Synopses & Reviews
W. Somerset Maugham was one of the seminal writers of the twentieth century, and his travel writing has long been considered among his finest work. Now, acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer maps out a masterful tour of these vivid, evocative pieces that are collected here for the first time.
Maugham worked as a secret agent in Russia, published novels in London, staged plays in New York, and traveled throughout Europe, Asia, India, and the United States, chronicling his travels, wherever he went, with exceptional insight. Beginning with “In the Land of the Blessed Virgin” and culminating in “A Partial View,” Iyer selects vignettes of Maughams razor-sharp prose that track his transformation from a boyish traveler in Spain to a worldly man of letters.
This is Maugham at his most keenly observant, direct, and powerful.
Maugham was one of the seminal writers of the 20th century, and his travel writing has long been considered among his finest work. Now, acclaimed travel writer Iyer maps out a masterful tour of Maugham's vivid, evocative pieces.
About the Author
W. Somerset Maugham,
author of such novels as Cakes and Ale
and Of Human Bondage
, was born in 1874 and died in 1965. His books have sold nearly 40 million copies.
Pico Iyer is the author of many books about travel, including Video Night in Kathmandu. His most recent book is The Open Road.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Pico Iyer
A Very Young Traveller in Spain (from The Land of the Blessed Virgin)
The Spirit of Andalusia
The Churches of Ronda
The Mosque at Cordova
The Court of Oranges
Corrida de Toros
Wind and Storm
Sketches of China (from On a Chinese Screen)
My Lady’s Parlour
The Cabinet Minister
Dinner Parties: Legation Quarter
Her Britannic Majesty’s Representative
The Last Chance
The Song of the River
The Missionary Lady
A Student of the Drama
A City Built on a Rock
Across Southeast Asia (from The Gentleman in the Parlour)
The Nuns at Mengon
On the Trail
A Last Day in Angkor
Saigon and Tourane
A Night on the River
A Classmate in Haiphong
A Life in Retrospect (from The Partial View, comprising The Summing Up and A Writer’s Notebook)
The Missionary and Miss Thompson
The Nevsky Prospekt