Synopsis of Salvatore by W. Somerset Maugham

About the Author of Salvatore

W. Somerset Maugham, a 19th-century novelist and short story writer was the most popular writer of his era. Although he pursued medicine in his earlier days, yet he left it to become a full-fledged writer after the stupendous success of his first novel Liza of Lambeth. After that there was no looking back. His most popular works are Of Human Bondage, Cakes and Ale and The Razor's Edge. After World War I, he served in Red Cross, and also in the Secret Intelligence Service. His novels and short stories reflect his experiences of his time spent in India and Southeast Asian countries.

Summary of Salvatore

Salvatore was fifteen when the author first met him. He was the son of a fisherman and vineyard owner. The fun-loving, young boy spent his time in the sun, bathing and swimming in the sea. He also looked after his two younger brothers.

His life changed when he fell deeply in love with a lovely girl of regal bearing. They got engaged but could not marry, as the young man had to join the King's naval. It was heartbreaking for him to leave his island and his beloved. He was posted in several places including China where he was struck down with rheumatism which made him unfit for the service. He was so elated to go back home and to the lady love that he was not disheartened when told that he would never ever be quite well.

When Salvatore's boat reached his native shore, he saw his parents and brothers eagerly waiting, but there was no trace of his beloved. Later when he went to her house, he was met with a cold reception. The girl, without hesitation, told him that she could not marry him since he was unfit and thus unable to provide her with a comfortable life. He returned with a heavy heart but never complained or spoke harsh words about her.

Later, he got married to an older woman, who promised to buy him a boat and a vineyard. They had two children and led a contented life. He worked hard and took rest when the pain became unbearable. He was a good husband and father, and was always happy and had a good word for everyone. The author feels it is the goodness inherent in him that kept him happy and uncomplaining in spite of the upsets he faced in life.


care-free eyes - eyes showing no anxiety, trouble-free:
clumsy - awkward:
jagged - with rough and pointed edges:
ventured - to go on a daring journey:
vine-clad - covered with vines;
frugal - entailing little expense, requiring few resources:
affianced - engaged:
rheumatism - a disease that makes joints stiff;
jetty - a landing stage built out into the sea;
placid - calm;
nudged - to prod gently with an elbow to encourage;
Festa - party:
ragged - torn;
ingenuous - innocent;
visage - expressions, features;
expostulation - disapproval, objection :
stoicism - enduring or experiencing pain or trouble without complaining:
lustily - heartily. 
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