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CAESAR'S WIFE
1922 - [this copy inscribed by Maugham] A Comedy in Three Acts. London: William Heinemann, 1922. Original red cloth. First Edition, which consisted of 2000 copies (some in "champagne wrappers," some in red cloth like this copy). About this play Maugham later wrote,~[It will] to me remain a pleasing memory for the beautiful performance that Miss Fay Compton gave in the part of Violet. The gesture with which she held out her arms to her lover after she had sent him away for good and all, and he had miserably gone, had a grace, tenderness and beauty the like of which I have never before or since seen on the stage. [Toole Stott]~This is a near-fine copy (spine a little faded as usual, but scarcely any wear or soil) -- without dust jacket, as issued. Toole Stott A26.~This copy is signed and inscribed by Maugham on the half-title: W. Somerset Maugham / 1922 Violet Let us hope for the best." The most likely recipient of this copy was Fay Compton, referred to above -- though she had been playing "Violet" since 1919, so one might wonder why Maugham would write "Let us hope for the best" (presumably regarding the play) three years later when this book edition came out. The other possiblility would be the novelist Violet Hunt, one of the few women with whom Maugham is known to have had a sexual relationship (in 1903-1906, at a time when Violet had contracted syphilis from a previous lover but did not yet know it; at the beginning of their affair she was 41 and Maugham 29). She was the inspiration for Rose Waterfield in THE MOON AND SIXPENCE and for Nora Nesbit in OF HUMAN BONDAGE. Maugham and Hunt did keep in touch thereafter; "Let us hope for the best" in 1922 might have referred to her health. [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Sumner & Stillman [ABAA]]
Last Found On: 2014-10-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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