Liza of Lambeth,
W. Somerset Maugham’s first novel, offers insight into the everyday lives of
working-class Londoners at the turn of the twentieth century. Liza Kemp is an
eighteen-year-old girl working in a factory in the Lambeth slum along London’s
Vere Street. As Liza enters into a misguided affair with an older, married man,
Jim Blakeston, the novel reveals the tragedies and abuses suffered by those
living in poverty. A mood of subdued resignation prevails in this novel, which sparked the literary career of one of England’s
most successful authors of the twentieth century.
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