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Mrs. Craddock

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  574 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
It is the end of the 19th century and Victoria's reign is coming to an end. It is also the end of an era, but no one knows. The landed gentry, so soon to lose their power, are the last to suspect.

Bertha Ley is mistress of Court Ley, a great spread of land. She marries Edward Craddock, a man beneath her station, but quite the essence of new order. A gentleman farmer, he is

Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Diogenes (first published 1902)
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Aug 24, 2015 Sketchbook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"If love dies--" Don't ask, What if? It always dies.
Get your second wind and go on.
“La signora Craddock” è la storia (che sempre si ripeterà, non per tutti fortunatamente, ma per molti sì) di un rapporto tra un uomo e una donna, sul quale si erano riversate molte speranze, ma che si rivelerà essere molto diverso da quel che i due protagonisti dello stesso avevano creduto.

Scritto molto bene, sebbene non sempre del tutto riuscito, amaro, ironico e spesso pungente, il romanzo ci rammenta quel che fondamentalmente siamo, ossia degli egoisti e, potendolo eventualmente fare, dei de
Jan 12, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a marriage, seen mainly through the eyes of the young wife. She brings alot of unrealistic expectations into the relationship, then feels frustrated when her husband doesn't meet them. Although Bertha can seem whiney and needy at times, the author still can make us feel sympathetic towards her. The husband isn't portrayed as an awful ogre, but simply a man whose emotions are more subdued than his wife. An interesting and realistic look at marriage during that time.
Benjamin Duffy
"Between any two lovers there is always one who loves, and one who lets themself be loved. It is the one who loves, that always gets hurt."

This quote from Mrs. Craddock (I've rendered it as best I can from the original French) sums the book up well. The theme of unrequited love, or less-requited love at least, is also central to Maugham's superb Of Human Bondage (in fact, I believe a character in that book says it as well, only in English).

While Mrs. Craddock is definitely not up to the snuff of
Dec 19, 2014 Wanda marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wanda by: Laura
19 DEC 2014 -- spied on Laura's update feed. Sounds super.

Free download here --

Thank you, Laura! You ALWAYS read the best books!
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

In this book, Maugham describes the English society by the end of the 19th century.

Through the marriage of Bertha Ley and Edward Craddock, the author seems to approach to the masterpiece written by Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary.

A splendid book. We never expect the way the plot develops itself wit always with an unexpected end. That is why I do love his books.

5* The Razor's Edge
5* Of Human Bondage
4* The Painted Veil
4* The Narrow Corner
4* The Moon And
May 03, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Maugham wrote a great deal about unequal love affairs, and this is a particularly infuriating one. Mrs. Craddock tells the story of an intelligent, educated, tasteful young woman who falls in love with a very provincial, limited young farmer. She stubbornly resists her guardians’ well meaning attempts to break the attachment, and marries him as quickly as she can. Edward Craddock is a good man by his peers’ standards, but his narrow, self-satisfied mind precludes any understanding between the lo ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Telans rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Уже и не припомню, когда бы меня настолько раздражали главные герои книги! Что миссис Крэддок, что мистер с той же фамилией - это просто гротеск какой-то, а не реальные люди! Все таки ранний Моэм разнится от своих более поздних версий, и разница эта явственна не в стиле или мастерстве написания книги в общем (чего не отнять, того не отнять), а в прорисовке (и выборе) главных героев, в "Миссис Крэддок" английский классик явно перегнул несколько палок.
Роман, вышедший на заре ХХ века повествует о
William Somerset Maugham was once one of the most popular authors in the world, but he’s now in the somewhat awkward position of being neither very widely read by the general public nor a favourite of the academic world. But then he always was one to drift between the worlds of high and low culture: his books often seem to revel in depravity, being so frequently concerned with our most unpleasant, masochistic yearnings – and I don’t only mean sexual. I wonder if there’s still in our culture the ...more
Antes de ‘La señora Craddock’, de William Somerset Maugham sólo había leído un cuento perdido en una antología de autores ingleses y unas cien páginas de la ‘Servidumbre humana’. Aunque mi primer contacto con él, aún antes de todo esto, fue con la magnífica película ‘Of human bondage’ con Leslie Howard y Bette Davis. Y ya desde este primer encuentro intuía que iba a ser un escritor que me iba a gustar y, claro, cuando me enteré que era tímido y tartamudo aún me cayó más bien. Y ahora que, por fi ...more
Jan 13, 2015 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not Maugham's best book but as I love everything he writes, I thought it deserved 5 stars all the same.
In this novel, Bertha, a young, idealistic, aristocratic girl, falls in love with a rather unimaginative but friendly and hard-working farmer, Edward Craddock. This is the story of marriage.
Her first mistake: She proposed to him. De La Rochefoucauld said "Entre deux amants il y a toujours un qui aime et un qui se laisse aimer." et Miss Leys added "et celui qui aime a toujours tort".
Jul 24, 2015 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Maybe it was the writing, maybe it was the prime insight into life during this period of time...but most likely it was because of its relevance. There is love, passion, sadness, frustration, and indifference. Mrs. Craddock is about human nature, and how in every relationship there is one who is loved and one who loves; a feeling that all of us have felt in a relationship at one point or another. Maugham masterfully guides us along the relationship of Mr. and Mrs. C
Jan 19, 2014 Danika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mrs. Craddock is the story of a marriage, but is not a typical romance—the engagement and marriage take place within the first few chapters. The novel is about what happens after Bertha and Edward are living together and learning about one another. Neither character is idealized or even particularly likeable, but both are rich and well-drawn, seeming believable in their different ways.
As the third-person narrator follows Bertha throughout the entire novel, her varying feelings for Edward colo
Oct 03, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read on the back cover that the focus of Mrs. Craddock was an "unequal marriage," I incorrectly assumed it was referring to Bertha Ley's economic class as compared to her husband, gentleman farmer Edward Craddock's. Indeed, Bertha's aunt Mary and guardian are against the match that Bertha is so set on. Mrs. Craddock is the story of Bertha's passionate love, and Edward's content and often undemonstrative devotion.

Bertha is a "new woman," an intelligent, empowered woman of independent means
Ahmad Sharabiani
Mrs Craddock, W. Somerset Maugham
عنوان: پیروزی عشق؛ نوشته: سامرست موام؛ مترجم: فیروزه بهبهانی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر پانوس، 1374، در 368 ص، موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 م
Apr 28, 2016 Rdt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. I thought it one of Maugham's best, maybe not quite Of Human Bondage or The Razor's Edge, but still an outstanding piece of writing. I recently read George Sand's Indiana and criticized it in my Goodreads review for being a love story about mediocrities. Mrs. Craddock is also a love story about mediocrities, but here the characters are completely real and the emotions and psychology feel true to life so that they jump off the page. Maugham's similarly themed book is a ...more
Mar 05, 2015 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really admire this book. I have read a few of W. Somerset Maugham's stories and they are all good but this one is so relevant to today's world even though it was written in 1902. It is the story of a woman who marries for love and how the marriage unravels. It takes place mostly in the English countryside. All the emotions are so well described. All the steps in each little detail. From the first crush to the final acceptance. As a woman who has gone though it all myself I can very much relate ...more
Mar 05, 2010 A.U.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I finished Mrs. Craddock a strange sense of dizziness invaded me; the last few words and pages of the book melted into themselves, and suddendly I couldn't remember them; I could only remember that what I held in my hands is a really, really good book.

Is it a masterpiece? Maybe not; the greatest fault that I saw in "Mrs. Craddock" is that it is painfully obvious. Nothing in this book suprised me. Also, I was sad to see many similarities with "Of Human Bondage" which is Somerset Maugham's
Jun 19, 2015 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classici, 2013, uk
Mrs Craddock è il racconto di una storia d'amore, o, nelle parole dell'ironica linea d'apertura, 'this could be called the Triumph of Love'. La giovane Bertha torna in Inghilterra (nel Kent) dopo la morte del padre, con cui ha viaggiato per molti anni in tutta Europa, per vivere con la zia Polly nella proprietà di famiglia, Leys Court. Qui ritrova l'amico d'infanzia Edward Craddock, e se ne innamora. Nonostante la differenza di classe (Bertha appartiene alla landed gentry, la piccola nobiltà di ...more
Everett Darling
Aug 18, 2011 Everett Darling rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Finished Mrs. Craddock in record time, ended serenly with the central characters pronounced emotional turbulence being tamed. Not only by herself, not simply-at first glance, and maddeningly so- by her husband, but a myriad of factors, notably Miss Ley, Gerald, her neighbors, but also travel, books, nature and most importantly, time. 30 seems to mean something different here than what I am looking at-though I do study the mirror on occasion for visual signs of aging, bald patches, frown lines, a ...more
I had never read Maugham. I had heard of him. Razor Edge and more recently The Painted Veil because of Edward Norton's film adapted from it. I came upon a rec for Mrs Craddock in Jessica Crispin's Blog of a Bookslut in January. This blog usually gives out there, sometimes underground recs. So I put in a request to have the book transferred from one of my library branch. It's a very ironic, somewhat darkish look at a dying class of people. We are at the end of the Victorian period and on the edge ...more
Jul 24, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit more than halfway through this novel, the main character, Bertha Craddock, has this exchange with her husband, Edward:

"Oh, it drives me mad to think of the devotion I waste on you," she cried. "I'm a fool! You are all the world to me, and I, to you, am a sort of accident; you might have married anyone but me. If I hadn't come across your path you would infallibly have married someone else."

"Well, so you would you," he answered, laughing.

By the time I got to this passage, I was extremely ti
Nov 29, 2011 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maugham is an author I have always been meaning to read. I discovered that he actually wrote few novels (Of Human Bondage being the most famous) but was one of the most successful playwrights and short story writers of his time. The Goodreads synopsis really doesn't capture the true meaning of this novel. In many ways, it seems a very contemporary and cautionary story, and reminds me in some ways of Revolutionary Road (another tale of love and marriage gone wrong). What really appealed to me is ...more
Oct 15, 2015 Shauna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as I expected to, having read many of the author's novels in the past. In my view it is not one of Maugham's best books and it hasn't dated well. There are passages of heavy, florid prose particularly when describing the Kent countryside. The characters of Bertha and Edward are well-drawn at first, you do get a real feeling of Edward's stolidity and Bertha's immaturity and headstrong personality. What the novel fails to do is to dig deeper into the charac ...more
Angie Fehl
Sep 29, 2013 Angie Fehl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite of Maugham's. A great lesson in what happens when you get caught up in fantasy and ignore your reality. Bertha Ley, a girl from a privileged family, marries farmer Edward Craddock for the "fantasy" of marriage she has. She assumes life will be quiet bliss with her baking and raising sweet children while her husband lavishes attention on her. Over time she finds that her husband is not as romantic or passionate as herself, and spends all his time working on their lands and his ...more
A very interesting novel about relationships between men and women in the 1900s. Maugham is an intriguing writer. In Mrs. Craddock we meet Bertha Ley a 21 year old wealthy young woman in love with the idea of marriage, who marries a tenant on her land, Edward Craddock. Bertha learns that marriage to Edward Craddock is not exactly what she envisioned and she begins to hate her husband. The two are so incompatible it's a wonder how they were ever physically attracted! Maugham challenges social not ...more
Apr 22, 2016 Annabelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it
This one had the familiar pangs of a doomed love affair not unlike the protagonists in Of Human Bondage. While the characters and their circumstances greatly differ, the futility and despair that one goes through in impossible pursuit of an unrequited love are remarkably the same here. But this did not feel like a Somerset Maugham novel. Had I been made to guess the identity of the author, and in spite of the story's Blackstable setting, I would have pointed to Jane Austen.
Portia S
Bertha has always been in love with Edward, a man not only below her station, but her steward. As most relationships, it's rather beautiful in the beginning, where she and Edward get married and are happy and stuff, and then it withers away. Bertha realises there is no more emotion between her and Edward, and it haunts her. She finally recognises why she was warned against marrying him, he's a farmer, not a socialite, not an intellect, she remains unfulfilled. Leaving him for a short holiday, sh ...more
Ananya Rubayat
Somerset Maugham was an excellent observer of human psyche. The portrayal of a woman in passionate love, and her disenchantment when the passion wears out is something we have probably all seen/felt at some point. Although not in the class of, say, of human bondage - this is a good read in it's own merit.
Quynh Tran
Jan 04, 2016 Quynh Tran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All my sympathies went the poor sap who became her husband. Enjoyed this a lot. Would like to read again for some very clever lines about religious hypocrisy and unrealistic expectations perpetuated by social norms, still evident today.
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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 about W. Somerset Maugham...

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“Happily men don't realise how stupid they are, or half the world would commit suicide. Knowledge is a will-of-the-wisp, fluttering ever out of the traveller's reach; and a weary journey must be endured before it is even seen. It is only when a man knows a good deal that he discovers how unfathomable is his ignorance. The man who knows nothing is satisfied that there is nothing to know, consequently that he knows everything; and you may more easily persuade him that the moon is made of green cheese than that he is not omniscient.” 5 likes
“With old and young great sorrow is followed by a sleepless night, and with the old great joy is as disturbing; but you, I suppose, finds happiness more natural and its rest is not disturbed by it.” 2 likes
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