London, South Kensington
6 June 2006
MAUGHAM, W. Somerset (1874-1965). Ashenden or the British Agent. London: William Heinemann, 1928. 8°. Original blue cloth (spine lightly faded), dust-jacket (pieces missing from head and foot of spine, a few short tears).
FIRST EDITION of one of Maugham's most abiding novels. 'Among the 1,500 books which represent the entire publishing output of detective short stories in the last one hundred years, only a handful, surprisingly enough, are devoted exclusively to the machinations of secret service agents ... Maugham's Ashenden lifts the secret service sleuth high above the conventional conception of the spy-catcher ... Maugham proved that the secret service story, like the detective story, has come of age', Queen's Quorum 78; Stott A37a.
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