Signed first edition of Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham.
Octavo, 308pp. Black cloth, title in gilt on spine and front cover. Stated “First Edition” on copyright page. Solid text block, bumped corners and edges, a near fine example. In the publisher’s dust jacket, $2.00 retail price on front flap, tape repairs to verso, soiling to edges and spine, a very good example. Signed by the author on half-title, “For H.L. Barlow / Thanking him for wishing me to write my name in my favorite book. W. Somerset Maugham.”
William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) was an English writer with a myriad of plays and novels published by the start of his popular success in 1914. He served in World War I as a member of the British Red Cross driving ambulances, and he wrote his best-known piece Of Human Bondage (1915) in his spare time. In 1950, when the Modern Library’s edition of Cakes and Ale was published, Maugham wrote “I am willing enough to agree with common opinion that Of Human Bondage is my best work … But the book I like best is Cakes and Ale … because in its pages lives for me again the woman with the lovely smile who was the model for Rosie Driffield.”