Friday, January 25, 2008

Somerset and All the Maughams.

Somerset Maugham was born today in Paris in 1874 and died in 1965. Although Maugham is known for works such as Cakes and Ale, Of Human Bondage, and The Painted Veil, those that resonate in mystery annals are Ashenden, featuring the spy inspired by Maugham's World War I experiences and later played by John Gielgud (in Hitchcock's Secret Agent) and Alex Jennings (in Ashenden), and The Letter, where Bette Davis so memorably blew away her lover in the opening scene.

The Letter was revived at London's Wyndhams Theatre in 2007 and starred Jenny Seagrove in the Davis role and Anthony Andrews in the Herbert Marshall part. A Lux Radio Theater version with Davis and Marshall can be heard here.

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