Tuesday, 17 December 2013

My W. Somerset Maugham Collection

photos of my somerset maugham collection
My Maugham Collection

This is going to be a very personal post. A dear reader of mine has asked me to show a photo of my Maugham collection, so here it is. I have, not strictly speaking, two books missing, one play and one novel. In the early days, I got some volumes that I would not consider now as true first edition, but perfection is an art. Time (and gold, of course) will make up to it.

I would consider myself a low brow collector, if one has to categorize. I don't mind battered copies; dust jacket is fantastic, but concessions must be made. I have only two signed copies and I am quite content already. Some of the books I have more than one edition. Half of the third shelf contains biographies and books of criticism. It is unavoidable to have a whole bookcase just for Maugham, if you are collecting.

I love all my books; I number them mainly because my cleaning lady is very industrious and although it is a good exercise to familiarize myself with Maugham's publication history (since I like to put them in chronological order), it is still a pain to have to reorganize all the books after the shelves are cleaned.

9 comments :

  1. Hi, What's that between Liza and "The Making of a Saint"? Also between the "Merry-Go-Round" and "The Bishop's Apron"?

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  2. Hi Mike,
    I have two copies of Liza, one first and one jubilee; I also have two copies of The Making of a Saint, one first and one in 1966 with an intro. by John Farrar.
    Between The Merry-Go-Round and The Bishop's Apron is The Land of the Blessed Virgin. Except the two The Making of a Saint, I have photos of all of them on the blog.

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  3. Hey, have you seen the 2012 documentary, "Revealing Mr. Maugham" yet? I didn't see it on your Subjects list. You can watch it for free here http://swimcinema.com/ Again, I feel that after his death the public was misled about his sexuality and now people take the myth for granted. But like you say, who cares? The focus in this documentary still should've been (even) more about his writing, and facts over assumptions and trivial, sensationalistic gossiping.

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    1. Hi Mike,
      Yes, I bought the documentary and did a review here: http://mymaughamcollection.blogspot.com.es/2013/03/review-of-revealing-mr-maugham.html
      I didn't file it under its own title. I am afraid I don't like it at all. I do feel bad sometimes that there are so few books or whatever on Maugham that I like.
      I followed your link but there's only a trailer. Is there a place where you can watch it free? I'd like to put the link on my blog.
      Thanks.

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  4. http://vimeopro.com/swimcinema/screeningroom

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  5. Also, this one's good. http://vimeopro.com/swimcinema/screeningroom/video/35278197

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    1. Thanks, Mike! I'll put them on my Video page.

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  6. Hello again, I have a question about "The Making of a Saint" true 1st edition. I have the same copy as you with the gold-lettered title on the spine, and black-letters for the name and publisher. Is this the 1st issue? I've seen ones with all black lettering on the spine and know those are later editions published after Maugham became successful. Is there another edition with all-gold lettering on the spine, and is that the true first?

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    1. Hi Mike,
      There are three bindings of the first edition of The Making of a Saint. Mine is (ii) in Stott. The one that has all black letters on the spine is (iii); (i) has all lettering in gold.

      Although at first glance (i) is most likely to be the first version, the advertisements, as Stott has compared them, in (ii) and (iii) appear to be earlier. He assumes that the ones with all gold lettering on the spine are the 26 presentation copies.

      I would tend to think that (ii) is earlier than (iii), because it is more elaborate, but I haven't come across more information about (i) and (ii).

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