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Mrs Craddock

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1903. ... Next day, after luncheon, Miss Ley retired to the drawing-room and unpacked the books which had just arrived from Mudie. She looked through them, and read a page here and there to see what they were like, thinking meanwhile of the meal they had just finished. Edward Craddock had been somewhat nervous, sitting uncomfortably on his chair, too officious, perhaps, in handing things to Miss Ley, salt and pepper and the like, as he saw she wanted them. He evidently wished to make himself amiable. At the same time he was subdued, and not gaily enthusiastic as might be expected from a happy lover. Miss Ley could not help asking herself if he really loved her niece. Bertha was obviously without a doubt on the subject. She had been radiant, keeping her eyes all the while fixed upon the young man as if he were the most delightful and wonderful object she had ever seen. Miss Ley was surprised at the girl's expansiveness, contrasting with her old reserve. She seemed now not to care a straw if all the world saw her emotions. She was not only happy to be in love, she was proud also. Miss Ley laughed aloud at the doctor's idea that he could disturb the course of such passion.... But if Miss Ley, well aware that the watering-pots of reason could not put out those raging fires, had no intention of hindering the match, neither had she a desire to witness the preliminaries thereof; and after luncheon, remarking that she felt tired and meant to lie down, went into the drawingroom alone. It pleased her to think she could at the same time suit the lovers'" pleasure and her own convenience. She chose that book from the bundle which seemed most promising, and began to read. Presently the door was opened by a servant, and Miss Glover was announced. An expression of annoyance passe...

256 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1902

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About the author

W. Somerset Maugham

1,436 books4,985 followers
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 literally starved while pouring out novels and plays.

Maugham wrote at a time when experimental modernist literature such as that of William Faulkner, Thomas Mann, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf was gaining increasing popularity and winning critical acclaim. In this context, his plain prose style was criticized as 'such a tissue of clichés' that one's wonder is finally aroused at the writer's ability to assemble so many and at his unfailing inability to put anything in an individual way.

During World War I, Maugham worked for the British Secret Service . He travelled all over the world, and made many visits to America. After World War II, Maugham made his home in south of France and continued to move between England and Nice till his death in 1965.

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5 stars
272 (23%)
4 stars
482 (41%)
3 stars
345 (29%)
2 stars
62 (5%)
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11 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 129 reviews
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
May 18, 2022
Mrs Craddock, W. Somerset Maugham

Mrs Craddock, is a novel, by: William Somerset Maugham, first published in 1902. The story of a rich woman Bertha, who falls in love with a peasant named Edward, marries him with a thousand wishes, but soon realizes that he loves his wife, and there is no reciprocal love. Life becomes a hell for Bertha (who wants love and that's it), the story of Bertha's suffering to the reader, the struggles, the love turning into hatred, And then there is indifference, and indifference.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهارم ماه آگوست سال1996میلادی

عنوان: پیروزی عشق (بانو کراداک)؛ نوشته: سامرست موام؛ مترجم: فیروزه بهبهانی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر پانوس، سال1374، در368ص، موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده20م

داستان زنی ثروتمند است؛ به نام «برتا»، که عاشق یک رعیت به نام «ادوارد» میشود، و با هزار آرزو با او ازدواج میکند، اما پس از گذشت مدت کوتاهی متوجه میشود، که او عاشق همسر خود است، و عشق متقابلی وجود ندارد. زندگی برای «برتا» (که خواستار عشق است و بس) به جهنمی تبدیل میشود، داستان رنج «برتا» را به خوانشگر نشان میدهد، کشمکشها، تبدیل شدن عشق به نفرت؛ و سپس بی اعتنایی، و بی تفاوتی است

تاریخ نخستین خوانش 12/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 27/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,196 reviews9,472 followers
November 2, 2020
Of the five possible ratings we give books here, three stars is the most irritating. It looks like a hmmm yeah okay blah blah not bad, didn’t rock my world kind of statement but it in fact hides complexities other ratings don’t have. You know where you are with one, two, four and five stars. But three can be 2.5 rounded up – it was bad but I love this author so I will be kind, or, it was horribly written but the main idea was great, etc, or on the other hand it can be 3.5 rounded down, kind of within sight of greatness but just missing, like a cathedral with no stained glass windows.

This Somerset Maughan novel is a 3.5. It was written when he was 26 which is a rather ghastly thought because it’s way too clever and insightful for any 26 year old. Starts off as a silky funny social comedy all about the landed gentry of merry England circa 1899. There is much talk about eating :

Dr Ramsay ate his lunch with a voracity that Miss Ley thought must be a satisfaction to his butcher.

Mrs Ramsay…thought of nothing beyond her husband’s enormous appetite and the methods of subduing it.

If health and a good digestion are all that is necessary in a husband, Bertha certainly ought to be the most contented woman alive.

but then moves swiftly into a careful, sympathetic and convincing portrait of a marriage between the lovely young Bertha and the stolid unthinking Edward, a handsome big strong man with not too many brains. This marriage is quite wrong from the start :

Love to her was a fire, a flame that absorbed the rest of life; love to him was a convenient and necessary institution of Providence, a matter about which there was as little need for excitement as about the ordering of a new suit of clothes

The focus is always on Bertha who gets gradually worn down by this bovine hunk she thought she loved and the tone downshifts into explorations of dark psychological landscapes of wretched wrenched emotion - it must be one of the best novels about a female character written by a man - but it always effortlessly surfaces time and again into the daylight of ironic social fun.

The most hilarious section is when the Bovine Hunk goes into politics and gets elected as a local councilor. It turns out that his brand of semi-coherent gibberish is just what the public had been looking for.

This was my first Somerset Maugham – it seems he has a dodgy reputation these days, maybe because he was way too successful and wrote novels, stories, plays, essays and probably songs and shopping lists too. But I will be reading him again for sure.
Profile Image for Djali ❀.
112 reviews99 followers
February 19, 2022
Un libro che definirei perfetto, di quelli che ti rimangono addosso come cicatrici sulla pelle.
A distanza di sei anni dalla lettura, non riesco a togliermelo dalla testa. Finitomi tra le mani quasi per caso, rovistando curiosamente tra i vecchi volumi di casa, polveroso, ingiallito dal tempo, con pagine mangiate, è finito tra i libri che hanno segnato la mia storia di lettrice e, senza dubbio, tra quelli che mi hanno fatto riscoprire il piacere della lettura e grazie ai quali ho continuato, anzi, ripreso a divorare i libri.
Prosa impeccabile. La paura di leggere altro di Maugham è forte, sono convinta che pochi siano all’altezza di questo.
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,737 reviews1,469 followers
February 8, 2018
Excerpt from Wiki:

"Maugham had some difficulty finding a publisher (for this book). Completed in 1900, the novel was eventually published in 1902 by William Heinemann, but only on the condition that the author took out passages which, according to Heinemann, might have offended the readers. A successful and popular book, Mrs Craddock was reissued in 1903 and again in 1908. In 1938 the first non-Bowdlerized version, stylistically improved by Maugham, came out."

Non-Bowdlerized means a non-censored version, i.e. Heinemann's previous omissions had been reinserted. This is what I have read, the 1938 edition based on Maugham's original manuscript with only minor punctuation and grammatical corrections. It begins with a short but interesting introduction about both the book and its author.

In this novel, W. Somerset Maugham describes extremely well the marriage of two, where love is not equally reciprocated. Which would you choose: to love another with all your heart or to be yourself loved with passion? Think about this awhile. It is not a simple question.

Bertha Ley comes to be married to Edward Craddock. Bertha is passionate and devoted. Edward is virile, handsome and strong, at least at the start, when they marry. A good man, virtuous and honorable but also level-headed and placid and totally obtuse to Bertha’s emotional needs! Is he really as kind as he seems? She is marrying down, but she doesn’t care; she is marrying for love! He is marrying up in society, but only if he can prove his value to those of status in the community. A marriage of two individuals, each having completely different temperaments. Maugham draws each superbly well.

The setting is a country village, Blackstable, in Kent, about 1890 to 1900. There are excursions to London and Paris and Rome. The question is: who will make these excursions and who will remain home? He or she, but not both.

The story is about taking chances.

Th story is realistic and true to life.

Maugham capably and fairly draws two diametrically opposed characters. He uses irony often. He equally well makes clear his own values, but never shoving his views down your throat. Besides marital incompatibility, religion and politics, love and passion, common good sense, public opinion, education and the value of travel are the varied themes cleverly woven into the story. Maugham is talking to his readers, subtlely expressing his views through the story. I like stories that make me think. I also like how he accurately draws another time and place different from my own showing both what is shared what has changed.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Beth Chalmers. I really did not like the voices she uses for several subsidiary female characters, particularly Fanny Glover, the sister of a town vicar; I found these ridiculously squeaky and shrill. Nevertheless, the story is easy to follow, and the other characters’ voices are fine. I also liked how you audibly heard the maturation that occurs in Bertha. I have given the narration three stars; on the whole, I liked it.

If you have not read W. Somerset Maugham, you should. My advice would be though to not necessarily start with his most acclaimed book!

Mrs Craddock 4 stars
Cakes and Ale 4 stars
The Painted Veil 4 stars
Christmas Holiday 3 stars
The Moon and Sixpence 2 stars
Of Human Bondage 2 stars
Profile Image for Sketchbook.
677 reviews218 followers
August 24, 2015
"If love dies--" Don't ask, What if? It always dies.
Get your second wind and go on.
July 22, 2019
دل های ضعیف و ترسو هرگز نمی توانند قلب زنان زیبا را تسخیر کنند

بزرگترین وظیفه آدم این است که دیگران را به حال خود رها کند

خوشبختی هرگز همان نیست که آدم برای خود در خیال مجسم می کند و انتظارش را دارد

بین دو عاشق، همواره یکی عاشق است و دیگری عشق او را می پذیرد. همواره او که عشق می ورزد به خطا رفته است
Profile Image for Richard Seltzer.
Author 17 books120 followers
December 10, 2020
This novel begins with terse and memorable ironic wit like Oscar Wilde, like George Bernard Shaw. The British caste system and its related prejudices and pompous tomfoolery are easy targets. The author might very well have hammered home obvious messages of social justice, with the characters as pawns in a game of moral social-consciousness. But, miracle of miracles, the main character, Bertha AKA Mrs. Craddock comes alive and does what she will, and falls in and out of love, matures and falls in and out of love again, as she advances to the ripe old age of thirty. And the reader gets wrapped up in her life and the trite moral and social lessons are all forgotten. Her husband, from a slightly lower caste, who rises to the ranks of a gentleman through hard work and ingenuity and who might in the hands of a Tolstoy have become an exemplary figure like Levin in Anna Karenina is remembered by his widow and by the reader as an emotionless though well-meaning man, incapable of passionate love.

This is not a great work of literature, but I thoroughly enjoyed it because Bertha was so very much alive. And for me, that's what makes a novel worth reading -- plot be damned. I crave that illusion of getting into someone else's skin, imagining what it would be like to live a life very different from my own. And Maugham is a master at that kind of magic, even in his minor works.

Another explanation of the pleasure of reading such a dated and long-forgotten novel appears on pp. 144-145
"She found unexpected satisfaction in the half-forgotten masterpieces of the past, in poets not quite divine whom fashion had left on one side, in the playwright, novelists, and essayists whose remembrance lives only with the bookworm. It is a relief sometimes to look away from the bright sun of perfect achievement; and the writers who appealed to their age and not to posterity have by contrast a subtle charm. Undazzled by their splendor, one may discern more easily their individualities and the spirit of their time; they have pleasant qualities not always found among their betters, and there is even a certain pathos in their incomplete success."
Profile Image for Benjamin Duffy.
148 reviews613 followers
December 3, 2009
"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 Of Human Bondage, it's a powerful story in its own right. For one of Maugham's earliest published works, it already shows his impressive capacity to drag the reader with him through joy and despair. It also shows his knack for presenting characters as three-dimensional people with realistic motivations and needs; he does an amazing job in this novel of presenting characters in bitter conflict with each other, yet he refuses to take the side of either one, leaving the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

Some of the writing is a little precious and melodramatic compared to his stark, raw later work; this is clearly a novel with one foot still in the 19th century. But it was still a very worthwhile read, for its emotional impact and as an interesting glimpse into Maugham's development as a writer.
Profile Image for Cynthia.
633 reviews43 followers
November 23, 2017
W. Somerset Maugham is one of my all time favorite writers but I was very disappointed in Mrs. Craddock. I’m still sorting why I didn’t like it but one thing that grated was the exaggerated emotions of the main character. Even taking into account her extreme age, eighteen when the story opens, her lost in puppy love gushing about a local farmer named Edward Craddock did not ring true or I suppose teenagers do have such feelings but they continue into her twenties and we have to hear about them unrelentingly.

Throw into the mix that I listened to this novel on librivox.org and the no doubt well intentioned reader made Mrs. Craddock’s voice whiny to the extreme as well has having Edward’s blithely practical reactions to his wife’s need for affection blustery to the nth degree. Written 1902 this was Maugham’s fourth novel. I suppose it could feel heartening to young writers to know that even the best authors have a learning curve.
Profile Image for Arwen56.
1,218 reviews268 followers
April 22, 2015
“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 despoti. Non per cattiveria, ma semplicemente perché questa è la nostra natura. Ci piacerebbe che tutto precedesse secondo i nostri desiderata, ci piacerebbe che tutti fossero felici quando noi siamo felici e che tutti fossero tristi se noi siamo tristi. Ma le cose non funzionano così, è bene farsene una ragione.

Il pessimismo di Maugham, devo dire, mi è congeniale, per cui mi sono molto divertita leggendo questo romanzo, che è una delle sue prime opere e contiene diversi elementi autobiografici, come avviene quasi sempre, del resto, a chiunque scriva. L’autore ha una scarsa opinione del sesso femminile, ma neanche gli uomini ne escono molto bene. Di conseguenza, meriti e demeriti vengono equamente distribuiti tra le due parti. Ne risulta un quadro piuttosto veritiero, a mio modesto avviso, dei rapporti sociali e personali, anche se un tantino grezzo e, talvolta, parecchio superficiale. Il che è un peccato. Ma, ripeto, questa è uno dei suoi primi scritti. Non subito, ma a breve, sono intenzionata a leggere “Schiavo d’amore”, forse il suo romanzo più famoso. E vedremo come andrà. Le premesse per una buona lettura ci sono tutte.
Profile Image for Laura.
6,872 reviews556 followers
December 19, 2014
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 Sixpence
3* Liza of Lambeth
3* Ashenden
4* For Services Rendered and Other Plays
2* The Circle - A Comedy in Three Acts
3* The Magician
4* Mrs Craddock
TR Cakes and Ale
TR Up At The Villa
TR The Trembling of a Leaf
Profile Image for Wanda.
629 reviews
December 10, 2017
19 DEC 2014 -- spied on Laura's update feed. Sounds super.

Free download here -- http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/47470

Thank you, Laura! You ALWAYS read the best books!

10 DEC 2017 - a realistic novel of marriage. Bertha brought her unrealistic expectations of marriage and person into her relationship and marriage to Mr Craddock. She gave in to her carnal feelings and married the best looking specimen of man she found - something that does not always work out. Also, Craddock was a man of simple needs and pleasures - he did not require the mental and emotional stimulation which Bertha did - the farm and his wife were quite enough for him. A marriage between two completely opposite individuals can work if each is committed to the hard work to make it so. Bertha was not so committed and Craddock did not possess enough experience to understand Mrs Craddock.

Profile Image for Cheryl.
941 reviews
January 13, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Ava.
157 reviews206 followers
July 17, 2019
این کتاب هم از اولین کارهای موام محسوب می شه و یه جایی در گذشته دور تقریبا😊 یه جایی حدود یک قرن پیش چاپ شده . اولین چاپش گویا سال ۱۹۰۲ بوده. از نظر یه خواننده ی امروزی کتاب یه مقدار خود سانسوری داره. اما باز هم ازین نظر که موام مشاهده گر خوبی ه و انگیزه ها و احساسات شخصیت هاش رو خوب وصف می کنه، مورد توجه هستش. داستان بسیار ساده است و و راوی سرانجام یک ازدواج عجولانه در بافت انگلیس اون زمان هستش. تضاد بین این زن و شوهر گاهی من رو یاد کتاب مادام بواری انداخت.
کتاب چندان جالبی برام نبود اما من همچنان قصد دارم از موام بخونم.

تیر ۹۸
Profile Image for Smitha Murthy.
Author 2 books261 followers
February 27, 2019
Would it be a wee bit scandalous if I say that I liked ‘Mrs Craddock’ even better than Maugham’s classic bildungsroman ‘Of Human Bondage?’ Perhaps. I fell in love with the uneven pace of ‘Mrs.Craddock.’ There was something that I could relate to in the slow unraveling of a marriage that Maugham paints here. It’s not his best work, yes, as the narration is unwieldy and Maugham tries a bit too hard to be Oscar Wilde. And he almost succeeds. In Bertha’s aunt, he has created a character for the ages. I laughed aloud at some of her witticisms, reminiscent of the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey.

Ultimately, I finished this in a day because it was just unputdownable.
Profile Image for Wealhtheow.
2,432 reviews543 followers
May 3, 2007
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 lovebirds. This is a brutal book, but there are many beautiful flashes of prose and psychological insight. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book. Overall, it’s a much better version of Ethan Frome.
Profile Image for Elena T. (gwynplaine26th)  .
563 reviews60 followers
March 27, 2021
Vibrante affresco di amori, freddure e temperamenti nel verde paesaggio del Kent e della provincia inglese vittoriana. La parte finale è indubbiamente la più interessante, l'evoluzione e la crescita emotiva di Berta, penetrante e non più così indulgente tra le debolezze umane.
Profile Image for Fonch.
365 reviews289 followers
May 4, 2023
Ladies, and gentlemen if Providence is propitious my intention is to write three reviews, and more after the great YouTuber @quillobarrios in Thursday's live told me, that I hardly post anything on Instagram. By the way I recommend his wonderful channel is one of the great youtubers of Real Madrid. From today they will have the honor of enjoying it triple, since it will edit three videos per day (the Youtube account of Quillo Barrios is in the review of this book, which was published on Instagram).
Regarding the book that concerns us, which has been my last reading (penultimate, since a few days ago "Daughters of Mary" by the Valencian writer Fernando Vizcaíno Casas was read https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... ). I suppose you remember, and if I do not refresh your memory, that my friend Enrique Casany Alonso-villalobos was promised that he would reread, and a review of the wonderful "The razor's edge" would be written https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... the fact that April has been such a weak month in readings. It made me postpone reading "The Razor's Edge", and dedicate myself to expanding my readings for the challenge of @goodreads. Instead he read this book, which Maugham wrote in the late nineteenth century, and which he reissued twenty years later with some modification.

It saddens me sovereignly, but much to my regret I have suspended this novel. Before explaining my reasons, another fact must be added. This book is the second longest book Maugham wrote after "Human Servitude" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... (others like "Razor's Edge" seem longer to me). Nor is it that it has so many pages 286 in particular. However, and returning to Ariadne's thread despite how well written it is, and despite being a wonderful analysis of the life of a marriage, its crises, and heartbreaks. Better than George Eliot's "Middlemarch" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... (although I like Eliot's work better as a novel). With all this book I have been very bored. I must confess. It has a virtue that, is that, it is able to recreate a great period of the life of a group of characters during a large period of time (that was one of the virtues of the literature of pre, and between wars), but unlike "Thepainted veil" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9..., or "The razor's edge" where the spiritual progression of a person is appreciated (his metanoia), or conversion. Nor does it take us to exotic settings such as "The Sixpenny Moon" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4... (a life inspired by Gaugin, which may well have inspired Irving Stone's bionovels "The Torment, and the Ecstasy" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3..., or his novels about Darwin. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1..., Sigmund Freud https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7..., or Vincent van Gogh https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7... https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... among others. If "Torment, and Ecstasy" inspired Carol Reed's wonderful adaptation. Van Gogh's inspired Vincent Minelli's film "The Madman with Red Hair" played by Kirk Douglas, and in which Gaugin also appears whose interpretation earned him an Academy Award to Mexican Anthony Quinn. (Personally, I liked Kirk Douglas' performance much better.) Nor is it a plot as fantastic, nor esoteric as "The Wizard" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... inspired by the life of Aleister Crowley https://www.goodreads.com/author/show.... It is not the first suspense I give to Somerset Maugham https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8... (who for me is one of the best writers I have read, but still has books in which I have suspended him, such as "The Narrow corner" and some other short stories). Many writers would sell their soul (especially the writers of our time, although they do not confess it, at least the one who has a vocation as a writer, yes) to write novels as good as those written by W. Somerset Maugham. I remember a "The Narrow Corner" that I put a two, because there was a suicide, and a murder, and it seemed a tad immoral, but it was well written, and had coas of interest like that translator of the works of the Portuguese Camoens https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7... https://www.goodreads.com/author/show.... That work had a Conradian touch https://www.goodreads.com/author/show.... But so far this is the only work of Maugham that I recognize, that has become heavy for me, and has bored me.
By the way, if Maugham had wanted to write a historical novel he would have had a tremendous success as shown in the novel "Then, Now" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... (incomprehensible the very low rating that this wonder has in Goodreads) where there are impeccable recreations of César Borgia, and Machiavelli (whose experiences in this story will be the fruit of inspiration for his novel "The "Mandrake" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8... https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... ). We'll see if Samuel Shellabarger's "The Prince of Foxes" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... (a novel that is one of my friend's favorites @JulieDavis https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... to whom I take the opportunity to send an affectionate Hispanic hug) is able to overcome it. I think it's going to cost you a lot.
This novel is more realistic, and tells more everyday events. The protagonist is a girl with property whose father died, and is raised by her aunt Polly Leys (no, she is not Aunt Polly from "Tom Sawyer" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2..., nor the adorable girl created by Eleanor H. Porter https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... . The girl that many of us would love to have as a daughter. Since it is one of the most beneficent beings, and optimistic of universal literature). Aunt Polly is the most interesting character in the novel. It's a shame that neither Berta Leys (later Craddock), nor Edward Craddock (my sister's name in English likes it very much) are up to the task. One of the problems with this story is the traditional Maughamian misogyny whose exception might be Carey's second girlfriend in "Human Bondage." But Maugham usually has a terrible opinion of his female characters, perhaps the most repulsive being Mildred (along with Nefer Nefer of "Sinuhe the Egyptian" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...) a man-eater. Some may be a bit foolish like Lawrence Darrell's girlfriend, or destructive like Sophie Campbell, or immature like Kitty Fane from "The Painted Veil", or they can be irritating like some Salvation Army character, even if they end up getting their man. Maugham tends to treat the Catholic Church much better than the Protestant Church, and something in his favor is his Hispanophilia. He didn't believe in the Black Legend as shown in "Catalina" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9... (his latest novel, and his note also seems to me to have an unfairly low rating on Goodreads), and he was a lover of El Greco.
The problem I see with this novel is that except with Polly, it is very difficult to empathize with the characters. Bertha is despite what her aunt says is a rather foolish character, irrational, and subject to her passions. She is in love with Edward, and against all odds, and tide insists on marrying him despite, to the opposition of her tutor Doctor Ramsay, and the meddlesome, nosy Fanny Glover. Maugham says that the inspiration to create this character was Amelia Sedley (the adorable but tasteless protagonist of William Thackeray's "The Vanity Fair" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... although the real protagonist is Becky Sharp the unscrupulous careerist who could inspire Scarlett O'Hara https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...). Perhaps Maugham is too harsh on Fanny Glover's character, especially at the end. As for Craddock, he is a country man, hardworking, and somewhat chauvinistic. At first I thought he might be a fortune hunter, who was going after Bertha's capital. But I was wrong. Bertha's problem is that due to the adoration she feels for Edward Craddock she happens to omit his faults, and insist on marrying him against all odds, although according to her he may be a dissolute, a drunkard, or a gambler (which is none of those things). The opposition of Ramsay, and Miss Glover is due to social snobbery, which is fiercely attacked by Maugham. Then as the story progresses we will see how they change their minds, and go on to defend Craddock tooth and nail.
Of the best of the novel is undoubtedly Maugham's acidic dialogues (some very politically incorrect as when Polly Leys tells Doctor Ram, sey that the woman is intolerant, and spiteful. Something that cannot be said today), except for some honorable dialogues of Polly with the Doctor, Miss Glover, or Edward Craddock. Maugham is ruthless with Bertha, who is unable to realize the success, which has her husband, and that it is not he who arouses the hilarity of the Brandertons, Hancock, Ryle Hoycot, or Anthill but her. Her passion makes her act like a spoiled child, and capricious. She wants more attention from her husband, but what she does is make a fool of herself every time, which presents herself. I think there are two times when Edward Craddock goes a little too far when he replaces her with Mrs. Glover as a tennis partner (because she doesn't play so well. He said protocol prevented him from taking her as a couple throughout the event. I understand that she feels hurt). On the subject of beech trees, the owner is not her husband, and yet, despite her (Craddock's) protests, she ends up cutting them. There is a very dramatic event, that every parturient who has suffered it will understand the evolution of Bertha, since it changes a person this fact. The relationship as the film of Viaggio a Italia (film by Roberto Rosellini starring George Sanders and, Ingrid Bergman). It cools down, they even end up having several crises (it seemed to me a realistic study of the phases, and crises that a marriage goes through). Many times Bertha will threaten separation, or divorce. There will be a time when she flirts with a young libertine, she may have become Madame Bovary https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2..., Ana Ozores https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6..., or Ana Karenina https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8... , or even the suburb Liza of Lambeth https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... (this one does have the note, which I think, that corresponds to it), since trousers (happy expression of Dorothy Leigh Sayers https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...) with a young libertine, who could be his daughter. In fact, Bertha could quietly be a Cougar. Thanks to his aunt, and the love he feels for his aunt, he will prevent him from having such a terrible fate. There will also be jealousy, quarrels, or misunderstandings. Bertha is unable to perceive reality, and the success that her husband has. His political triumph is due to something that is happening to the boredom of the political class, and that people are fed up with the system, and its management, and that speaks to the people of their needs. In any case, one cannot sympathize with Craddock too chauvinistic, and ignorant, see his bad conception of literature, and his ignorance when judging the letters of Madame Sevigny https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... whom he despises for being a foreigner. What counts is exciting, but then it is very boring. It is true that the characters travel to London, Paris, Rome, but the novel is too corseted. It's a bit more realistic. The end could be intuited, and he lets it fall, although at first it is dreamlike. But this proves how unconscious, and irresponsible, Edward Craddock is. It is very interesting the reflection that Maugham makes of suicide, and its cause that is to have stopped believing in God. He goes so far as to say that what prevents suicides is the fear of condemnation at the Last Judgment. As religiosity has weakened, these things happen, and suicide has become a pandemic that our rulers try to hide from us. The ending is very good, and shows the purifying power of literature. In fact, the end is a perfect summary of the whole work. Perhaps not as good finisher as Evelyn Waugh https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... although, if more regular. I like better how Maugham writes. Although "Brideshead Revisited" is https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... better than everything Maugham has written, and I like Waugh better. Before I start writing my next review. There is one thing I forgot to say about the end, which I will not reveal, but which is a characteristic of W. Somerset Maugham. Although Maugham's endings in this case may be sad. They will never leave a bad body in the reader, because Maugham has a quality that my admired Don @juan_manuel_de_prada https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... understands and that is that he puts saccharin, or in other words. You sweeten the ending. In such a way that it does not end up being a tragedy like the novels of Thomas Hardy https://www.goodreads.com/author/show..., or the books of Arthur Schopenhauer https://www.goodreads.com/author/show.... On the contrary, as the back cover of my book says, they are his books comedies of life. This debate was had by my schoolmate, brother, and friend Kunniotani, and I. That he does not live at the cinema to see movies that depress him, as happened to me this Friday watching the night of the living dead of Romero, but that one is going to enjoy, and have fun, that life is hard enough to add more deprivations. He did not buy essentially the speech to my friend Kunniotani, because sometimes it is necessary to make people aware of showing them unjust situations, and the desire to end them. Of course, the problem is that we are going over with so much denunciation, and we are depriving people of hope. Charles Dickens does https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... do more to change the injustices he experienced in his time than any activist today. That is why I think Maugham's behavior is optimal, and how this novel ends. I regret that the stupidity of the characters, and a too bland plot forced me to put this note. I can only tell Somerset Maugham (Maugham was the inspiration for the character played by Morgan Freeman in "Seven" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...) what Maira told Steve Urkel in Family Matter." Don't worry Steve my Einstein also had his failures," https://www.goodreads.com/author/show.... Next time I think he will come out much better. With all the pain in my heart my grade is (2/5). PD. By the way Maugham was able to devote himself to writing, because G.K. Chesterton was https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... the one who approved, and recommended his manuscript "Liza of Lambeth". So we owe it to G.K. Chesterton to be able to enjoy Maugham. One more gift from our beloved San G.K.C.
Profile Image for Dana Loo.
713 reviews6 followers
October 28, 2016
E' il primo romanzo di Somerset Maugham che leggo, tra l'altro un'opera quasi prima e, anche per questo, lettura davvero sorprendente, coinvolgente sopratutto per quel che concerne l'evoluzione della protagonista man mano che si dipana la sua storia con Edward. Un romanzo di rottura con la tradizione vittoriana che espone, in modo decisamente moderno e senza reticenze, un conflitto di personalità ma sopratutto di sentimenti all'interno di un matrimonio piuttosto anomalo dove Bertha, una giovane donna volitiva, indipendente, passionale sceglie, sfidando più di qualche parere contrario, di sposare un bel giovane socialmente e intellettualmente inferiore, ma integro e di sani principi, il fattore della sua antica e nobile dimora. Bertha è assolutamente presa da Edward, lo idolatra, non vede alcun difetto in lui, è totalmente dominata dall' amore e dalla passione che la rende quasi cieca di fronte ai limiti che l'uomo rivela nella sfera privata. Amato e rispettato da tutti, onesto lavoratore, pilastro della piccola comunità rurale ma totalmente anaffettivo, indifferente alle sue sollecitazioni, incurante e inconsapevole delle umiliazioni e del dolore che infligge alla giovane ed eccitabile moglie la quale, capisce ben presto che Edward è incapace di ricambiare la sua passione, semplicemente od ottusamente non se ne cura. Un uomo irritante nella sua giovialità, con una visione del matrimonio fin troppo convenzionale, ancorata ancora a vecchie ideologie. Dopo un episodio tragico, la perdita del loro bambino, nato morto, e di fronte all'ennesimo comportamente insensibile del marito, comincia ad aprirsi un baratro tra i due, ma è sempre Bertha l'unica consapevole del fallimento del loro matrimonio, sopratutto del mutare del suo amore, della sua passione in disprezzo e poi in indifferenza. Cominciano le separazioni sempre più lunghe nella speranza che lui possa sentire la sua mancanza, le tentazioni nella figura del giovane cugino, l'ennesima delusione... La parte finale è la più bella dal punto di vista psicologico ed introspettivo, dell'evoluzione del pensiero di Bertha, della sua dolorosa presa di coscienza e, alla fine, dell'accettazione di questa unione per quello che è. Se non che improvvisamente... Personaggio interessantissimo ma non è da meno zia Polly che, dall'alto della sua cinica e disincantata visione del mondo, ha subito ben chiara la portata della situazione, anche se preferisce non interferire e lasciare la nipote libera di decidere del proprio destino...
Profile Image for Amanda Brookfield.
Author 25 books82 followers
July 13, 2016
When Somerset Maugham first presented the manuscript of 'Mrs Craddock' to his publishers it was deemed too shocking to publish. When the book finally did see light of day, in 1902, it was on the condition that the 'shocking' sections were removed. Knowing this, it is impossible not to embark on a reading of the novel in its current unedited form without speculating on what had been judged too terrible to appear in print, while at the same time marvelling that any publisher would want to leave out a single one of its brilliant sentences.

Lots of authors swing in and out of female and male heads in the telling of their stories, but I have to say that - speaking as a woman - Somerset Maugham's understanding of the female psyche is uncanny. In fact, if I had not known that the author of this wonderful story was male, then I swear I would have decided that such insights could only have come from a fellow female! Couple that with the book having been written a hundred and twenty odd years ago and the achievement is all the more remarkable.

As its title suggests, 'Mrs Craddock' is essentially the story of one woman, Berta Ley, who inherits a lot of money on her father's death and promptly marries Edward Craddock, a placid, unimaginative man with whom she believes herself to be deeply in love. Love is a funny business. If you believe yourself to be in love then....you are! But Maugham shows us so skilfully, right from the get-go, that this is not going to be a match made in heaven. Berta is wilful, and romantic, and misguided, ensuring in so many ways that the road she travels is never going to be easy. Yet neither do her choices turn out to be wholly bad either, happiness and satisfaction often emerging from the most unexpected situations. Best of all, it never feels as if Maugham is judging Berta, or indeed any of his characters. Instead, he creates the impression of merely presenting what happened in this woman's life, managing in the process both to heighten the tension of his plot, and also to create the clever illusion that his story is just a reflection of the haphazard roller-coaster of real life: Stuff happens. We make decisions. Some of them go wrong. We regroup. We make more decisions. There unexpected highs and terrible downs. Surviving it all can take many forms.

All of which made 'Mrs Craddock' for me one of the most perceptive and poignant portraits of a marriage that I have ever read. Its realism is startling and compelling. No wonder the Victorians/Edwardians were shocked!! And by that I refer to the realism of feelings explored, rather than anything remotely 'pornographic'. There are physical longings aplenty between the characters, making the world go round as they always do, but never overstepping the bounds of decency in terms of how they are described. Maugham is too great a writer for that, knowing that what is suggested has far more power than what is actually set down in black and white.

At various points of reading I kept imagining that I knew what was going to happen next. But I was always wrong! And that was another reason I loved this novel. A domestic pot-boiler! Vivid and relevant in spite of being 120 years old! Somerset Maugham may have written many more famous titles, but 'Mrs Craddock' has it all.
Profile Image for Swati.
365 reviews55 followers
March 9, 2019
An intimate and intuitive character study. I loved the exploration of the shifts of feelings that different relationships experience. Individual characters, too, like Bertha, Miss Ley, and Gerald were finely drawn. Miss Ley had me chuckling quite a few times with her wry, sarcastic wit.

One of Maugham's lesser known (?) but definitely worthwhile reads.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,595 reviews163 followers
September 18, 2020
I initially enjoyed reading this, but as the story progressed I lost interest. Bertha's over-the-top drama became tedious and unbearable.
Profile Image for Núria.
530 reviews566 followers
November 30, 2011
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 fin, he leído una novela suya entera se han confirmado mis expectativas y siento esa agradable sensación que tiene todo lector cuando descubre un escritor que siente afín y que sabe que le acompañará durante muchos años, porque aún le quedan todos sus libros por leer.

El secreto de William Somerset Maugham es que escribe como los ángeles. Así de simple. Es un estilo limpio, natural, que fluye perfectamente, y que hace que parezca que escribir es lo más fácil del mundo. Es por esto que una novela con una trama muy previsible como ‘La señora Craddock’ te atrapa. Sí, la historia es previsible: chica de buena familia pero venida a menos se enamora de chico de clase más baja que la suya; a pesar de la desaprobación de su entorno se casan; pero luego resulta que la vida en matrimonio no es tan de color rosa como la pintan.

Además, es bastante imposible simpatizar con los dos protagonistas: tanto él como ella son tozudos, egoístas y obtusos. Tampoco son especialmente complejos. Pueden pasar por distintas emociones, pero su carácter no evoluciona, quizás porque Maugham nos quiere decir que las personas no cambian. Quizás en el fondo su desgracia es que no pueden cambiar, son incapaces de adaptarse el uno al otro: ella siempre seguirá aspirando a una vida ridículamente romántica y llena de pasión y él siempre se decantará por el lado práctico y prosaico de las cosas. Y a pesar de todo esto, la novela es una maravilla.

La mayor virtud que tiene es que describe a la perfección las fases psicológicas por las que pasa la señora Craddock: la pasión amorosa, la decepción, el odio y finalmente la indiferencia. William Somerset Maugham se toma su tiempo: narra pausadamente y con todo detalle esta evolución de sentimientos que no de carácter. Y la forma en que lo hace es envidiable. Al fin y al cabo, lo que cuenta es que en toda relación amorosa hay uno que ama y otro que se deja amar (como en la ‘Servidumbre humana’) y esto es algo con lo que probablemente todo el mundo se pueda identificar.

Otras pequeñas virtudes de la novela: el personaje de la señorita Ley, una tía soltera de la protagonista, ingeniosa, irónica y divertidísima; que la señora Craddock sienta deseo sexual, ya que si se casa con su marido es simplemente por la atracción física que éste le despierta; como señala el hecho de que al principio de una relación todo lo del otro nos parece encantador, pero que luego hasta el más mínimo detalle que antes habíamos adorado ahora nos parece aborrecible y odioso; la mala leche que se deja intuir en el hecho de que el más tonto del pueblo sea considerado un político de primera; la idea que los humanos acabamos adaptándonos a todo, que acabamos superando todas las desgracias y que en el fondo esto es algo realmente terrible.
Profile Image for Po Po.
174 reviews
January 7, 2020
Well, it’s W. Somerset Maugham so you know there’s an existential crisis of some sort that must be dealt with. Heaps of regret, self-doubt, and wondering how you could have possibly made so many wrong turns and ended up in this shithole of a life. There’s the internal battle between Reason and Passion presented in a clever way that proves it’s not so black and white. The strange paradox of Love- it’s a trap and it’s freedom and yes, it’s still really a trap. The innocence intermingles with the cynicism. The need to want and want and want to become closer, but needing to escape even more. Maugham is an extremely keen observer of human behavior and the Machiavellian machinations lurking beneath supposedly pure intentions. The beauty of this story is that it can be taken at face value as romance gone awry. But you can also see it as The Struggle. The struggle of being different in a world that just wants you to behave according to a certain set of rules deemed worthy and appropriate. The struggle of not believing when others around you blindly believe. The struggle of continuing on when you’d rather give up. There’s an authenticity in the perspicuity of Maugham’s analyses of human agony, anger, and anguish. Either he’s been there himself or he’s had a front row seat. (One of the characters, Miss Ley, I’m rather certain is a character that Maugham placed into the story as a stand-in for himself, being an astute + quiet looker-on.) The book isn’t entirely serious- there are surprising moments of levity. Highly recommend.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Atena | آتنا.
383 reviews
May 26, 2020
دل های ضعیف و ترسو هرگز نمی توانند قلب زن های زیبا را تسخیر کنند.

بین دو عاشق همواره یکی عاشق است و دیگری عشق او را می پذیرد.

من فقط می توانم عشقمان را نگه دارم و نبینمت.

مشکل ترین کار برای زنی عاقل این است که تظاهر کند احمق است.

او دیگر نمی باید خود را در دام غم گرفتار کند، به اندازه کافی تحمل کرده بود، و حالا باید ریشه درد را در خود می کشت.

برتا در واقع خسته بود، خسته جسم و روخ، خسته از عشق و تنفر، خسته از آشنایی و معرفت، و خسته از گذشت سالها.

او همه عشقش،همه استعداد و قوه ذهنی اش را بر یک فرد متمرکز کرد، روی ادوارد، و کوشش نهایی خود را در جهت شکستن مانع میان خود و او، و یکی شدن روح و ج��ن شان، بکار برد. برتا او را با تمام نیرو به سوی خود کشید و به جستجو و شناخت اعماق وجود او پرداخت، آرزویش این بود که خود را در ادوارد گم کند. اما عاقبت دید آنچه را که برایش کوشش و جدال می کرده، در واقع غیرقابل دسترس بوده است. شخص من در یک سو ایستاده ام، و باقی دنیا در جانبی دیگر.

من او را دوست داشتم و از دوست داشتن او دست کشیدم.
Profile Image for Nadia Zeemeeuw.
634 reviews12 followers
June 14, 2019
This is the first “early” Maugham I’ve read - and it was good. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this book, though can clearly see that such prolific author as Maugham was definitely got somehow repetitive in his latest works. There are quite a lot parallels you can see between “Mrs Craddock” (1902) and “Theatre” (1937). Apparently some themes were quite important for the author through all his live. The writer even put in his characters’ mouths the same quotes. Anyway “Mrs Craddock” is a fascinating piece of work. You easily can read it as a textbook on borderline personality disorder if you would like. Maugham was an inimitable observer of human nature who just was able to put it in the words irreproachably.
Profile Image for ناصر سليم.
419 reviews20 followers
December 6, 2019
پیروزی عشق!
اثر: سامرست موام
ترجمه: فیروزه بهبهانی

سرگذشت «برتا لی» دختری جوان، ثروتمند، صاحب املاک و از خانواده‌های اصیل و قدیمی در روستای «کرت لی» نزدیک «بلک استیل» واقع در «کنت» انگلستان که در سن هفده سالگی پدرش رو از دست داده و به مدت سه سال و تا سن بیست سالگی به همراه عمه‌اش پلی زندگی می‌کند دختری که سابقا در لندن زندگی می‌کرده و بعداز فوت پدر به همراه عمه‌اش در اراضی خودشان، کرت لی زندگی را میگذرانند.

ابتدای داستان با عشق و ابراز علاقه غیر مستقیم برتا به یکی از جوانان خوش قیافه و خوش هیکل همان روستا به نام «کرداک» شروع می‌شود جوانی که سالها برای خانواده لی کشاورزی کرده و جزو رعیت‌های این خانواده محسوب می‌شود.
در این داستان سامرست موام، به اختلاف‌های ناشی از فاصله‌های طبقاتی، بین چنین زوج‌های که صرفاً به خاطر عشق با یکدیگر ازدواج می‌کنند پرداخته. که خواندنش خالی از لطف نیست.
1,224 reviews20 followers
July 15, 2021
One of Maugham's earlier books and while it's not as accomplished or polished as his later works it's an engaging read none the less. A young woman has lived on the continent for some years first with her father and after his death with her aunt. When she finally comes home to the family pile she shocks the community by marrying a farmer who rents his farm from her estate. But after stubbornly making her bed she realises that they have little in common. Banned when first released this was an entertaining read.
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