Historical novels: Somerset Maugham

November 17 2009

CBC, interview with Maugham at the Villa Mauresque in the south of France, 1958.

I’m glad he has a good word to say about Moravia. Selina Hastings’s new biography of Maugham has had very good reviews and joins several fascinating predecessors, including the reminiscences by his nephew Robin. iTunes has an album of the old man reading two stories, The Three Fat Women of Antibes (the cover art says Ladies) and Gigolo and Gigolette, from a collection called The Mixture as Before (1940).

There are three historical novels that no one reads: The Making of a Saint: A Romance of Medieval Italy (1898), set in the fifteenth century; Then and Now (1946), another Italian novel, about Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia; and Catalina (1948), set in late fifteenth-century Spain under the Inquisition. He more or less disowned The Making of a Saint, although it comes after Liza of Lambeth (the second novel problem). The other two are his final novels.

2 Responses to “Historical novels: Somerset Maugham”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    A riveting sequence. What a pity it has been removed.

  2. […] There is another Maugham interview here. […]

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