Book Collecting

William Somerset Maugham– First Edition Books: Identification Guide

W. Somerset Maugham
W. Somerset Maugham

William Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965) was an English playwright, novelist, and short-story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s.

Both Maugham’s parents died before he was 10, and the orphaned boy was raised by a paternal uncle, who was emotionally cold. He did not want to become a lawyer like other men in his family, so he trained and qualified as a physician. His first novel Liza of Lambeth (1897) sold out so rapidly that Maugham gave up medicine to write full-time.

During the First World War, he served with the Red Cross and in the ambulance corps before being recruited in 1916 into the British Secret Intelligence Service. He worked for the service in Switzerland and Russia before the October Revolution of 1917 in the Russian Empire. During and after the war, he traveled in India, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He drew from those experiences in his later short stories and novels.

By 1914, Maugham was famous, with 10 plays produced and 10 novels published. Too old to enlist when the First World War broke out, he served in France as a member of the British Red Cross’s so-called “Literary Ambulance Drivers”, a group of 24 well-known writers, including the Americans John Dos Passos, E. E. Cummings, and Ernest Hemingway.

Of Human Bondage (1915) initially was criticized in both England and the United States; the New York World described the romantic obsession of the protagonist Philip Carey as “the sentimental servitude of a poor fool”. The influential American novelist and critic Theodore Dreiser rescued the novel, referring to it as a work of genius and comparing it to a Beethoven symphony. His review gave the book a lift, and it has never been out of print since.

William Somerset Maugham’s public view of his abilities remained modest. Towards the end of his career he described himself as “in the very first row of the second-raters”. In 1948 he wrote Great Novelists and Their Novels (also known as Ten Novels and Their Authors and The Art of Fiction), in which he listed the ten best novels of world literature in his view.

In 1947 Maugham instituted the Somerset Maugham Award, awarded to the best British writer or writers under the age of 35 for a work of fiction published in the past year. Notable winners include V. S. Naipaul, Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis and Thom Gunn. On his death, Maugham donated his royalties to the Royal Literary Fund.

Other writers acknowledged his work. Anthony Burgess praised his influence. Ian Fleming noted that he wrote the short story “Quantum of Solace” as an homage to Maugham’s writing style. George Orwell said that Maugham was “the modern writer who has influenced me the most, whom I admire immensely for his power of telling a story straightforwardly and without frills”. In his novel Misery, Stephen King places a rich collection of Maugham’s books in the house where most of the plot is set, and incidentally praises Maugham’s mastery of storytelling.

William Somerset Maugham – First Editions Identification Guide

This list does not include is plays. For more details on his plays, please refer to the reference section.

How to Identify First Edition books by William Somerset Maugham
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/printing identification points
1897Liza of LambethLondon: T. Fisher Unwin, 1897First English edition. Smooth laurel green cloth; blocked on front in gold with design of Coster girl enclosed within a rule frame and gold lettered. Three issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Published by T. Fisher Unwin, 1907 on title page. 2,000 copies printed.
  • (B) with words "Colonial Edition" on © page.
  • (C) with words colonial edition overprinted (i.e. blacked-out).
ALSO: T. Fisher Unwin, 1904. Second edition. Dark blue pictorial wrappers, stamped and lettered in black, inside front and back wrappers advts. Text in double columns . Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Date 1904 on title page.
  • (B) Date 1904 remove and ‘Adelphi Terrace’ substituted for ‘Paternoster Square’ on title page.
1898The Making of a SaintBoston: L. C. Page & Co., 1898First edition. "Copyright 1898" stated on © page. Grey linen-grain cloth, pictorially blocked on front in gold, green and black with elaborate design incorporating a rider in grey on a white horse against a background of gold sky. Gold lettering on spine. 2,000 copies printed Three bindings, priority unknown:
  • (A) Gold lettering on spine.
  • (B) Gold and black lettering on spine.
  • (C) Black lettering on spine.
Note: The full gold lattering is probably the earliest state.
ALSO: T. Fisher Unwin, 1898. First English edition. Kendal green vertical fine ribbed cloth, gold blocked on spine. Top edges gilt 2,000 copies printed. Note: The English edition was published a few weeks after the American edition above.
ALSO: T. Fisher Unwin, 1898. Colonial edition. Same binding as the English edition with "Colonial" imprint on spine and title page.
1899OrientationsLondon: T. Fisher Unwin, 1899First English edition. Three bindings, priority unknown:
  • (A) Kendal green vertical fine ribbed cloth. Gold blocked on spine.
  • (B) Lincoln green vertical fine ribbed cloth, gold blocked on spine.
  • (C) Smooth olive green cloth, blocked in black but lacking the publisher’s imprint at the foot of the spine. This is a remainder binding, used on some first edition sheets which were bound in a cheaper form for a wholesaler.
Three issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Top edges gilt and the other edges rough trimmed.
  • (B) All edges cut.
  • (C) same as (B) but with an undated cancel title-page printed in black. Note: There is a misprint on page 66, line 27 ‘elasped’ for ‘elapsed’, common to the whole printing. 2,000 copies printed.
1901The HeroLondon: Hutchinson, 1901First edition. Dahlia red silk-grained cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol, spine lettered in gold. 1,500 copies printed.
1902Mrs CraddockLondon: Heinemann, 1902First edition. Petrol blue cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back in blind with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettering on front and spine. 32 pp. of ads on the back. 1,500 copies printed.
Notes: 618 sets of first edition sheets printed for Heinemann’s Colonial Edition were sold to the Times Book Club and bound for the Club in putty coloured cloth, lettered in black on the spine only, with the Club’s device and imprint at the foot.
1904The Merry-Go-RoundLondon: Heinemann, 1904First edition. Petrol blue cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back in blind with publisher’s windmill device in box; gold-lettered on front and on spine. 3,000 copies printed.
Notes: Some are issued in mooth chestnut cloth binding, identically blocked, except that the blocking is in black instead of gold, and the publisher’s imprint is lacking at the foot of the spine. The blocking was done with the original dies. This is a remainder binding used on some first edition sheets which were bound in a cheaper form for a wholesaler.
1905The Land of the Blessed VirginLondon: Heinemann, MCMVFirst edition. Madonna blue boards, parchment spine, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol; gold-lettered on front and on spine. 1,250 copies printed. Three binding variants, priority as listed:
  • (A) the width of the lettering on the spine measures THE LAND 3.3 cm., OF THE 1.8 cm., BLESSED 2.9 cm. , VIRGIN 2.4 cm.
  • (B) the lettering is appreciably smaller, THE LAND measures 2.6 cm.), OF THE 1.4 cm., BLESSED 2.4 cm., VIRGIN 1.9 cm.
  • (C) this variant has a whitest cloth back with identical lettering to (B) and with all edges uncut.
1906The Bishop's ApronLondon: Chapman & Hall, 1906First edition. Cardinal linen grain cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol; gold lettering on front and spine.
ALSO: London: George Bell & Sons, 1906. Colonial edition. Red stiff wrappers, printed in black on front and spine.
1908The ExplorerLondon: Heinemann, 1908First edition. "Copyright 1907, by William Heinemann" stated on © page. Petrol blue cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back in blind with publisher’s windmill device in box; gold-lettered on front and spine. 2,500 copies printed.
Notes: There are three issues and a second state of the second issue of the first edition. The first issue is as described above, the second issue is the Colonial edition in an identical casing to the first issue but with a new half-title and title—a quarter sheet imposition—and with the title page all in caps instead of in upper and lower case as with the first issue, and with the words colonial edition on the verso of the half-title, followed by a short list of the author’s earlier works. The second state of the second issue is identical with the second issue except that the half-title leaf has been removed.
1908The MagicianLondon: Heinemann, 1908First edition. "Copyright, London,1908, by William Heinemann" stated on © page. River blue cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back in blind with publisher’s windmill device in box; gold-lettered on front and spine. 2,500 copies printed.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, 1908. Cononial edition. "First printed, November, 1908" stated on © page. Yellow ripple grain cloth, lettered in gold on front and enclosed by an elaborate border of panels incorporating a galleon or windmill on a plum-red background; lettered in gold on spine. 900 copies printed.
ALSO: New York, Duffield & Co, 1909. First American edition. "COPYRIGHT 1908 BY | DUFFIELD & COMPANY" stated on © page. Blue ribbed cloth, blocked in blind, orange and green on front with title within an elaborate frame, composed of cobras and lettered in orange on front and spine.
1911Lady FrederickLondon: William Heinemann, MCMXIIFirst edition. "Copyright: London William Heinemann 1912" stated on © page. Cherry red buckram (2s. 6d.) and champagne wrappers (1s. 6d.).
1915Of Human BondageNew York: Geroge H. Doran Co., [1915]First edition. "Copyright, 1915, by | GEORGE H. DORAN" stated on © page. Empire green linen cloth, blocked in gold on front; spine gold-lettered. 5,000 copies printed. The first edition of Of Human Bondage does not carry the small round monogram on the verso of the title-page, which was George H. Doran’s method of identifying a first edition from about September 1921.
Notes: The first issue of the first edition contains a misprint on p. 257, line 4 "help", and is printed on much heavier and better quality paper than those with the misprint corrected. Second issues is printed on thinner paper and with misprint corrected. Note: A few copies of the first edition were bound in limp leather for presentation.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, [1915]. First English edition. "London William Heinemann 1915" stated on © page. Petrol blue linen grain cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back in blind with publisher’s windmill device in box; gold-lettered on front and spine.
Note: There is a misprint, corrected in later editions, on p. 257, line 4 "help" for "helped" , which appears to be common to the whole of the English edition.
Notes: The first dust jacket was rejected and a further issue (5,000) printed. The publisher states, however, that 440 copies of the book had been received prior to this date, and it is possible that these copies had the original jacket on them. It shows Philip Carey wearing a black cape with a red cravat, and green trousers and on his head is a black artist’s homburg with a wide brim. The jacket is lettered OF HUMAN | BONDAGE | BY | W. S. | MAUGHAM, and the front flap lists 17 IS. Novel titles. The drawing is signed ‘M.B.’
1919The Moon and SixpenceLondon: Heinemann, 1919First edition. "London: William Heinemann. 1919" stated on © page.Sage green cloth, blocked on back with publisher’s windmill device boxed in black;lettered in black on front and spine. 6,000 copies printed, of which 1200 are for the Colonial edition. Three issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) the last signature consists of six leaves, the last two of which are publishers’ advertisements. On p. 2 of the advertisements there are listed six novels by68 Books and Pamphlets by W. Somerset Maugham Eden Phillpotts, seventeen by Flora Annie Steel and three by Israel Zangwill, the last of the three being ‘Jinny the Carrier. (Ready shortly).'; p. 4 includes an announcement of ‘The Mad House’ by William de Morgan.
  • (B) the two leaves of advertisements have been cut out leaving the stubs.
  • (C) two new advertisement leaves have been inserted. The book announcements have been reprinted and there are seven works by Eden Phillpotts, seventeen by Flora Annie Steel and twelve by Zangwill, the last of which is ‘Jinny the Carrier’ without the ‘(Ready shortly)’; p. 4 includes an announcement ‘The Old Madhouse (A posthumous novel)’ by William de Morgan, instead of ‘The Mad House’.
ALSO: William Heinemann, 1919. Colonial edition. Red ribbed cloth, blocked on back with publisher’s windmill device boxed in blind; "COLONIAL | LIBRARY" imprint on spine.
Notes: The Colonial edition is identical in all respects with the second issue of the first edition, except for the variant state of the binding and the two leaves of advertisements have been cut out, leaving the stubs.
ALSO: New York: George H. Doran Co., [1919]. "Copyright, 1918 | By George H. Doran Company" stated on © page. Two bindings, no priority:
  • (A) Green open thread cloth, blocked in dark green on front with two ornamental brackets resting on a third
  • (B) Mortlake brown open thread cloth, blocked and lettered in peat brown as in first impression. Note: There is a secondary state of both the green and brown cloth bindings with a misprint in the spelling of the author’s name in the lettering on the front and spine - an ‘n’ instead of an ‘m’.
1921The Trembling of a Leaf: Little Stories of the South Sea IslandsNew York: Geroge H. Doran Co., [1921]First edition. "COPYRIGHT, 1921, | BY GEORGE H. DORAN" and publisher's monogram on © page. Mortlake brown open thread cloth, blocked in peat brown on front with two ornamental brackets resting on a third. 3,000 copies printed.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, 1921. First English edition. Dark petrol blue cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 3,000 copies printed. Notes: There are two issues of the first English edition. The first issue was printed from stereotype plates made from the American type, with a re-set title page also set in America. The second issue was printed in England and the sheets were signed.The advt. leaves were also re-set and contain books published later than in the earlier issue. Hell’s Hatches replaces Eli of the Downs at the bottom of p. 2; The Gift of Paul Clermont replaces Haggar’s Hoard at top of p. 4; The Haunting replaces Orphan Dinah at top of p. 5; and To Let replaces In Chancery at bottom of p. 6. The signature number ‘20’ appears on p. 301; the advts. end on 20, followed by 2 blank leaves, but the last blank is a stub, to which the free end-paper is attached. The second issue is scarce.
1925The Painted VeilNew York: George H. Doran Co., [1925]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 250 numbered and signed copies on large paper. Pale blue boards, parchment spine and corners with dark blue leather label on spine, gold-blocked.
  • (B) New York: George H. Doran Co., [1925]. First trade edition. "Copyright, 1924, 1925" with publisher's monogram on © page. Reddish brown fine ribbed cloth, blocked in blind on front with two ornamental brackets resting on a third and lettered in blind; gold-lettered on spine. 5,000 copies printed.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, [1925]. First English edition. Three states, priority as listed:
  • (A) Advanced proof state. Buff wrappers, blank. Title page uncancelled.
  • (B) "First published 1925" stated on © page. Canton blue linen-grain cloth, blocked on front with author’s symbol in black and gold-lettered on front and spine. The reverse of the half-title lists 8 titles by the same author with a review of each book. 4,000 copies printed.
  • (C) Same as above, except that the verso of the half-title lists 26 titles by the author. 4,000 copies printed.
ALSO: Second issue, two states, priority as listed:
  • (A) p. [3], Author’s Note, pasted on to the stub of what formerly held the title; p. [4], blank; p. [5], one-line quotation; p. [6], blank; p. [7], fly-title; p. [8], blank; pp. 9-289, text; p. [290], blank.
  • (B) "First published April 1925, New Impressions April, May 1925." stated on © page.
1926The Casuarina Tree: Six StoriesLondon: Heinemann, 1926First edition. "First published 1926" stated on © page. Dark blue linen-grain cloth, blocked on front with author’s symbol in black and gold-lettered on front and spine. 5,000 copies printed.
ALSO: First American edition. New York, Duffield & Co, [1926]. "Copyright, 1926" with publisher's monogram on © page. Brown smooth cloth, lettered on front and spine in dark green. 5,000 copies printed.
1928Ashenden: Or the British AgentLondon: Heinemann, 1928First edition. "First published 1928" stated on © page. Dark blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 10,000 copies printed.
ALSO: First American edition. New York: George H. Doran Co., MCMXXVIII. "First edition" stated on © page. Blue linen calico cloth, blocked in reddish brown on front with sketch of a sea-horse and lettered in half-circle. 10,000 copies printed.
1930Cakes and Ale: or, the Skeleton in the CupboardLondon: Heinemann, [1930]First edition. "FIRST PUBLISHED 1930" stated on © page. Persian blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 15,000 copies printed.
Notes: It is sometimes assumed that the first issue of the first edition consists of copies with the missing ‘t’ on p. 147, line 14. This, however, is not an issue but a state of the printing. It would appear that the error was rectified at some stage in the run. There is also a misprint on р. 181, line4, ‘in’ instead of ‘it’ and a dropped letter T on p. 63, line 22. These latter misprints appear to be common to the whole of the first printing. Both states, however, were issued simultaneously and they obviously have no bibliographical significance.
ALSO: First American edition. New York: George H. Doran Co., [1930]. "Copyright, 1930" with publisher's monogram on © page. Black smooth cloth, blocked and lettered in gold on front and spine. 15,000 copies printed.
1931Six Stories Written in the First Person SingularDoubleday, Doran & Co., Garden City, NY, MCMXXXIFirst edition. "FIRST EDITION" stated on © page. Smooth black cloth, blocked on front in gold with author’s symbol within an oval inlay; gold-lettered on spine. 10,000 copies printed.
ALSO: First English edition. London: William Heinemann, [1931]. "FIRST PUBLISHED 1931" stated on © page. Blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 10,000 copies printed.
1932The Book BagRay Long & Richard R Smith Inc, NY, 1932First edition. "Copyright, April, 1932" stated on © page. Blue calico cloth, lettered in gold within a gold panel; gold-lettered on spine.
ALSO: First separate edition. G. Orioli, Florence, 1932. Limited edition of 725 numbered copies on hand-made paper signed by the author, of which 700 are for sale. Half string beige canvas, mandarin blue boards, blocked in red on front with author’s symbol; lettered in gold on spine.
Notes: There are two states of this edition, identical in all respects, save for the colour of the paper, and the wording of the limitation leaf. The first state, which is printed on blue paper, has the following wording: “This is copy No. [1,2] of two copies only printed on blue paper.”
1932The Narrow CornerLondon: Heinemann, [1932]First edition. "FIRST PUBLISHED 1932" stated on © page. Smooth dark blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 10,000 copies printed.
ALSO: First American edition. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1932. "FIRST EDITION" stated on © page. Black matte cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol. 10,000 copies printed.
1933Ah KingLondon: Heinemann, [1933]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 175 numbered and signed copies. Maize buckram, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol; on spine black cloth label blocked and lettered in gold.
  • (B) Trade edition. "First published 1933" stated on © page. Dark blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device: gold-lettered on front and spine. 10,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., MCMXXXIII. First American edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Black matte cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol; on spine blocked in gold with series of pagodas and flowers and leaves and single and double bands and gold-lettered. Top edges stained blue. 10,000 copies printed.
1934The Judgement SeatLondon: Centaur Press, 1934First edition. Limited edition of 150 numbered copies signed by the author and the artist. Smooth black cloth, blocked on front with gold rule dividing cover into two compartments and gold-lettered.
1935DOne FernandoLondon: William Heinemann, , 1935First edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 175 copies on large-paper, numbered and signed by the author. Peridot green buckram, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol; on spine black cloth label blocked and lettered in gold.
  • (B) First trade edition. "FIRST PUBLISHED 1935" stated on © page. Smooth black cloth, blocked on front with author’s symbol and decorative frame in gold; spine lettered in gold. 5,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1935. First American edition. "FIRST EDITION" stated on © page. Black matte cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol and on spine with bands and ornaments and decorative shield and gold-lettered. 5,000 copies printed.
1936CosmopolitansDoubleday, Doran & Co., Garden City, NY, 1936First edition. "FIRST EDITION" stated on © page. Black matte cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol and on spine with willow pattern design and gold-lettered.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, 1946. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 175 copies, numbered and signed by the author. Black matte cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol and on spine with willow pattern design and gold-lettered.
  • (B) First English trade edition. "FIRST PUBLISHED 1936" stated on © page. Greenish blue linen grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 10,000 copies printed. Four issues, priority as listed:
    • (1) pp. 5-6 are uncancelled and the half-title has 17 non-dramatic works listed on the reverse, Ah King being the last, followed by the Plays.Very rare.
    • (2) pp. 5-6 are a cancel leaf. The pages were cancelled on a© pageount of lines 8 and 9 on p. 5 being printed in reverse order. The half-title has 17 non-dramatic works listed on the reverse, Ah King being the last, followed by the Plays.
    • (3) pp. 5-6 are a cancel leaf, as is also the half-title, which has 19 non-dramatic works listed on the reverse, Don Fernando being the last, followed by the Plays.
    • (4) pp. 5-6 are a cancel leaf, but the half-title in the second state is now an integral part of the first signature.
Note: The trade edition was published a few weeks before the limited edition.
1937TheatreNew York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., MCMXXXVIIFirst edition. "FIRST EDITION" stated on © page. Black matt cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol and on spine in gold with an elaborate design having a foliated background, interspersed with theatrical and musical symbols.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, [1937]. First English edition. "First Published 1937" stated on © page. Persian blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 20,000 copies printed.
1938The Summing UpLondon: William Heinemann, [1938]First edition. "First Published 1938 " stated on © page. Smooth black cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back in blind with publisher’s windmill device; gold lettered on spine. 10,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1938. First American edition. Black matte cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on spine with rules and ornamental bands and gold-lettered. 10,000 copies printed.
1939Christmas HolidayLondon: Heinemann, [1939]First edition. Persian blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. Top edges stained blue. 20,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1939. First American edition. Persian blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front. Top edges stained red.
1939Princess September and the NightingaleNew York: Oxford University Press, [1939]First edition. "Copyright 1939" stated on © page. Green cloth, lettered in gold running down spine.
Notes: A reprint juvenile form of the fairy story which first appeared in Pearson’s Magazine and was later embodied in The Gentleman in the Parlour. Not published in England.
1940France at WarLondon: William Heinemann, [1940]First edition. "First Published 1940" stated on © page. Stiff pictorial wrappers, divided on front into three compartments coloured blue, white and red with royal arms of France in centre compartment. 20,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1940. First American edition. Red linen cloth, blocked in black on front cover with author’s symbol.
1940Books and YouLondon: William Heinemann, [1940]First edition. Persian blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front. 3.000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1940. First American edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Light brown linen cloth, blocked in dark brown on front with author’s symbol; on spine blocked and lettered in dark brown.
1940The Mixture as BeforeLondon: Heinemann, [1940]First edition. "first published 1940" stated on © page. Persian blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 15,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1940. First American edition. Persian blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front. 10,000 copies printed.
1941Up at the VillaNew York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1941First edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Black matte cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol and lettered on spine in gold.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, [1941]. First English edition. "FIRST PUBLISHED 1941" stated on © page. Persian blue linen-grained cloth, blocked in black on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 10,000 copies printed.
1941Strictly PersonalNew York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1941
  • First edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 500 numbered copies, signed by the author. Plum buckram boards, bevelled, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol; on flat spine black skiver leather label gold lettered between ornamental crossband. Issued in slipcase.
  • (B) New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1941. First trade edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Black matt cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, [1942]. First English edition. Oxford blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in blind on back with publisher’s windmill device; and on spine with author’s symbol and gold-lettered. 10,000 copies printed.
Note: The English edition contains a two-page letter addressed to Sir Edward Marsh K.C.V.O., which is not in the American edition.
1942The Hour Before the DawnDoubleday, Doran & Co., Garden City, NY, 1942First edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Smooth black cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol; and on spine in gold with a design incorporating the author’s initials “WSM”.
ALSO: Sydney: Angus & Robertson Ltd., 1945. First Australian edition. Brown fine cloth, lettered in blank on spine. 4913 copies printed.
1944The UnconqueredHouse of Books Ltd, NY, 1944First edition. Limited edition of 300 numbered copies signed by the author. Navy blue linen cloth, blocked on front in blind with author’s symbol and gold-lettered on front and spine.
1944The Razor's EdgeNew York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1944First edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 750 numbered copies signed by the author. Plum buckram boards, bevelled edges, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol; on flat spine black skiver leather label gold-lettered.
  • (B) New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1944. First trade edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Smooth black cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol and on spine in lime yellow with head and tail ornamental bands and lettered in gold.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, 1944. First English edition. "First Published 1944" stated on © page. Persian blue linen-grain cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device in blind; gold-lettered on front and spine. 40,000 copies printed.
1946Then and NowLondon: Heinemann, [1946]
  • First edition. "FIRST PUBLISHED 1946" stated on © page. Three bindings, priority as listed:
  • (A) Smooth Persian blue cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device in blind; gold-lettered on front and spine.
  • (B) Arabian blue matte cloth, lettered as above,
  • (C) Midnight blue matte cloth, lettered as above. 50,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1946. First American edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Smooth black cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol; lettered in gold on spine. 50,000 copies printed.
1947Creatures of CircumstanceLondon: Heinemann, [1947]First edition. "FIRST PUBLISHED 1947" stated on © page. Smooth scarlet red cloth, blocked in silver on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s device in blind; silver-lettered on front and spine. 50,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1947. First American edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Smooth black cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol; blocked on spine in gold with design incorporating flowers and leaves and lettered in gold.
1948CatalinaLondon: Heinemann, [1948]First edition. "FIRST PUBLISHED 1948" stated on © page. Scarlet red linen-grain cloth, blocked in silver on front with author s symbol and on back with publisher’s device in blind; silver-lettered on front and spine. 50,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1949. First American edition. "First Edition: stated on © page. Black ripple-grain cloth, blocked on front in blind with author’s symbol; gold lettered on spine. 50,000 copies printed.
1948QuartetLondon: Heinemann, [1948]First edition. "First Published 1948" stated on © page. Scarlet red matt cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s device in blind; gold-lettered on front and spine. 5,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1949. "First Edition" stated on © page. Black ribbed cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol.
1950TrioLondon: Heinemann, [1950]First edition. "First Published 1950" stated on © page. Signal red linen-grain cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s device in blind; gold-lettered on front and spine. 12,500 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1950. First American edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Black smooth cloth, blocked on front in blind with authors symbol and 3 circles; on spine lettered in gold.
1952EncoreLondon: Heinemann, [1952]First edition. "First Published 1951" stated on © page. Signal red linen-grain cloth, blocked in gold on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s device in blind; gold-lettered on front and spine. 15,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1952. "First Edition" stated on © page. Smooth black cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol; on spine lettered in gold.
1952The Vagrant MoodLondon: William Heinemann, [1952]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 500 numbered copies, singed by the author. Half mushroom calf, navy blue calf boards, divided by gold rule front and back; on front author’s symbol blocked in blind; on spine black cloth label gold-lettered.
  • (B) London: William Heinemann, [1952]. First trade edition. Pimento red cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold-lettered on front and spine. 40,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1953. First American edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Smooth black linen cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol; on spine blocked and lettered in gold.
1958Points of ViewLondon: William Heinemann, [1958]First edition. "First published 1958" stated on © page. Green linen grain cloth, blocked in blind on front with author’s symbol and on back with publisher’s windmill device; gold lettered on front and spine. 15,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1959. First American edition. "First Edition" stated on © page. Black calico grain cloth, blocked on front with broken red line and author’s symbol in gold; spine lettered in gold. 15,000 copies printed.
1962Purely for my PleasureLondon: William Heinemann, [1962]First edition. "© W. S. Maugham 1962" stated on © page. Black buckram, blocked in gold, with author’s symbol on front and gold-lettered on spine. 5,000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., [1963]. "First edition" stated on © page. Purple paper boards, with black cloth spine, blocked on front in gold with author’s symbol; lettered in gold on spine.

William Somerset Maugham – First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide

Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of Maugham’s works. Only includes the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • Raymond Toole Stott – A Bibliography of the Works of W. Somerset Maugham, 1973

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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