Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Of Human Bondage

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subjects: Classic Fiction

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Description

‘It is very difficult for a writer of my generation, if he is honest, to pretend indifference to the work of Somerset Maugham,’ wrote Gore Vidal. ‘He was always so entirely there.’ Of Human Bondage is a potent expression of the power of sexual obsession and of modern man’s yearning for freedom. This classic tells the story of Philip Carey, a sensitive boy born with a clubfoot who is orphaned and raised by a religious aunt and uncle. Philip yearns for adventure, and at eighteen leaves home, eventually pursuing a career as an artist in Paris. When he returns to London to study medicine, he meets the androgynous but alluring Mildred and begins a doomed love affair that will change the course of his life. There is no more powerful story of sexual infatuation, of human longing for connection and freedom. ‘Here is a novel of the utmost importance,’ wrote Theodore Dreiser on publication. ‘It is a beacon of light by which the wanderer may be guided. One feels as though one were sitting before a splendid Shiraz of priceless texture and intricate weave, admiring, feeling, responding sensually to its colors and tones.’


272,000 words, with a reading time of ~ 16 hours (~ 1088 pages), and first published in 1915. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, .

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Excerpt

The day broke gray and dull. The clouds hung heavily, and there was a rawness in the air that suggested snow. A woman servant came into a room in which a child was sleeping and drew the curtains. She glanced mechanically at the house opposite, a stucco house with a portico, and went to the child’s bed.

“Wake up, Philip,” she said.

She pulled down the bed–clothes, took him in her arms, and carried him downstairs. He was only half awake.