MAUGHAM, W. Somerset. A Writer's Notebook. London: William Heinemann, 1949.
8vo. Original quarter vellum over dark blue buckram boards, with embossed device to upper cover, spine lettered in gilt on a black morocco label, top edges gilt, others untrimmed; pp. xvi, 349, [iii] save for a rather charming inscription to the ffep ("For Dear Elsie/ This book to dip into now and then./ Willie."); a fine copy, with many pages completely unopened; in matching card slipcase which is a touch grubby, some marginal peeling to the edges and a few light spots to the upper edge.
First UK edition. One of 1000 numbered copies, signed by the author. This is copy no. 437.
It is highly significant that A Writer's Notebook was first published in 1949, one year after Maugham's retirement from fiction writing with his last novel, Catalina (1948). Only then did he deign to publish, after rigorous selection, this collection of notes, many of which are highly revealing of his creative process. It includes character sketches, descriptions of nature, travel impressions, philosophical reflections, anecdotes, aphorisms and epigrams.