"MAUGHAM'S BEST BOOK" (GRAHAM GREENE): FIRST EDITION OF DON FERNANDO, 1935, INSCRIBED BY W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM
MAUGHAM, W. Somerset. Don Fernando. Or Variations on Some Spanish Themes. London: William Heinemann, (1935). Quarto original gilt-stamped black cloth, original dust jacket. $1200.
First edition of Maugham's fascinating work on the rich culture and history of Spain, in which he is "by turns critic, tourist, biographer" (Graham Greene), inscribed by him, "For J— C. F— W. Somerset Maugham."
In Don Fernando Maugham reflects on the expansive history, culture, art and literature of Spain, and offers detailed sections on Saint Ignatius Loyola, Cervantes, El Greco, Velasquez and other Spanish icons. The book is also widely viewed as a travel book, although Maugham once wrote: "Don Fernando can only by courtesy be called a travel book, since, though it would never have been written but for my long sojourns in Spain, it deals for the most part not with the cities the traveler may visit nor with the famous sights that demand his attention and extort his wonder, but with excursions into Spain's Golden Age" (Brander, Somerset Maugham, 92). Graham Greene considered Don Fernando to be, in many ways, "Maugham's best book… Maugham is by turns critic, tourist, biographer" (Collected Essays, 149). "First published 1935" on copyright page. Precedes the signed limited and first American editions. Stott A49.
Only lightest rubbing to about-fine book; slight edge-wear, tape reinforcement to verso of very good dust jacket.