Collected Short Stories: Volume 1
Somerset Maugham (W.)
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Back Cover Blurb

  1. This classic collection of stories moves from England, France and Spain to the silver sands of the South Pacific. It includes the famous story 'Rain', the tragedy of a narrow-minded and overzealous missionary and a prostitute, and 'The Three Fat Women of Antibes,' an extravagantly sardonic tale of abstention and greed, as well as a host of other brilliant tales.
  2. ’The short story was Maugham’s true metier, and the stories he wrote are among the best in the language’
    Anthony Burgess

Preface (Full Text)
  1. This is the first volume of my collected short stories. In my early youth I wrote a number, but they are so immature that I have preferred not to reprint them. A few are in a book that has long remained out of print, a few others are scattered in various magazines. They are best forgotten. The first of the stories in this collection, Rain, was written in 1920 in Hong Kong, but I had hit upon the idea for it during a journey I took in the South Seas during the winter of 1916. The last of my stories was written in New York in 1945 from a brief note that I found by chance among my papers and which I made as far back as 1901.I do not expect ever to write another.
  2. One of the most difficult things that an author has to deal with when he wants to gather together a quantity of stories into a volume is to decide in what order to place them. It is fairly simple when the stories are of about the same length or are placed in the same local (I should have liked to use the word locale, but the Oxford Dictionary says that this, though commonly used, is erroneous); then the pattern is easy to form. And it is a satisfaction to an author if he can so arrange his material that the book he finally offers to his readers has a pattern, even though they do not notice it. The pattern of a novel is of course plain; it has a beginning, a middle, and an end; and so, for the matter of that, has a well-constructed story.
  3. But my stories are of very different lengths. Some are as short as sixteen hundred words, some are ten times as long, and one is just over twenty thousand. I have sojourned in most parts of the world, and while I was writing stories I could seldom stay anywhere for any length of time without getting the material for one or more tales. I have written tragic stories and I have written humorous ones. It has been an arduous task to get some kind of symmetry and at least the semblance of a pattern into a collection of a large number of stories of such different lengths, placed in so many different countries, and of such different character; and at the same time to make it as easy as possible for the reader to read them. For though to be read is not the motive which impels the author to write, once he has written his desire is to be read, and in order to achieve that, he must do his best to make what he writes readable. With this intention, where I could I have followed a group of long stories with a group of short ones, sometimes very short, sometimes of five or six thousand words, and so that the reader should not be required to leap suddenly from China to Peru and back again, I have grouped, as well as I conveniently could, stories of which the local {or locale) was in one particular country. In that way I hoped to give the reader a chance to take his bearings in whatever distant land I chose to lead him to.

    Preface – i
  1. Rain1 – 3
  2. The fall of Edward Barnard2=1 – 49
  3. Honolulu – 85
  4. The luncheon – 112
  5. The ant and the grasshopper – 117
  6. Home – 122
  7. The pool – 127
  8. Mackintosh3=1 – 170
  9. Appearance and reality – 208
  10. The three fat women of Antibes – 225
  11. The facts of life – 242
  12. Gigolo and gigolette4=1 – 263
  13. The happy couple – 283
  14. The voice of the turtle – 299
  15. The lion's skin 317
  16. The unconquered – 343
  17. The escape – 375
  18. The judgement seat5=1 – 379
  19. Mr Know-All – 384
  20. The happy man – 391
  21. The romantic young lady – 396
  22. The point of honour – 407
  23. The poet – 423
  24. The mother – 428
  25. A man from Glasgow – 443
  26. Before the party6=1 – 455
  27. Louise – 484
  28. The promise – 492
  29. A string of beads – 499
  30. The yellow streak – 506

In-Page Footnotes ("Somerset Maugham (W.) - Collected Short Stories: Volume 1")

Footnotes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6:

Vintage Classics (7 Dec. 2000)

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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