The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham

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Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009

The character of Charles Strickland, an eccentric painter who deserted his family to paint, is based on the Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin. The narrator, after a knowing Strickland intermittently over a period of years shares what he knew of the man. The book was published in 1919, so the language took a little getting used to. But what makes the book a gem, are the generalizations about women that were assumedly accepted during that time. For instance, the narrator, wondering if he should pursue his line of questioning with Strickland says “It requires the feminine temperament to repeat the same thing three times with unabated zest”.

While the story is interesting, the interest for me lies in its revelation of a bygone era.

Written by Helen H.

Fun fact: I adore furry faces.