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Of Human Bondage

by W. Somerset Maugham

ISBN 0848810953 / 9780848810955 / 0-8488-1095-3
Publisher Amereon Ltd
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

Of Human Bondage (1915) is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. It is generally agreed to be his masterpiece and to be strongly autobiographical in nature, although Maugham stated, "This is a novel, not an autobiography, though much in it is autobiographical, more is pure invention." Maugham, who had originally planned to call his novel Beauty from Ashes, finally settled on a title taken from Spinoza's Ethics.

The book begins with the death of the mother of the nine-year-old protagonist, Philip Carey. Philip's father had already died a few months before, and the orphan Philip is sent to live with his aunt and uncle. His uncle is vicar of Blackstable, a small village in East Anglia. Philip inherits a small fortune but the money is held in custody by his uncle until he is twenty-one, giving his uncle a great deal of power over him until he reaches his maturity. [via]