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W. Somerset Maugham’s Letters to Lady Aberconway in the British Library

Lilith Lee (notes)

Abstract

The Western Manuscripts collection of the British Library possesses a series of original letters from W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) to Christabel, Lady Aberconway (1890–1974) that has not been registered in bibliographies of Maugham’s manuscripts and private letters. Maugham’s biographers only mention the relationship between the two correspondents as fellow dinner guests. However, these letters, written over a period of thirty years, show that Maugham was teasing and playful with his friend, enjoyed her company, and was moved by her letters. This article outlines briefly Lady Aberconway’s life for understanding Maugham's letters and discusses several details of interest for the study of the author’s life and work.

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