THE CIRCLE - a comedy in three actsby W. Somerset Maugham
The Circle is set in the fashionable drawing room of Aston-Adey, the Champion-Cheneys’ house in Dorset. Elizabeth, the hostess, has invited Arnold’s mother, Lady Kitty, and her companion, Lord Porteous, for a visit. Feeling awkward about
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
Scanned, proofed and corrected from the original hardcover edition for enjoyable reading.
The Circle is set in the fashionable drawing room of Aston-Adey, the Champion-Cheneys’ house in Dorset. Elizabeth, the hostess, has invited Arnold’s mother, Lady Kitty, and her companion, Lord Porteous, for a visit. Feeling awkward about greeting the mother who abandoned him and his father thirty years before, Arnold prefers to talk about his elegant furniture rather than prepare himself for the meeting. As he and Elizabeth await their guests, they learn that Arnold’s father, Clive, has unexpectedly returned from Paris and is on the estate,
Maugham's plot, which may be unfamiliar, contains two triangles, each of a husband, wife, and lover. The first of these includes Clive, a cuckolded husband, Lady Kitty, his ex-wife, and Lord Porteous, her second husband. Thirty years before the start of the play, Lady Kitty ran off to Italy with Lord Porteous, leaving her husband and five-year-old son Arnold to their own devices. The play opens with the return of this now aged couple to England and a family reunion negotiated by Arnold's curious wife. To complicate matters, the earlier abandoned husband Clive intrudes upon the visiting couple, losing no chance to wreak hilarious verbal havoc.
The second triangle, one of young people, consists of the stuffy MP and furniture collector Arnold, his lively but bored wife, and their pleasing house guest Teddie. Bringing matters full circle, Elizabeth and Teddie have fallen for each other. The central concern of the play thus becomes whether they will bolt like the lovers of thirty years ago.
Maugham's hall of mirrors action wittily calls to mind the famous question: Do people learn anything from the past, or is the only lesson the past has to offer that people have never learned anything from it?
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 115 KB
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >