Friday, 31 October 2014

Photos: Strictly Personal (1941, 1942) by W. Somerset Maugham (US & UK editions)

Strictly Personal is one of the least known books by Somerset Maugham. If it is mentioned at all, it is usually dismissed as propaganda by people who haven’t read it. What I have to say about the book I have said it elsewhere. The purpose of this post is to shed a little light on the curious differences between the American and the British editions. The major source is Stott’s bibliography (A60).


The book was first published by Doubleday, Doran as a Limited edition of 515 signed copies on 3 September 1941 (A60a). Two days later the First Trade edition appeared (A60b). With the obvious exception of Maugham’s signature and the Certificate of Limitation, these editions were identical ([viii]+272 pp.).

The First English edition (vi+198 pp.) was published by William Heinemann nearly six months later, 2 March 1942 (A60d). This is an unusual delay, perhaps due to the war conditions, but more likely due to Maugham’s initial reluctance to publish in England a book especially written for the American public.

The First English edition contains a two-page letter to Sir Edward Marsh that is not in the American edition. This Stott dully notes, but he doesn’t say anything about the complete omission of Chapter 15. Thus the American edition has 41 chapters against 40 in the British edition. Chapter 15 in the British edition corresponds to Chapter 16 in the American edition.

This remarkable discrepancy was apparently first noted by Robert Calder in his 1978 article “W. Somerset Maugham's Strictly Personal: A Missing Chapter", published in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (Bassett, 111). The reason for Heinemann’s mutilation job remains a matter of conjecture. Possibly they feared a libel case, or at least hurt feelings, because of Maugham’s candid portrait of Godfrey Winn (politely called “George Potter” in the book). Godfrey was a mushy and trashy journalist not unlike the one described in the chapter. Worst of all, he regarded Maugham as his mentor.

The rest of the book seems to be identical in both editions. This includes the perplexing last sentence which does look unfinished. Here is the whole last chapter (No. 40 UK, No. 41 US; “half-past” UK, “half past” US):

I spent a week in Lisbon. I did a little sight-seeing, but could make no excursions since I had to hoard the few pounds I had. I stepped aboard the clipper one morning at half-past nine. I landed in New York next day soon after one. I had three dollars in my pocket. I ordered an old-fashioned.

An old-fashioned what?!


The frontispiece portrait is the same in both editions




A Letter to Sir Edward Marsh, K.C.V.O.
(UK edn. only)




The notorious Chapter 15
(US edn. only)






Thursday, 23 October 2014

Errata: Maugham and Wikipedia: List of Works


Portrait of Maugham by Edouard MacAvoy.


As the editors of Wikipedia insist on blindly following “reliable sources”, even when these are clearly wrong or at best of questionable quality (or, indeed, misinterpreted), I provide here a compendium of the inaccuracies and the omissions in their List of works by W. Somerset Maugham. I suggest readers who are seriously – I repeat: seriously – interested in Maugham have a look at this post before they trust Wikipedia.



Three works listed as “short story collection” – “Judgment Seat”, “Princess September and the Nightingale” and “The Unconquered” – are in fact single short stories reprinted in pamphlet form. All of them can be found in Maugham’s other books, including all editions of Complete/Collected Short Stories. For more information, see this Bibliography and use Ctrl+F.

Quartet (1948), Trio (1951) and Encore (1952) shouldn’t be on this list, either. They don’t contain enough original material. All short stories are reprints from Maugham’s collections. Of the ten screenplays he may have written only one (“The Verger”). His introductions to the stories themselves are original, but they amount to no more than a few paragraphs.

The entry for The Book Bag (1932) requires special attention, for it is badly messed up. The short story collection published by Ray Long and Richard R. Smith contained 20 short stories all right, but only one of them was by Maugham, “The Book Bag”. This was its first appearance in any form. Note 27, however, leads you to the Library of Congress record about the separate publication of the story by G. Orioli, Florence, some three months later. For more information, see Stott A43. Both works should have been relegated to footnotes.

Stott is an indispensable resource for readers and collectors of Maugham. But he is full of errors, some of them pretty embarrassing, and many of his decisions what to include and where are, to say the least, questionable. To follow him slavishly, without exercising any critical thinking at all, is simply stupid. For more details about errors in his Section A, see here. For a critical examination of his unsatisfactory treatment of Maugham’s all-important prefaces, see here.



This section gives only original titles. It omits all alternative and much better known titles. What is the point of listing so many titles that nobody but a few passionate collectors of old magazines are familiar with – this I don’t profess to know. Nor is there any information about the nature of the piece (short story, essay, serialisation of play or novel) or whether it was collected later in book form. For a comprehensive overview on these “not really encyclopaedic” matters, see this Bibliography and use Ctrl+F. For an update of Stott’s highly dated Section D, from which the Wikipedia list was copied, see here. Only Wiki’s most blatant errors and omissions are listed below.

“Schiffbrüchig” was published in The Venture for 1903 under its English title Marriages are Made in Heaven (Stott D4).

Four pieces – “Pygmalion at Home and Abroad” (1914), “Maltreat the Dead in Fiction" (1930), “Maugham Discusses Drama” (1931) and “Mr Tomkin's [sic] Sitter” (1941) – were not written by Maugham at all. The first two are reviews, the last two are interviews. Stott wrongly lists all of them in Section D, but they all belong to Section G. See The Collection of Norman Moore, Section D.

“The Professional Writer” was published on 29 January 1938, not 1939. It is an extract from The Summing Up.

Britain Views the French Navy” (July 1940) was actually published under the title “A Briton Views the French Navy”.                                                   



This list is a mess. In addition to nearly all important collected editions, it also lists a number of random collections with short stories that have no business here (e.g. “Here and There”, “The Sinners”, “Husbands and Wives”, among others). Following the same logic, the list with Maugham’s “collected editions” would swell to enormous proportions. For a much more concise and precise treatment of the subject, see Section F in this Bibliography.



Wisdom of Life: An Anthology of Noble Thoughts, London: Watts, 1938, was not edited by Maugham. J. F. Green was the sole editor. This was merely a “New edition, with additions by W. Somerset Maugham and Others” (Stott C22).

Maugham didn’t edit The House with the Green Shutters by George Douglas, either. He merely wrote a preface to it (Stott C23). If contributing in this way is considered editorial work, then this list must include Stott’s complete Section C (63 entries).



The Noble Spaniard is not a play by Maugham. It’s an adaptation of a play by Grenet-Dancourt. Stott incorrectly includes it as A75.

Mademoiselle Zampa is not unpublished. It can be found in A Traveller in Romance (1984), ed. John Whitehead. It first appeared in The Sketch (6 December, 1905) under the title A Rehearsal.



The Summing Up is not, of course, an “autobiography”. France at War does, indeed, deal with “current affairs”, but it’s more accurately described as propaganda. Sources? Just read the books!

Don Fernando (1935) was considerably revised for the 1950 reprint in The Collected Edition. See Stott A49 for details.

Ten Novels and Their Authors (1954) is a little more than “the UK edition” of Great Novelists and Their Novels (1948). The book was expanded and revised for the 1954 edition. The first American edition of this version appeared in 1955 under the title The Art of Fiction. Stott A69 and B24.

The Writer’s Point of View is not “essays”. It is a single essay, the Ninth Annual Lecture of National Book League given by Maugham in Kingsway Hall on 24.10.1951. Stott A72.

The list omits Purely for My Pleasure (1962), Maugham’s last book published during his lifetime. Stott A78.

For more information, see Sections A. 4. and D in this Bibliography.



Errata: Stott & Maugham (1973): Sections F & G

Kaye & Ward, Hardback, 1973.
8vo. 320 pp. Revised and Extended edition.

Section F:
Check-list of Works Concerning W. Somerset Maugham

Section G:
Check-list of Periodicals Concerning W. Somerset Maugham

Section E is skipped due to my lack of belief in its importance.

Speaking of my prejudices, I might mention that Sections F and G will be dealt with in a more perfunctory manner. The reason is that I would rather read a third-rate piece by Maugham, full of repetitions, than a first-rate writing about him – and there is woefully little of the latter anyway.

One point where I agree with Mr Stott is his rather contemptuous dismissal of the work of Klaus Jonas. Nevertheless, the addition of a few cross references might be useful.

The World of Somerset Maugham (F103) contains the following items from Stott: G61, F67a, F96 (slightly expanded).

The Maugham Enigma (F87) contains the following from Stott: F2=F43=G9, F7, F65, F76, G3, G17 (in English), G23, G30, G42, G47, G50, G61, G66, G69, G72.

Various other notes:
·   F37. Mr Stott is correct about the places where MacCarthy's ''The English Maupassant'' has been reprinted, but he has missed the cross-references: B4 and F85.
·   F67a=G69. ''Maugham and Posterity'' by Glenway Wescott, a ''fine critical study'', is also reprinted in B16 and F103. There are several slight differences, especially re-arranged paragraphs, but the piece is substantially the same in both books.
·  F79. Somerset Maugham by John Brophy. In my attempt for a review I have tried to explain why I don't think this is ''an excellent study of the novelist''.
·  F93. Theatrical Companion to Maugham may be recommended to all admirers of Maugham's plays.
·   F109. Memoirs of a Malayan Official by Victor Purcell. Mr Stott's claim that the book ''throws quite a lot of light on the scandals which undoubtedly gave Maugham the idea for many of his plots'' is perfect nonsense. There are very few references to Maugham and they mostly show that Mr Purcell had no idea what the writer was trying to do. One is tempted to use a famous quotation: It's fiction, stupid!
·   F120. The Two Worlds of Somerset Maugham by Wilmon Menard. Mr Stott might have recommended this excellent study of Maugham the man and the writer. This book does contain a lot of interesting material about some of Maugham's stories, most notably ''The Pool''.
·   [F134a]. This is where Remembering Mr Maugham by Garson Kanin should have been. For some mysterious reason Mr Stott doesn't mention this important book.

· F160. Sunshine and Shadow by Cecil Roberts. This is neither a ''fascinating autobiography'', nor does it contain ''much of interest on Maugham''. The autobiography is of the dullest possible kind, listing tons of events with minimum reflection in between, and the only really interesting moment on Maugham is when Mr Roberts met the grief-stricken author shortly after Haxton's death. You can find the few lines of it in most of Maugham's biographies.

Quite a few books on Maugham have appeared since 1973. Here is a highly selective list. For more information, together with some annotations, one is directed to Troy James Bassett's work:

Four full-scale biographies of Maugham:
·        Maugham by Ted Morgan, 1980.
·        Willie: The Life of W. Somerset Maugham by Robert Calder, 1989.
·        Somerset Maugham: A Life by Jeffrey Meyers, 2004.
·        The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham by Selina Hastings, 2009.

These at least pretend to be scholarly. Here are several books about Maugham that make no such claims:
·        Conversations with Willie by Robin Maugham, 1978.
·        Somerset Maugham and the Maugham Dynasty by Bryan Connon, 1993.

There are two fine illustrated biographies, the one by Anthony Curtis is also well-written:
·        Somerset Maugham by Anthony Curtis, 1977.
·        Somerset Maugham and His World by Frederick Raphael, 1977.

All of the above are mostly biographical. The rest – except for Samuel Rogal's A William Somerset Maugham Encyclopedia (1997) and A companion to the characters in the fiction and drama of W. Somerset Maugham (1996) – are all critical or bibliographical studies:
·        The Pattern of Maugham by Anthony Curtis, 1974.
·        Somerset Maugham by Anthony Curtis, 1982.
·        W. Somerset Maugham: The Critical Heritage, eds. Curtis and Whitehead, 1987. Contains G9, 11, 42, 60, 100, 142, 153, and a lot not mentioned by Stott. 
·        Maugham: A Reappraisal by John Whitehead, 1987.
·        W. Somerset Maugham by Archie Loss, 1987.
·        W. Somerset Maugham: A Study of the Short Fiction by Stanley Archer, 1993.
·        W. Somerset Maugham: The Man and His Work / Leben und Werk by Klaus Jonas, 2009.

Errata: Stott & Maugham (1973): Section D

Kaye & Ward, Hardback, 1973.
8vo. 320 pp. Revised and Extended edition.

Section D:
Contributions to Periodicals by W. Somerset Maugham

This section contains 186 entries, including nearly all of Maugham's short stories (often under different titles) and quite a few of his non-fiction pieces; even most of his novels were first serialized. Seldom did he write anything that was first published in book form.
                                              
First, it is useful to identify the 21 short stories that have made it into book form posthumously:

·    Seventeen Lost Stories (1969, B36): D1-3, 5, 7-8, 10-12, 14-16. Mr Stott notes all cross-references except D1, 12, 14-16. The other five stories, all of them from Orientations (1899), appear never to have appeared in magazine.

·   Four short stories can be found in A Traveller in Romance (1984): D13, D17, D99. Mr Stott misses ''The Spanish Priest'', Illustrated London News, 1906.

Various other pieces, including some of Maugham's earliest dramatic attempts, are also to be found in the same book. These include: D4, 9, 20, 24, 27, 54, 117, 124, 134, 136, 138-40, 142, 145-49, 151, 156, 171, 180, 183.

Pieces in A Traveller in Romance (1984) that are not in Stott, and which have not been mentioned above:
·        The Ionian Sea by George Gissing. Review in Sunday Sun, 1901.
·        ''How Novelists Draw Their Characters'', Bookman, 1922.
·        ''On the Approach of Middle Age'', Vanity Fair, 1923. Cf C62.
·        Growing-Up – Twenty-Five by Beverly Nichols. Review in Sunday Times, 1926.
·        ''The Noblest Act'', This Week, 1942.
·        ''Books of the Year'', Sunday Times, 1955.
·  ''On His Ninetieth Birthday – W. Somerset Maugham talking to Ewan MacNaughton'', Sunday Express, 1964. Not written by Maugham himself. A patchwork with quotations from his books and his thoughts guided by Ewan MacNaughton who found the almost 90 years old Maugham feeble and with a good many blanks in his memory. The piece was approved by Maugham before publication.

Pieces in Stott that are not known to have been collected anywhere and which do not seem to consist of such material:
·        D69. ''Advice to a Young Author'', New York Times, 2 March 1927.
·        D125. ''Give Me a Murder'', Sat. Eve. Post, 28 December 1940.
·        D126. ''What Tomorrow Holds'', Redbook, January 1941.
·        D127. ''They are Strange People'', Redbook, February 1941.
·        D150. ''In Defence of Who-done-its'', Scholastic, 25 May 1945.
·        D154. ''Function of the Writer'', Writer, 25 May 1946.
·        D159. ''What Should a Novel Do?'', Scholastic, 3 March 1947.
·        D178. ''The Bidding Started Slowly'', The Connoisseur, June 1952.
·        D179. A Letter to the Editor, John O'London's Weekly, 8 October 1952.

Mistakes and anomalies in Stott, plus some speculations:         
·  D45. ''The Woman Who Wouldn't Take a Hint'' is a variant title of what appears in The Complete Short Stories as ''Mabel''.
·   D19. ''Pygmalion at Home and Abroad''. Not a piece by Maugham at all. A review comparing Maugham's The Land of Promise with Shaw's Pygmalion.
·   D37. Wrong cross-reference. ''A50'' should be ''A42''.
·  D82. ''Through the Jungle'' might possibly be excerpt from The Gentleman from the Parlour. Of course, and alas, there are no photos in the book.
·  D87. ''Maltreat the Dead in Fiction'', Literary Digest, November 8, 1930. Not a piece by Maugham but a critique of his ''portrayal'' of Hardy in Cakes and Ale (Moore lists the piece as ''Mistreating the Dead in Fiction'').
·   D91. ''Maugham Discusses Drama'', an interview listed twice. Cf. G21.
· D92. The material about Arnold Bennett also appears in the essay ''Some Novelists I Have Known'' from The Vagrant Mood (1952, A74).
· D109. Wrong year (“1939” should be “1938”) and missing cross-reference (an extract from The Summing Up).
·  D110. Pretty blatant error that ''The Lion's Skin'' has never been reprinted in book form. It has, of course, in The Mixture as Before (A58) and in the later complete/collected editions.
·  D120. ''Britain Views the French Navy'', July 1940. The title suggests excerpt from France at War (1940). Indeed, it is, but Mr Stott got the title wrong. It is "A Briton Views the French Navy", courtesy of My W. Somerset Maugham Collection.
·  D133. ''Mr. Tomkin's (sic) Sitter''. An interview with Maugham: Geoffrey T. Hellman and Harold Ross, The Talk of the Town, ''Mr. Tompkin's Sitter'', The New Yorker, June 7, 1941, p. 9. Should be in Section G.
·  D147. Savenkoff is not, of course, the Duke Sergius but his assassin.
· D172. ''Ten Best Sellers'', September 1948. Probably excerpts from Great Novelists and Their Novels, perhaps from the introductory chapter.

Omissions from Stott:
·   ''W. Somerset Maugham discusses the Cinema'', Film Weekly, November 19, 1938. Probably an interview, should have been in Section G.
·      ''Strasbourg: City of Death'', People, Topics, Opinions, April 1940. Excerpt from France at War (1940).
·        ''I'm Glad To Be Old'', English Digest, International Edition, April 1951.
·      ''The Wisdom of W. S. Maugham'', Playboy Magazine, January 1966. Spurious, as has been argued by John Whitehead in the introduction to A Traveller in Romance (1984).

Errata: Stott & Maugham (1973): Section C

Kaye & Ward, Hardback, 1973.
8vo. 320 pp. Revised and Extended edition.

Section C:
Books and Pamphlets Edited, 
or with Contributions by W. Somerset Maugham

This section consists of 63 diverse pieces of miscellaneous writing. For the most part, though by no means always, Mr Stott has indicated sources and supplied cross-references well. Below I am concerned exclusively with previously uncollected material; I have skipped all instances when the piece in question by Maugham is to be found in any of his books.

Many of the pieces listed in this section are reprinted in A Traveller in Romance (1984) and have thus become much more easily accessible than they were in Mr Stott's time. These include: C4, 7, 9-13, 17-19, 23, 25, 27, 28, 34, 35, 47, 56-58, 60, 62, 63.

The section also includes the prefaces to the abridged editions of Maugham's ''ten greatest novels'' published by Winston in 1948-49 (C36-45). The introductions to all were collected in Great Novelists and Their Novels (1949) and later, in expanded form, Ten Novels and Their Authors (1954).

Some of Maugham's compelling introductions to his anthologies – see C15, C26, C51-2 – are reprinted, with minor omissions, in Selected Prefaces and Introductions (B30/31).

C31. Stupendous typo on word level. Clearly a title like ''Introduction to Modern English and Modern Literature'' doesn't make much sense. The second ''Modern'' must be ''American''.

Now follows a short annotated bibliography compiled from various sources. It attempts to list all contributions by Maugham to books of others that are currently uncollected, or were so in Mr Stott's time but no longer are. It also includes some pamphlets from Section A that contain rare material or any other pieces that are difficult to trace/identify. Some of the research comes from Mr Stott, some from Mr Moore, some from myself, some from the Web, some from the subconscious.

·   Not in Stott. My Favorite Story, International Magazine Co., 1928. Reprints ''Red'' from The Trembling of a Leaf (1921). Contains also a short introduction by Maugham why he chose this story.

· C20, How Writers Write: Essays by Contemporary Authors, ed. N. S. Tillett, Crowell, 1937. Contains ''How I Write Short Stories by Maugham, pp. 69-82. Most probably the preface to East and West (1934) which also appeared in Saturday Review of Literature on 28 July 1934 (D101).

·  C21, The Harvest, Leipzig: Bernard Tauchnitz, MCMXXXVII. Jubilee edition of Tauchnitz to celebrate 100 years of publishing, 1837-1937. Contains a letter by Maugham.

·  C22, Wisdom of Life: An Anthology of Noble Thoughts, London: Watts, 1938. Apparently contains some noble, but still unidentified, thoughts by Maugham. Probably quotations from his works.

·  C24, A Number of People by Sir Edward Marsh, New York: Harper Bros., 1939. Contains preface by Maugham, not in the English edition. It might be identical with the piece dedicated to Eddie Marsh and published the same year in Publishers' Weekly under the title ''Proof-Reading as an Avocation'' (D117).

·  Not in Stott. An Appeal for the Hospitals. Bundles for Britain, WWII exhibition catalogue, 1941. Contains one page appeal by Maugham for charitable contributions to British hospitals damaged in the war.

· C29, Modern English Readings, eds. R. S. Loomis and D. L. Clark, New York: Farrar, 1942. Contains ''Writing Prose'' by Maugham: word for word excerpt from The Summing Up (1938).

·  C33, The English Spirit, edited and with an Introduction by Anthony Weymouth, London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1942; New York: Norton, 1944. Contains ''Twenty Days in a Ship'' by Maugham pp. 40-45, a piece dealing with incidents described in Strictly Personal in similar, but by no means identical, language.

· Not in Stott. The Magician by Frank Bruno, Viking Press, 1946. Introduction by Maugham.

· Not in Stott. Paul Gauguin by Raymond Cogniat, Wildenstein & Co., April 1946. Art catalogue with an Introduction by Maugham.

·   A65, Of Human Bondage, with a Digression on the Art of Fiction: An address. Pamphlet, Library of Congress, 1946. An address given by Maugham on 20 April 1946 in Coolidge Auditorium, The Library of Congress, on the occasion of his presenting the original manuscript of Of Human Bondage to the Library of Congress. Reprinted in A Traveller in Romance (1984).

· C46, Writing for Love or Money, ed. Norman Cousins, New York: Longmans, Green, 1949. Contains ''How I Write Short Stories'' by Maugham. Most probably an excerpt from the preface to East and West (1934).

·  C49, Essays by Divers Hands: Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature of United Kingdom, vol. 25, London: Oxford University Press, MCML. Contains ''The Short Story'' by Maugham. This is, perhaps and yet again, the introduction to East and West (1934), or at least part of it. Cf. D102.

· A72, The Writer's Point of View, Cambridge University Press, 1951. Pamphlet, Ninth Annual Lecture of the National Book League given by Maugham in Kingsway Hall on 24 October 1951. Much of the material was taken from ''Novelist of Bond Salesman'' (D54), reprinted in A Traveller in Romance (1984).

·  C53, Robert Ross: Friend of Friends by Margery Ross, London: J. Cape, 1952. Letters of Maugham to Robert Ross, pp. 157, 203.

·  C59, Speech by W. Somerset Maugham. Given on opening the exhibition of Authors as Artists at the Army & Navy Stores, 15 October 1956. London, Army & Navy Stores Ltd., 1956. A talk on ''authors who have to a greater or lesser extent occupied themselves with graphic arts'' with reflections on Max Beerbohm, Gordon Craig, Lawrence Whistler, D. H. Lawrence and Noel Coward (2 pp).

· C61, The Cassell Miscellany, London: Cassell & Co. Ltd., 1958. Contains the original version of ''The Mother'', reprinted from Story Teller, April 1909. The later, slightly revised, version appears in Creatures of Circumstance (1947).

· A78, Purely for My Pleasure, Heinemann, 1962. Art album of Maugham's picture collection with short commentaries by him how he happened to acquire possession of these canvases. Maugham's very last book.