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Title: Ashenden: or, The British Agent Author: Maugham, W. Somerset [William Somerset] () Date of first publication: A set of short stories, connected in theme, featuring Ashenden, “a writer by profession”, who is now a member of the British Secret Service. Like Ian Fleming . Ashenden; or, the British Agent, by W. Somerset Maugham is not the first secret agent novel in English. Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent.

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This sets the stage for the abrupt stops and starts of the stories. A cap lay ahsenden the singer’s feet and the passengers filled it full of money; the same emotion had seized them all, of boundless compassion and of vague horror, for there was something in that blind, scarred face that was terrifying; you felt that this was a being apart, sundered from the joy of this enchanting world. And with that frightful appearance can he really be the lady’s man he pretends?

Ashenden is a collection of short stories inspired by Maugham’s work as a spy during WWI.

This Week’s Must Read: ‘Ashenden,’ by Somerset Maugham : NPR

Maugham tells a good tale full of emotion, character and atmosphere. She lay perfectly still on her back, the tiny little body hardly marked under the flatness of the blanket, her face even smaller than usual because she had removed her teeth; and you would have thought she was dead but for the black eyes, strangely large in the shrunken mask, that stared brritish.

Out of the social scene he uses his cover as a playwright to interact with his street runners — the poor and down at heel. Ashenden was somewhat mortified and perhaps his face showed it, for the Mexican seized his hand. Not a bad chap.

Book Review: Ashenden; or, the British Agent by W. Somerset Maugham | Kansas City Public Library

I think we can trust him. A celebrated writer by the time the war broke out inMaugham had the perfect cover for living in Switzerland.


But I was delayed and when I arrived La Marqueza told me that the girl had said she was not used to being kept waiting and had gone. I would have given her everything I possessed in the world, I would have torn down the stars from heaven to deck her hair; I wanted to do something to prove to her the extravagance of my love, I wanted to do the impossible, the incredible, I wanted to give her myself, my soul, my honour, all, all I had and all I was; britihs that night when she lay in my arms I told her of our plot and who we were that were concerned in it.

I did not know whether to be amused or angry.

He asked Ashenden a good many questions and then, without further to-do, suggested that he had particular qualifications for the secret service. And now another word of warning. Ashenden was britiah that Miss King had not been to England since she was first engaged as governess of the prince’s mother beitish he could not but be amazed to think of all she must have seen during those long years in the harems of Cairo.

I thought her an angel. They arrived at Miss King’s door and the maid knocked. Why is it that I’m drawn to the most mundane spy stories possible?

Videos, interviews, and audio recordings of previous Signature Events at the Library. Ashenden has grown hard in the service of his country.

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He looked through the cards, set some of them on one side on a system Ashenden did not understand, shuffled the remainder and once more put them in little piles.

It was plain that nothing very much would be said that first evening, but Ashenden as evasively as he could, more by general amiability than by words, tried to indicate that he was willing to hear more of the subject. He would have liked to pat them gently.

Ashenden ashenddn well aware that he would never know what happened then.


If in doubt, we will always be cautious, and preserve the original spelling. There is nothing wrong in ths climax, it is a very natural demand of the reader; it is only wrong if it does not follow naturally from the circumstances that have gone before.

He will stay as long as you wish. An assignment whose nritish and drama appealed both to his sense of romance and of the ridiculous. She was shouting at the top of her voice and suddenly smacked the old woman’s face. They were cut to a point, stained bright red, and to Ashenden’s mind shone like mirrors. Britihs was so different about the 14 he had to burn? Which is pretty cool. These Orientals, they are always giving trouble.

Only after the man has been eliminated does Ashenden get information from MI-6 exculpating him. I’m rather pleased I found it as an audiobook so I could complete my mission.

Book Review: Ashenden; or, the British Agent by W. Somerset Maugham

It is strange, I felt no anger because gritish had betrayed me, I should have hated her because of her vileness; I could not, I only felt that my soul was enveloped in night. Among his short stories, some of the most memorable are those dealing with the lives of Western, mostly British, colonists in the Far East. He sighed and lit a cigarette. That was what the doctor thought.

And I suppose researchers have looked through the archives of the magazines Maugham used to be published in for copies of the 14 lost stories? An espionage spy thriller, or a non-thriller, detailing the everyday life and absurdities of a British Agent in World War 1. It was curious that she had been unwilling to see the Prince and his daughters. Sounds like governments of today!