The Noble Spaniard - W. Somerset Maugham

cover of the noble spaniard, a play by w. somerset maugham
The Noble Spaniard, first printed edition 1953
W. Somerset Maugham

The Noble Spaniard. A Comedy in Three Acts  (London: Evans Brothers, 1953).

This is the last play published, but it was written much earlier. The first performance was on Saturday, 20 March,1909, at the New Royalty Theatre, London. It is a play adapted from the French one by Grenet-Dancourt.

It is an interesting read, for spending a light afternoon with. In fact, some parts are quite funny, and even now it makes its readers laugh. The ending is a bit hurried, but the play is not intended to be taken seriously.

Believe it or not, Maugham's plays are still being performed quite frequently. For example, The Noble Spaniard is going to be on in December 2013 at Playhouse 2, Shaw, Oldham.

Briefly, it is about a widow, Marion, who spends her holidays with the couple Sir and Lady Proudfoot in Boulogne, where a Spanish grandee falls in love with her. In order to chase him away, Marion lies that her husband is still alive, which leads to a series of comedy of errors when the Spaniard takes all men near her as her husband and thus his rival, and in due course challenges all of them to a duel.

The Noble Spaniard - First Edition

First editions with dust wrap are not expensive, but they are scarce. The only first edition that I have located at the moment is this one: The noble Spaniard: A comedy in three acts ; adapted from the French by Grenet-Dancourt (Evans plays), which costs US$120. But I haven't spent too much time on searches, because I have got mine already... In the near future I hope to write a little about locating copies in the "About My Maugham Collection" page. So check back from time to time for those who are interested!

Update: Here is a copy of The Noble Spaniard that I found recently.


  1. hi there,

    first i want to say, that i like very much you entusiasm and your effort collecting all these beautiful stories and bulding up this page.
    Second: I wonder if you have the story EPISODE from Creatures of Circumstance and if you could send it to my mail
    I would apreciate it a lot. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to leave comments.
    I do have the short story, but only in book form.

  3. Hi. I've just ordered a copy of this from ABE. When it's said that it's adapted from the French by Grenet-Dancourt, does it mean that it's merely a translation by Maugham? Is it Maugham's version of the play? How much of Maugham is there in this?

    1. I haven't read the French version, so I can't say if it is a straightforward translation, which I doubt though, since it is put as "adaptation." It's quite some time since I read it, but I remember it as being distinctly "Maugham." More copies must have surfaced since I checked it last, since the price seems to be very reasonable now.


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