ORIENTATIONS. William Somerset Maugham.


Colonial Edition. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1899. Original olive green cloth.

First Edition, colonial issue, of Maugham's third book -- following LIZA OF LAMBETH and THE MAKING OF A SAINT. It is his first collection of short stories (six), one of which ("The Punctiliousness of Don Sebastian") had been his first story to appear in print (in the October 1898 issue of Cosmopolis)

-- a magazine that followed the peculiar practice of printing its texts one-third in English, one-third in French, and one-third in Spanish. "The idea is that it would thus find readers in all three countries," Maugham said. "Unfortunately it found readers in none." [Morgan]

ORIENTATIONS was published as a volume in Unwin's six-shilling Green Cloth Library, just like Joseph Conrad's first two books. 2000 copies were printed, but that includes copies for the colonial library (like this one) and many that were remaindered. This copy reads "Unwin's Colonial Library" at the foot of the spine, lists 61 volumes in that library (this being #60) on the half-title verso, and reads "Colonial Edition | For Circulation in the British Colonies and India only" on the title page.

Condition is very good, a bit rubbed at the binding extremities, with a few small marks on the cloth. This colonial edition is curiously scarce; Toole Stott suggests that some of the colonial copies were re-directed to the domestic market, minus their half-titles. Toole Stott A3a. Item #14510

Price: $475.00

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