"THE GENERAL IDIOCY OF MANKIND IS SUCH THAT THEY CAN BE SWAYED BY WORDS": FIRST EDITION OF MAUGHAM'S CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, 1939
MAUGHAM, W. Somerset. Christmas Holiday. London and Toronto: William Heinemann, . Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $500.
First edition of this novel about a young man in Paris between the wars and the Russian émigré prostitute he meets there, in scarce original dust jacket.
"This is a surprising book from Mr. Maugham… It is, in the final analysis, a story of how Charley grew up, of how a Christmas holiday spent in Paris showed him that the irreproachable middle class culture of his esteemed parents was not characteristic of the world at large. That in his friend Simon, who was to have introduced him to the pleasures of Parisian life, he finds fanaticism and a large chip on the shoulder. That instead of spending a gay holiday, he goes Russian in a big way, and listens interminably to the story of Lydia and Robert Berger, and shares his hotel room platonically with Lydia, to give her a small measure of release from atonement for Robert's sins. In spite of this fantastic set-up, Mr. Maugham succeeds in making it a thoroughly entertaining and readable, and, surprisingly enough, credible tale" (Kirkus Reviews). Stott A54a.
Book very nearly fine, dust jacket with mild rubbing and toning to extremities and edge reinforcement to verso. A near-fine copy.