Of Human Bondage Author:W. Somerset Maugham The greatest novel of our time. When W. Somerset Maugham was 23, and had taken his medical degrees at St. Thomas' Hospital, he went to Seville determined to earn his living as a writer. His 1st novel "Liza of Lambeth" had been a modest success. His next manuscript was called "The Artistic Temperament of Stephen Carey" and he sent it to Fisher Un... more »win who refusd to give the advance of 100 pounds Maugham wanted. None of the other publishers to whom Maugham submitted the script would have it at any price. So he put it aside and turned to other writing, particularly plays.
By the time he was 37, Maugham had become the most successful playwright in England, but he was obsessed with memories of his past life. So he retired from the stage and for 2 years worked on the manuscript of his novel, an outgrowth of the manuscript rejected so many years before.
"Of Human Bondage" is not an autobiography, but an autobiographical novel; fact and fiction are inextricably mingled; the emotions are my own, but not all the incidents are related as they happened and some of them are transferred to my hero not from my on life but from that of persons with who I was intimate. The book did for me what I wanted and when it was issued to the world ... I found myself free forever from the pains and unhappy recollections that had tormented me. It was very well reviewed ... but it looked very much as though it would go the way of the vast majority of novels and be forgotten forever a few months after its appearance. But ... it attracted the attention of a number of distinguished writers in the US ... To these writers is due the new lease of life that the book was thus given and them I must thank for the success it has continued increasingly to have as the years go by. -- W. S. M.« less
This was very interesting ... even if the end was slightly predictable. I turned the last page wanting to read more and wishing it would continue on with his life. You had to feel sorry for Philip who had such a rough life and things falling against him as he tries to decide what to do with himself. Although this is an abridged edition, I don't feel like I missed out on anything. I think if it was any longer it would have dragged out.