The Trembling of a Leaf - W. Somerset Maugham

The Trembling of a Leaf (New York: Doran, 1921)

This is the second collection of short stories that Maugham published. The copy that I have is from Doran; the first UK edition is from Heinemann, published three weeks after the American one.

It includes the following stories:

  • The Pacific
  • Mackintosh
  • The Fall of Edward Barnard
  • Red
  • The Pool
  • Honolulu
  • Rain
  • Envoi

This is one of my favourite collections; all the stories are moving and engaging which transport the readers to the Pacific islands that one almost feels dizzy by the unending waves. Maugham shows the different facets of life, its cruelty and passions, that are so strong that  that devour the souls of his characters alive.

This American edition is the first edition with George H. Doran's monogram on the copyright page; at the time of writing this edition can be got with very good price without dust jacket; the first Heinemann edition is much more expensive. I have not located one with dust jacket.

Many modern editions are available at Search for trembling of a leaf maugham

This collection has been digitalised also, the link of which can be found in the eBooks page of this blog.


  1. I recently bought a paperback edition of this book, printed in 1984 by a Hawaiin publisher for 99 cents. I bought it because I liked the cover photo and design. It has a pretty Asian woman on a beach with flowers. It also has an introduction/critique of Maugham by someone. I once had a true first of this (the Doran one); even when I had it, I was still planning on buying this paperback edition. ABE usually has better prices than eBay I'm finding lately.

  2. I find it entertaining to look at the paperback covers for some of Maugham's books. Alexander did several reviews on them:

    Interesting stuff, some of them are quite good, others leave me thinking if the illustrators have read the books.

    Yes, that's true. I usually double check before I get anything from eBay. I generally browse eBay for new stuff and if there's anything that catches my eyes, I go to AbeBooks.


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