear without brackets. At this late date one can only surmise that the sheets of the second impression (which lacked the brackets) had somehow got mixed with the first when being stacked for the binder. (16)
I do have a first issue of Orientations (1899) and it has "All rights reserved" in brackets, but it no longer has the publisher's monogram.





6 comments :

  1. So if mine has the brackets, it's a first issue? What about the stomach/belly change on page 124? It appears to me that the change was a last minute change to the manuscript and not the printing. My copy is the same exact dimensions as the one in the British Museum which is slightly different than Stotts'. It also has the Preliminary List of Mr. T.Fisher Unwin's Announcements for 1897, and two blank leaves before the half-title.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mike, I'll have to answer your questions later. I don't have my books with me now....
      Certainly the brackets is a way to distinguish the first issue from the later ones, and I don't think it's easy to get a copy of that, not to mention the price. I wasn't even checking when I bought mine.

      Delete
  2. Mine has the brackets. Have you heard of this belly/stomach thing? I always thought it was changed just before going to press.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it should be in Stott, but I don't remember the details.

      Delete
  3. I just confirmed in Pfeiffer's biography the change from "belly" to "stomach" was IN FACT made on the final proof. There are no copies with "belly" in it. Stott has been proven inaccurate on so many things. So I do, in fact, have a first edition, first printing. {Deep breath, sigh of relief.]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Certainly a relief. Did you pay a high price for your copy?

      Delete