“The Painted Veil” is not what I expected, but I had not read this book. Of course “Of Human Bondage” was required reading in school. “The Painted Veil is a 1925 novel by British author W. Somerset Maugham. The title is a reference to Percy Bysshe Shelley‘s 1824 sonnet, which begins “Lift not the painted veil which those who live / Call Life”.
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