DescriptionW. Somerset Maugham. A Man of Honour: A Play in Four Acts. London: Chapman and Hall, 1903.
First separate issue. 150 issued. 50 pages.
Publisher's cream wrappers printed in black with a sewn binding. Some minor foxing to wrappers and page edges. One-inch split to bottom edge of spine. Soiling to pages 44 and 45. A very good copy of this delicate item.
Printed at Maugham's request by the editor of The Fortnightly Review to be sold as a souvenir on the first night of the play (Sunday, February 22, 1903). Very few were sold, and the rest were discovered shortly before the First World War in the offices of the publishers and given to Maugham. Maugham gave some as gifts and sold some through London bookseller Fred Bason; the rest were supposedly lost when Maugham's London flat was bombed during the war. In his preface to Fred Bason's bibliography of 1931, Maugham wrote: "But there is another little book of mine which must be scarcer still [than the first edition of Liza of Lambeth]. It is the paper-bound edition of A Man of Honour, which was issued by Messrs. Chapman and Hall. This was a play published in The Fortnightly Review by the late W. L. Courtney, who thought well of it, and at my urgent request the publishers bound up a few copies of the sheets, two hundred and fifty, I think, for sale in the theatre during the two performances which the Stage Society gave it. I am afraid the venture did not profit them, for I doubt whether fifty copies were sold, and I suppose the rest have long ago been pulped."
Stott A6a notes. From the Collection of Norman F. Moore.
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