THE BOOK-BAG. W. Somerset Maugham.


[1 of 725 signed copies] Florence: G. Orioli, 1932. Original light blue boards with cream cloth spine, with dust jacket.

First Separate Edition, issued as No. 9 in Orioli's "Lungarno Series," limited to 725 numbered copies signed by Maugham (this copy un-numbered). ~This tale has a strange history. Maugham had submitted it to Cosmopolitan years earlier, but its editor Ray Long rejected it because he feared readers would be offended by the subject matter (incest between British adult brother and sister in Malaya; the ending is vaguely reminiscent of Conrad's "Oh the horror!" in "Heart of Darkness"). In 1932, Long decided to publish an anthology of the twenty best stories he had published in Cosmopolitan, and decided (with Maugham's acquiescence) to include "The Book-Bag." Three months after Long's anthology, Orioli's Florence edition came out. (Toole Stott points out that ultimately, Ray Long indirectly lost his life due to Maugham: after reading The Moon and Sixpence Long decided that he too would become an artist in the South Pacific, left his career (in his fifties) to do just that, and subsequently committed suicide there when he realized he had no talent.)~This is a fine copy, unusually clean, with the leaves still unopened; the dust jacket is just about fine as well (one third-of-an-inch closed tear). Toole Stott A43b. Item #11789

Price: $575.00