Liza of Lambeth
W. Somerset Maugham
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Liza of Lambeth (1897) is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Written while the author was living as a medical student in London, the Maugham’s debut marked an electrifying start to an illustrious career in literature. Controversial for its portrayal of infidelity, domestic violence, and women’s reproductive health, Liza of Lambeth is a gritty realist tale that takes an honest look at the everyday struggles of actual Londoners in a time of celebration and nostalgia for the Empire. Set in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, Liza of Lambeth follows a young woman in her life as a factory worker and caretaker for her ailing mother. Although she is only 18, Liza Kemp is a hard worker who desires more from life than that which she was born into. When a rare holiday gives her the chance to unwind in the countryside with a group of friends, she takes a much-needed break from her daily responsibilities to partake in a carriage ride. There, she meets Jim Blakeston, a married father of five who has recently moved to a home near Liza’s. Drunk on beer, she begins to feel attracted to the man, who sneaks a kiss before the night draws to a close. Soon, they begin an ill-fated affair, sneaking off whenever possible to elude the suspicions of friends and family. As lust turns to violence, Liza learns too late the dangers of trusting men. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of W. Somerset Maugham’s Liza of Lambeth is a classic work of British literature reimagined for modern readers.
pregnancy, London, miscarriage, 19th century, infidelity, adultery, spouse abuse, slums, death, extramarital affair, domestic violence