The Hero 1901 Hutchinson & Co.

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The Hero 1901 Hutchinson The Hero 1901 Hutchinson title page A. Brooker, Bookseller, Hastings
Record Number MMC_N_H1901HC
Title The Hero
Creator W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965)
Format Print Book
Genre / Form Novel
Publisher London : Hutchsinson & Co.
Date 3 July 1901
Language English
Physical Description p. [2] epigraph, p. [3] 2 quotations by James Thomson, p. [4] dedication to Miss Julia Maugham [Maugham's aunt], pp. 5–352 main text | 19 cm | hardback
Identifier - Edition First edition, second state of binding
Identifier - Cover Colour (Approximate) #792C35 (Nutmeg)
Identifier - Dust Jacket No dust jacket [I haven't seen one, which doesn't mean much though]
Identifier - Other Catalogues Stott A4
Description - Characters James Parsons
Colonel Richmond Parsons
Mrs. Frances Parsons
Mr. Pritchard-Wallace
Mrs. Pritchard-Wallace
Mr. Archibald Jackson the vicar
Mrs. Jackson
Colonel Clibborn
Mrs. Clara de Tulleville Clibborn
Mary Clibborn
Mr. Thomas Dryland the curate
Reggie Larcher
Description - Plot Summary James Parsons comes home to Little Primpton after serving in the Boer War. The whole town is proud of their new hero, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for risking his life to save a fellow soldier, Reggie Larcher. However, for Jamie, nothing is the same anymore. His varied experience after leaving home has changed his worldview completely and he finds it impossible to go back to his former way of life and beliefs. Maugham portrays Jamie's struggles and the social intolerance practised by people around him. Torn between individual freedom and obligations towards his family, Jamie fails to find his path and peace.

This is the first book on the cover of which Maugham had his Moorish symbol against the evil eye printed. However, it was printed upside down. When Maugham pointed this out to Hutchinson, the symbol was corrected on some copies specially bound for that. Although the number of these corrected bindings is smaller, and thus rarer, the copies with the upside down symbol fetches higher value.

Another noted feature is the missing "g" for "game" on p. 129 for the earlier printed sheets, which is the case of this copy. As Stott points out, although sheets with the dropped "g" were chronologically prior to the corrected ones, it is impossible to base the state of the copy solely on it, since the sheets printed earlier could have been in the later pile to be folded.

To sum up, the binding of this copy denotes the second state (fewer copies) with sheets from earlier state.

Subject South African War, 1899-1902 -- Fiction.
Great Britain -- Social life and customs -- 20th century -- Fiction.
Provenance A. Brooker, Bookseller, 16 Robertson St., Hastings [A. Brooker appeared to be a publisher too in 19th century. At certain point, likely later than 1901, the business became Brooker and Saville, which was in turn dissolved a year after the death of Arthur Brooker in 1931.]
Cost £850 in 2014
6s in 1901 | 1,500 copies
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