A Romance. London: William Heinemann, (1948). Original red cloth lettered in silver, with dust jacket.
First Edition of Maugham's last novel, published two months before the American one.~Set in Spain during the Inquisition, it told of a crippled girl to whom the Blessed Virgin appears in a vision. She will be healed by one of three brothers, the one who has best served God. One brother is a bishop, another is a soldier, and the third is a baker. It comes as no surprise that the humble panadero succeeds in healing the girl... In the slackness of the writing, the descent into cliche, and the contrived plot devices, CATALINA betrayed Maugham's declining powers... [It] was a feeble book with which to end a fifty-year career as a novelist. [Morgan]~This copy has its lettering in silver (the publisher started out using silver but finding it unsatisfactory switched to imitation gold -- "both variations were delivered to the bookshops simultaneously"). It is a fine, bright copy; the colorful jacket, with a wraparound pictorial scene by Gordon Nicoll, is nearly fine as well (spine a bit faded, front flap price-clipped). Toole Stott A67a. Item #13189