Extremely scarce with such attributes
Maugham, Somerset ~ The Painted Veil : Both First And Second Issues Of The First UK Edition : Both Copies Signed By The Author
Heinemann, London : 1925
A two volume set: Two copies of the First UK edition, the FIRST and SECOND issues. Vol. 1: The BOOK is the First Issue, third state and is in Very Good+ condition. The first state is only known in advance proof form, and the second and third states of the First Issue only differ in the number of titles and reviews listed under 'The Works of Somerset Maugham' on the verso of the half-title. No more than 74 copies in total are extant of the second and third states of the First issue (Stott A33c). The book has mild loosening of the gatherings in a few places but the binding remains tight. Light pushing at the spine ends with slight toning of the page edges and text-block. The gilt titling to the spine and front cover remains bright. A little rippling of the cloth to the front panel. A hint of rubbing to the edges in places. Vol. 2: The BOOK is the Second Issue, first state and is in Very Good++ condition. In this issue, the name 'Hong kong' has been changed to 'Tching-Yen' by the insertion of cancelled leaves, and an Author's Note' inserted between the title leaf and the leaf recording the single-line quotation. However, despite the revisions, the references to 'Hong Kong', 'The Peak' and 'Happy Valley' were not all completely changed. The book has tight binding with a little pushing at the spine ends. Very slight toning of the page edges and text-block. The gilt titling to the spine and front cover remains bright. A hint of rubbing to the edges in places. Both books have been signed and inscribed to Maugham’s friend Fred Bason and in the second title, Maugham has also written that 'This is the second issue, Hong Kong has changed to an imaginary name'. It is highly likely that the first issue title was signed on or near the publication date (Feb/March 1925). Maugham was forced to drastically alter his text because of threatened libel suits after the first printings, had been run off. The first involved a suit by a couple bearing the names of the main characters in the serialized form in Nash's magazine. Maugham changed their name to 'Fane' for the book edition but, after two printings had been run off, the Assistant Secretary of the Hong Kong Government also protested against the setting of the story in Hong Kong! These events caused Heinemann to create five states of 'The Painted Veil' in order to finally release it. The attention created in the media by these actions only helped the sales of the book, pleasing Maugham greatly. In a letter to a friend, he wrote: 'I got something like 500 pounds of free advertisement and the book went with a bang.' The two books are housed in custom gilt titled chemises within a quarter morocco gilt titled slipcase which is a little age rubbed but in Very Good++ condition. A superb set of a Maugham key title and only the second copy of the First Issue that I have handled in 15 years. Extremely scarce with such attributes.
CONDITION: Very Good+