Liza of Lambeth
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Liza of Lambeth

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  792 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Maugham's first published novel - a vividly realistic portrayal of slum life. Down among the drab slums of Lambeth, eighteen-year-old Liza is the darling of Vere Street. Vibrant and bewitching, she has found an adoring if conventional beau in Tom. When she meets Jim Blakeston, a married man new to the area, she is immediately magnetized by his attentions. But the streets a...more
Paperback, Penguin Twentieth Century Classics, 128 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Penguin Classics (first published 1897)
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Liza Of Lambeth (1897) is perhaps Maugham's only novel which I don't have the heart to revisit. Not because it is poor, but because it is so chillingly tragic. It isn't as if his other novels are all light and sunshine. Maugham in fact always had a great eye for human tragedy and unfailingly took up themes about the impossibility of love and the doomed nature of marriages. Almost every single novel of his has a grim death in it, but nothing is as brutal as what one witnesses in Liza of Lambeth....more
Mary Ronan Drew
Liza of Lambeth, this first novel by the young Somerset Maugham - he was 23 when it was published in 1897 - has its good points. It's an introduction to Maugham's fiction, a place from which to begin watching the honing of his novelistic skills. It is a glimpse into working class life in London's East End slum, Lambeth. And the plot, although a bit worn, is worn because it works.

It's a story of a good girl gone wrong with plenty of blame to go around. Liza is 18, lively, laughing, and popular wi...more
Everett Darling
Don't be surprised if it seems like less of a debut and more of the working of an old hand, since Maugham had been some years writing plays and short–stories while working through med-school and as a licensed physician, though none had been published.
As usual though, his characters are flesh and blood, tangible, and totally honest. Liza is a really down-to-earth protagonist, remarkably sympathetic through all her foibles and follies, and is dragged through the muck of life with crushing violenc...more
The first Maugham´s novel, promising a very nice debut.
Stephen Hayes
This is Somerset Maugham's first published novel, and of those of his that I've read, I think I like this one the best. About 12 years ago I bought several of his books cheap at a library sale, put them on a shelf and forgot them, and in the course of tidying the shelves I took them down to read, so I've been reading one after the other.

Liza of Lambeth is based on Maugham's experience as a medical student in a poor part of London. Well it's poor in parts. I once went to a garden party at Lambet...more
David Alexander
"The heart of the matter, the ghost of a chance,
A tremor, a fever, an ache in the chest.
The moth and the candle beginning their dance,
A cool white sheet on which nothing will rest..."
-from "The Heart of the Matter" by Dana Gioia

Maugham's story is of a poor girl's pathetic seduction. There is really no element of the laudable, let alone noble or heroic in her life, just the short record of one girl's bad choices and easy fall to the seduction of an adulterer, and then her sad, precipitous end. H...more
Benjamin Duffy
Liza of Lambeth was Maugham's first published novel, and it shows. Some of his future strengths are hinted at here: the dialogue is earthy and believable (though his insistence on spelling out the dialect phonetically becomes tedious, almost like listening to a "book on CD" narrated by Eliza Doolittle), and he already shows flashes of his greatest talent, that of conveying human emotion in a raw and irresistible manner.

However, where later Maugham books such as Moon and Sixpence and Cakes and Al...more
This is a compelling, if tragic, story of life in the lower classes of England in the lower classes of England in the early 20th century. It begin with a flourish as young Liza dances in the street, impressing everyone with her grace and beauty. Unfortunately, as she dances, she encounters a married man and they form an attraction. From there, the plot begins to unfold.

The characters speak in what I assume is authentic dialect for the time period, and they tell a grim story of life in the lower...more
Liza of Lambeth is not exactly a dark story, but certainly dingy and dreary are appropriate adjectives. The central character is a young woman living on a poor street and working in a factory. At the time of its publication, the content would have been shocking and enlightening, but now, domestic abuse, affairs, and such seem common, everyday fare, and the time past since its publication make its social commentary less relevant. Lacking shock value, the book seems to have little else to offer....more
My Maugham of the Month for January, 2011 is a good study of the circle of life in a poor district of London like that in which Somerset Maugham had his medical practice.
You can watch my full video review here -
I like the part where the chicks fight.
I am a huge fan of Maugham's work. Every few months I eagerly dive in, and devour, another of his novels. I've spouted endlessly about my enjoying the Edwardian sensibilites and colorful characters that breath throughout his books. Missing from all the other novels, however, is the painstaking and distracting cockney dialog which my esteemed author chose to almost phonetically spell.

The end result, at least for me, is a deep puddle of molasses that laboriously drains out along with my attention...more
Alexander Arsov
W. Somerset Maugham

Liza of Lambeth

Vintage Classics, Paperback, 2000.*

First published by T. Fisher Unwin in 1897.

*Contains the preface written in 1934 for The Collected Edition published by Heinemann between 1934 and 1969.


This is most certainly the last book of Somerset Maugham I would recommend to somebody who wants to read him for the first time. It is actually his first novel which Maugham wrote as a medical studen...more
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In Liza of Lambeth, Maugham draws on his own experiences as a trainee doctor who would frequently be called to attend on people in the poorer areas of London. Liza is an eighteen year old factory worker who enjoys dancing, drinking, wearing new clothes and generally living life to the full. She lives with her aging mother, walks out with Tom and spends time with her friend Sally. All this changes when a new family move in to the street and the father, the much older Jim Blakestone, starts paying...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Το πρώτο βιβλίο του Σώμερσετ Μωμ, του οποίου η επιτυχία έπεισε τον συγγραφέα να παρατήσει την καριέρα του ως γιατρού και να αφιερωθεί στην λογοτεχνία. Η Λίζα είναι δεκαοχτώ χρονών και ζει μαζί με την μητέρα της σε μια φτωχογειτονιά του Λονδίνου. Είναι σε μια ηλικία στην οποία οι κοπέλες της εποχής της προετοιμάζονται για να γίνουν σύζυγοι. Εκείνη δεν υπακούει στην λογική και αρνείται την αγάπη του Τομ που την αγαπά με ειλικρίνεια. Ακολουθώντας το ένστικό της, παρασύρεται στην αγάπη του Τζιμ, ενό...more
Maugham paints a vivid picture for those who eek out an existence in the slums of a working-class town in England. The characters are all portrayed as sympathetic and Maugham shows his keen insights into human nature. This is one of his earliest but most memorable novels.
I borrowed this book from our school library, but there is no way any student at my school could read it. All the dialog is archaic cockney - challenging for even a native speaker of standard English. The story itself is sadly universal, however.
I like just about everything Maugham writes. In this case I listened to the CD and the accents and working class expressions added to its charm. Of course there is always a "predicament" set up by Maugham but the great thing is you never know which way he will twist the usually dramatic ending till you just about get there.
Mar 29, 2014 Nina rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Това е първият роман на Моъм и съвсем не е на висотата на другите му творби. На мен, като запалена по автора ми хареса, леко ми напомни Мопасан и Зола като реалистично и брутално описание на живота в бедните лондонски предградия. Насилието и смъртта сред тези хора са ежедневие и се приемат за нещо обичайно. Лайза е жизнерадостно момиче, любимката на улица "Виър". Живее с възрастната си майка, работи във фабрика, забавлява се, докато не започва тайна връзка с женен мъж. Не след дълго нещата излиз...more
Maria Jose Garcia Ferrer
Maugham's first novel. I've read it twice and both times I though it was a great achievement.
gurpreet kaur
This happens to be Somerset Maugham's first novel and is certainly not his best.
Akash Malik
In one word - Poignant.

A real world love story.
Similar is Stephen Crane's Maggie, Girl of the Street.
Kathy B
I didn't realize this was Maugham's first novel until I went to write my review. Like his other works, it is well written...he captured perfectly the dialect of this small area of the countryside. It definitely provoked thought, as I couldn't help but wonder about the representations of the characters...for example, does Tom represent Jesus because of his forgiving nature? Is forgiveness warranted? While not as polished and well written as "The Painted Veil",which is one of my favorite novels by...more
Samantha González
No fue un libro que me cambio la vida, pero tampoco me arrepiento de haberlo leído.
La historia trata de Liza, una chica que vive en un barrio obrero y con gente muy chismosa. Es una de las típicas chicas que tiene candidatos pero no le da a bola a ninguno hasta que aparece un nuevo vecino, mayor que ella y con esposa e hijos.
Al hombre que ahora me olvide como se llamaba y a Liza no les importa nada y deciden verse a escondidas, hasta que el barrio empieza a sospechar que algo pasa.
A tragic yet beautifully written tale. Some say that as Maugham's first novel it is also his weakes, but I disagree. Granted, the slang is a bit annoying at first but you get used to it after a few pages.

The story is tragic but Maugham writes beautifully and depicts life in one of the poorer areas of London at the end of the 19th century very vividly. He manages to recreate an atmosphere that makes the story and the characters come alive.
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William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874. He spoke French even before he spoke a word of English, a fact to which some critics attribute the purity of his style.

His parents died early and, after an unhappy boyhood, which he recorded poignantly in 'Of Human Bondage' , Maugham became a qualified physician. But writing was his true vocation. For ten years before his first success, he alm...more
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Of Human Bondage The Razor's Edge The Painted Veil The Moon and Sixpence Cakes and Ale

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