CAKES AND ALE. W. Somerset Maugham.


Or The Skeleton in the Cupboard. London: William Heinemann, (1930). Original blue cloth, with dust jacket.

First Edition of

perhaps his [Maugham's] best novel, a witty and delicious comedy of literary England in the early decades of the 20th century, told in the first person by a novelist, Ashenden. The pushing and self-advertising novelist Alroy Kear wants to get at the details of the early life of Edward Driffield, an eminent novelist whose biography Kear has been commissioned to write. Ashenden had known Driffield and his first wife Rosie, a barmaid; Rosie, the skeleton in the cupboard of Driffield's life, is Kear's stumbling block -- he is not honest enough to be given the facts that Ashenden gives the reader. Rosie is a wonderful character -- affectionate, amoral, and generous. The narrator is obviously Maugham but he denied what so many readers were quick to conclude: that Alroy Kear was founded on Hugh Walpole and Edward Driffield on Thomas Hardy. [CGEL]

This copy does have the "t" in "won't" on line 14 of p. 147, which is often regarded as the "later state"; however, as Toole Stott points out, this is merely a matter of type slippage during the print run (and the "t" could have dropped off during the run, or it could have been inserted during the run -- in either event, both "states" were then issued simultaneously to the public).

This volume is in fine condition, bright and without wear -- withOUT the foxing common to this wove paper; the dust jacket is close to fine as well -- essentially no wear at all, but on its spine there is very faint soil and the red woman is a little faded. Toole Stott A40a. Item #14403

Price: $675.00

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