“Rain” (1921) is the most famous of W. Somerset Maugham’s short stories, and one that earned him a fortune from later adaptations. Maugham himself, already successful as a dramatist and novelist when he wrote it, regarded it as the inaugural work of his new career in short fiction, which is why – although it was in fact not his first published tale – he placed it first in his three-volume

Complete Short Stories

(1951; widely reprinted in four volumes since 1963 as the

Collected Short Stories

). For its time, the story was an “advanced” study in sexual repression and hypocrisy: it presupposes on the part of its readers a Freudian understanding of repression and of dream-symbolism as well as a readiness to sympathise with the sex-worker who is the story’s heroine. Several…

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Citation: Baldick, Chris. "Rain". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 August 2020 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=39102, accessed 22 April 2024.]

39102 Rain 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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