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The Gentleman In The Parlour

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240 pages


Best Known for his novels and plays, Somerset Maugham also produced the most delightfully engaging and absorbing non-fiction, of which The Gentleman in the Parlour is a prime example. First published in 1935 it is the account of a journey the author took form Rangoon to Haiphong.Whether by river to Mandalay, on horse through the mountains and forests of the Shan States to Bangkok, or onwards by sea, Maugham's muse is in the spirit of Hazlitt, who wrote: 'It is great to shake off the trammels of the world and public opinion...and become the creature of the moment.and to be known by no other title than "The Gentleman in the Parlour".'




There enough raw material to sate his imagination and the journey itself takes on the contours of a story worth recording. Among the coolly-observed descriptions of ruined pagodas there's the added treat of Maugham's catty thoughts on his craft Sunday Herald (Glasgow) Maugham's finest travel book...As the urbane novelist wends his way through tropic climes, he reads Proust under the mosquito netting, listens to stories of passion and madness from British colonials gone to seed, and bears up under the merciless sun, sipping at a gin and bitters and laying out a hand of solitaire Washington Post An elegant writer's notebook, imaginative, crammed with impressions and ideas received simply and directly, without the filtering screens of literariness or Englishness... he writes with majestic plainness The Times A delightful book - It contains vivid travel impressions, some autobiographical confidences, and the plots for a dozen novels Spectator



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