Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Up at the Villa” as Want to Read:
Up at the Villa
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Up at the Villa

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  3,222 Ratings  ·  304 Reviews
Mary Panton walls up her desires in a beautiful villa high up in the hills above Florence, as she calmly contemplates her disastrous marriage. But a single act of compassion begins a nightmare of violence that shatters her serenity. She turns for help to the notorious Rowley Flint, and through him comes to realise that to deny love, with all its passions and risks, is to d ...more
Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published (first published 1941)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Up at the Villa, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Up at the Villa

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, italy
I remember being in a café with a friend once when a guy walked in who obviously had some kind of mild disability to do with his legs – he hobbled over to a table and sat down heavily, and then looked around him at the greasy spoon with an air of deep depression. Amy stared at him and sighed and said, ‘I wish I was really really pretty so I could be a little moment of happiness in his day.’ I remember being surprised, because it sounded, somehow, like something a female character would say in a ...more
May 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wandaful
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Laura

read here

Opening: The villa stood on the top of a hill. From the terrace in front of it you had a magnificent view of Florence; behind was an old garden, with few flowers, but with fine trees, hedges of cut box, grass walks and an artificial grotto in which water cascaded with a cool, silvery sound from a cornucopia. The house had been built in the sixteenth century by a noble Florentine, whose impoverished descendants had sold it to some English people, and it was they who had lent it for a per
Mohsin Maqbool
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover of the book that I read.

WILLIAM Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874. He was educated at King’s School, Canterbury and at Heidelberg University, Germany. Later he started practising medicine at St. Thomas’s Hospital. However, the success of his first novel “Liza of Lamberth” (1897)made him decide that he was going to be a writer. Besides writing novels, he soon became reputed for writing dramas and short stories. But his oeuvre did not end here, as Maugham was also a prolific aut
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gradevole ed elegante

Ambientato negli anni 40’ è un romanzo breve che si sviluppa nell’arco di pochi giorni. Protagonista è Mary, una donna bellissima, consapevole di esserlo, che trascorre i giorni in una Villa toscana, fra passeggiate in giardino ed inviti a cena. Due gli uomini che le girano intorno: Edgar, diplomatico e vecchio amico di famiglia, e Rowley , un giovane simpaticamente sfrontato. Nel giro di poche ore si inserisce nella vicenda un nuovo personaggio che cambierà tutti i rapport
Toward the end of this very short novel, a novella really, just as the posturing and dithering are giving way to the puzzle being solved, I turned a page of the book and a card dropped out. A Lottery ticket, something I'd never buy for myself. As this was a library copy, I thought it was probably safe to assume it was some long-expired specimen used at some point for a bookmark. And if so, used by somebody who had gotten nearly all the way through the novel-- and stopped.

Maugham's Up At The Vil
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gran-bretagna

"Tesoro, è per questo che è fatta la vita ...per correre rischi".

Maugham è una conferma. La conferma di essere uno scrittore tra quelli che prediligo.
Questo breve romanzo mi stava deludendo fino alle pagine finali, già pensavo che stavolta Maugham avesse “toppato” con me, quando invece, all’improvviso, arrivata alla fine, mi sono ricreduta.
C’è un topos letterario tanto caro agli anglosassoni, l’ambientazione in una aristocratica villa con uno stupendo giardino che guarda sulla cupola del Duomo d
Feb 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I was really excited to get this book, since after reading Of Human Bondage I've been on a quest to find all of Maugham's works. This is really more of a short story or novella, but at the same time quite powerful.

The story opens with the widowed, but still desired and beautiful Mary Leonard pondering a marriage proposal from an old family friend and waiting for his return. During the few days he's gone, Mary has a chance encounter with a young and handsome stranger, and cougar-action ensues. (
Benjamin Duffy
Nov 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
W. Somerset Maugham was a master of the novel as well as the short story, and here he manages to cover the elusive middle ground. This is a very short novel, weighing in at a scant 209 Harry Potter-formatted* pages, and it reads like one. Not that that's a bad thing! Where other Maugham classics like Of Human Bondage develop slowly, refusing to be rushed, this book moves at a ripping pace.

Most of Maugham's formidable strengths are here, fully realized: an ear for authentic, snappy, gently funny
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reviews
An engaging and thinly disguised morality tale about class, sexual desire and marriage — all set in the hills of beautiful 1930s Florence.

To read my full review, please visit my blog.
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very nice to read.
Intriguing little story!
Ahmad Sharabiani
Up at the Villa, W. Somerset Maugham
عنوان: خانه ییلاقی؛ نویسنده: ویلیام سامرست موآم؛ کترجم: جواد امامی؛ تهران، انتشارات آبشار، 1336، در 96 ص،؛
شرح حال زنی از طبقه ی اعیان و اشراف و ...؛
Nadia King
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
W.Somerset Maugham was one of the most commercially successful authors of his era and at one time was described as the most famous writer in the world. There's something about Maugham's writing that appeals very strongly to me - I don't know if it's the elegance of his writing; the gorgeously drawn characters; or the romanticism of his stories. I adored 'Up at the Villa'. What a wonderfully clever writer Maugham was and how lucky we are to read his works.
From Imdb:
Over a handful of days in 1938, a penniless English widow, on vacation near Florence, considers the marriage proposal of an aging British aristocrat who is the newly-appointed governor of Bengal, accepts a pistol that he presses on her for safety, takes pity on an Austrian refugee, stands up to a Fascist police chief, and gets in harm's way with an American playboy. After a good deed results in tragedy, she must choose between dependability and love, between her reputation and her feel
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The one thing I love about Somerset Maugham is how wonderfully and subtly he raises ideas of sexual liberty, perception and human folly. This little novella brings us an exquisite taste of sexual objectification. As an interested and a rather amateur scholar of gender studies, I have been constantly reading and writing about the sexual objectification of women in popular culture and media but this novella reminded me of one key point I had been missing all along: how women objectify themselves!

Joy H.
Added 2/19/14.
RE: Up at the Villa (1941) by W. Somerset Maugham
I read this novella years ago and still remember it as a good story. Maugham is one of my favorite authors.

A few days ago I streamed the film adaptation:
"Up at the Villa" (2000)
CAST: Kristin Scott Thomas, Sean Penn, Anne Bancroft, James Fox

This is a wonderful suspense story. This particular film version is very lush in scenery and dress. Beautiful Kristi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the only Maugham I've read which I nearly disliked. The story is psychological suspense: woman picks up stranger out of the kindness of her heart, tragedy ensues, woman and man try to avert disaster. I disliked the portrayal of the main characters: Mary is both unnaturally perfect and unnaturally stupid, while her male counterpart is supposedly sexy and yet merely overbearing. The relationship set up at the end of the book just looks abusive to me, and I don't care for Maugham's attitude ...more
Ellie M
My first W. Somerset Maugham but it won't be my last. Whilst I found this story a bit silly, it was well written and I'm looking forward to reading The Painted Veil for a group challenge later this year.

Up at the Village is a short book, a novella, and tells the story of a widow who has travelled to Italy to recover from her marriage to a drunken womaniser. She's beautiful, sociable and has friends who own a villa in the Florentine hills where she has lived for the past few months. The story op
Steve Dewey
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, fiction, maugham
I think I'm turning into something of a Somerset Maugham fan. I've yet to read anything truly bad by him. I bought The Painted Veil some years back on a whim from a charity shop, and it took me a couple of years to get around to reading it. When I did, I enjoyed it, and liked his style. Since then I've read various of his books.

This is more of a novella, or a very long short story. As the books of his I've read so often seem to do, Up at the Villa involves members of the smart set of his time, t
Catia.borboleta Da Silva
Gostei muito de ler este pequeno livro. Li-o em 2 horas
Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
Maugham proves yet again why he's the king of drama! Love it!
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a lovely, smooth and intelligent writer.
Claudiu D.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi-a placut destul de mult acest mic roman, desi se cam indeparteaza de ceea ce ai asocia imediat cu Maugham.
Nu stiu de ce, dar actiunea m-a dus cu gandul la Camus, la "Strainul" - pastrand totusi proportiile.
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary Panton é uma jovem viuva que se encontra em Florença numa bela casa emprestada por uns amigos de modo a restabelecer-se da morte do marido e pensar no que havia de fazer com a sua vida.

À semelhança de tantas outras ocasiões, aceita o convite para jantar de uns amigos e é assim que se vê num restaurante rodeada de um grupo de pessoas, algumas delas algo curiosas.

Nesse período dá-se um acontecimento que se prolongará não apenas no regresso a casa de Mary, como durante toda a noite, acontecime
Dec 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Somerset Maugham ao jeito de Harlequim. Uma tolice pegada. Mas, como já li por aqui, imagino que também ele tivesse contas para pagar.

Se não estivesse assinado por aquele que se tornou num dos meus autores favoritos de há dois anos para cá, não conseguia acreditar que este romance fosse dele. Sim, é verdade, encontramos Somerset Maugham nas pequenas descrições da vila e do palácio onde decorre a cena. Mas é um vislumbre tão ténue que quase passa despercebido. "Paixão em Florença" é um livro de b
Sep 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As always well observed, atmospheric sense of place. This novella is set in Tuscany in a villa overlooking the beauty and grandeur of Florence. Here the princess blighted by first love awaits the arrival of her suitor Edgar Swift, an older wiser family friend who is about to become the Governor of Bengal. Whilst Mary procrastinates on his proposal two other suitors attempt to win her hand, the notorius womaniser Rowley and the penniless art student Karl. Tragedy ensues as Mary is faced with a ru ...more
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'ho letto tutto d'un fiato e mi è piaciuto moltissimo. L'ho trovato scritto bene, arguto e intelligente, una bella sorpresa! Durante la lettura mi sembrava di guardare un cortometraggio o un film in una vecchia sala cinematografica, alcune scene poi mi hanno ricordato quelle pellicole in bianco e nero dei film muti in cui un'automobile d'epoca scorrazza in una strada polverosa tra boschi e radure. Bello perché un po' assurdo ma con un ritmo irresistibile. Impossibile chiuderlo prima di essere a ...more
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mara by: Anna

If I needed to sum up this book in a phrase (I'm not sure what such an occasion might be) I would be torn between going with "It seemed like a good idea at the time" and (if I were in a meme-mood) a solid "Well that escalated quickly".

Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, maugham
Wow, Maugham seems to have written this in a hurry - was it my bad edition or his hastiness that had Edgar brown-eyed at the beginning of the book and blue-eyed by the end of it?
Anyway, a rather shallowish, yellowish sort of novel. I can't bring myself to give less than 3 stars, but this was not the Maugham I love.
Pequeno em número de páginas, mas tremendamente intenso, este é o terceiro livro que leio de Somerset Maugham - depois de A Lua e Cinco Tostões e Servidão Humana. Só não lhe dei 5* porque, depois da genialidade de Servidão Humana, soube-me a pouco, mas cimentou em mim a vontade de procurar ler todas as suas obras. Genial!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • England Made Me
  • Gigi & The Cat
  • Prater Violet
  • The Public Image
  • The Worm Forgives the Plough
  • The Angelic Avengers
  • La Guerre et la Paix II
  • Novos Contos Da Montanha
  • Master of the Moor
  • A Tuscan Childhood
  • Lady Anna
  • Heavy Sand
  • A Certain Smile
  • The Plumed Serpent
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 almost l
More about W. Somerset Maugham...

Share This Book

“If there's anything I dislike it's the violin", she answered. "Why one should want to hear anyone scrape the hairs of a horse's tail against the guts of a dead cat is something I shall never understand.” 8 likes
“There was a curious sense of apprehension in her heart. He was certainly very handsome. It would be thrilling to be the wife of the Governor of Bengal and very nice to be grand and have the ADCs [Aide de Camps] running about to do one’s bidding” 0 likes
More quotes…