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Archive for the ‘Ashenden’ Category

The Complete Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham (Vol. III)

Maugham was a witty fellow. This collection of short stories features the British agent Ashenden – who it is said inspired Ian Fleming’s Bond. { particularly in Ian Fleming’s accounts of James Bond’s dealings with M}

In any case, they revolve around the First World War – and are loosely based on the author’s experience of being an agent for the Intelligence Dept. during this time. As he puts it – ” The work of an agent in the Intelligence Department is on the whole monotonous. A lot of it is uncommonly useless. The material it offers for stories is scrappy and pointless, the author has himself to make it coherent, dramatic and probable’

Apparently some of his stories were juicier and closer to the truth but were axed by Winston Churchill because they violated the Official Secrets Act..

Very readable, witty, highly recommended.

Another work – Ashenden: Or the British Agent which Somerset Maugham published in 1928 and is a complete collection of all the Ashenden short stories.

ashenden

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William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874, his father the solicitor at the British Consulate. He studied literature and philosophy at Heidelberg University, and then medicine at St. Thomas’ in London. It was during this time as a medical student he built on his experiences and published Liza of Lambeth in 1897.

After the 1930s Maugham’s reputation abroad was greater than in England.

Maugham

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