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Summary of "The Luncheon" by Somerset Maugham

Updated on December 20, 2016

Summary of 'The Luncheon'

The writer of 'The Luncheon' William Somerset Maugham, in this short story,relates about a lady who is an admirer of his stories. She wins the author's favour and expresses her wish to meet him at a high class restaurant.William exposes the false motives of modest eating habits, of the middle classes with a touch of humour.

Twenty years ago the author was living in Paris, when he had met a lady, who is an admirer of his stories. She had met him at a play and relates to him the incident during the interval which had occurred at that time. She had read a book written by him, and had written a letter to him about her views. Another letter was posted, stating about her visit to Paris and her desire to have a little luncheon at the Foyots, a restaurant where French senators eat. William was not a rich man and had never even thought of visiting that restaurant, nor did he possess the art of refusing her request.

Estimating the cost of a luncheon, which should not cost more than fifteen Francs,he decided to cut down coffee from his menu, so that he could have enough for himself for the next two weeks. His meeting was fixed on Thursday, at half past twelve, through correspondence.The lady was in her Forties, talkative, and not attractive. She had ordered for Salmon,and Caviare, while the Salmon was being prepared.William had ordered for the cheapest dish mutton- chops.

After the meal, she had ordered for white champagne. She kept enjoying the meal, and chatting about art, literature, and music, while William kept wondering about the bill.The bill of fare was soaring above that which he had anticipated.When the waiter had come with the bill she waived him aside with an air of gesture and ordered for Asparagus, the horribly expensive dish.William's heart sank, his mouth watered, and yet he had to quell his emotions.Adding to worsen the situation, she ordered for ice-cream and then coffee, all the same announcing that 'she never ate anything for luncheon - just a bite' Thoughts kept reeling through William's mind about how he was going to pay the exorbitant bill or how could he feign an act of his pocket having been picked.

To his utter dismay,the head waiter walked up to the table with a large basket full of huge Peaches.She picked up one protesting that her meal was just a snack, and that she could certainly enjoy the Peach.

The bill was finally paid, and William found himself with just a few Francs for the tips, and not a penny left in his pocket for the whole month. William believes, that he had had his revenge for then, when the Twenty years had passed by, he met her weighing One Hundred and Thirty -Six Kilograms.


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    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for this witty exposition. It is very good!

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 6 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      I appreciate your comment.Thank you!

    • profile image

      mohit 5 years ago

      this is nice short story i like it..............

    • profile image

      harsh 5 years ago

      a very good example of ironies happens in middle class person..thanks

    • profile image

      Asin 5 years ago

      Can i get this stories script by dialogue.

    • profile image

      Farhana 5 years ago

      Can i get this stories script by dialogue.

    • profile image

      vanshika 5 years ago

      its a very nice story

    • profile image

      Summer 5 years ago

      Thank you,we doing it in class and I appreciate the help I got here! Xoxo

    • profile image

      Emmy 5 years ago

      Ilike this story... How to answer the question?

    • profile image

      Dru 5 years ago

      its a nice story but young we have to learn to say no.

    • profile image

      Zanele 5 years ago

      Thank you, I read the story a few times without understanding. All thanks to you now I do.

    • profile image

      mahlatse lucky mocheki 5 years ago

      This story is a wndrful story i realy like it becouse i have leand smthng on it

    • profile image

      pooja 5 years ago

      i like it as it is veeeeeeeeeeerrry gooooooooooooooood :) :) :)

    • profile image

      pooja 5 years ago

      its really nice & i like it....

    • profile image

      Oscar 5 years ago

      A book about the luncheon

    • profile image

      Oscar 5 years ago

      Guys wu cn help me abt dis buk 4 the luncheon nd i wnt to knw it vry vry much abt it , an nw adays i du abt the luncheon bt i wnt to knw dan nw

    • profile image

      divz 5 years ago

      way nyc.....interesting

    • profile image

      olga Khumlo 5 years ago

      Hi mohit, harsh, vanshika, Summer, Emmy Dru, Zanela Mahlatse, pooja,oscar, and divz, thank you very much for your appreciation and gratitude expressed. God bless you all.

    • profile image

      VVV 5 years ago

      THS SHORT STORY IS NYC BUT PEOPLE STOP GREED OF EATING TO MUCH

    • profile image

      Sharon 5 years ago

      Wow i lyk the stry ol thx 2 u William i undrstnd it nw....

    • profile image

      Clement 5 years ago

      This is the nicest summary ever,simple english,easy to understand.I like it.

    • profile image

      Smamkele 5 years ago

      We are doing this short story, wow! its a great story. But i got a problem, i can't answer the question

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 5 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Hi Smamkele, Post the question.

    • profile image

      Morebodi Kgang Gladwin Montsho 5 years ago

      The story is great,we are reading it at school and am enjoying it

    • profile image

      Dzunani 5 years ago

      Its a nyc short stoy i lyk to read it again its sounds gooooøøoøood!

    • profile image

      mizanur rahman 5 years ago

      Ilike this story

    • profile image

      Cole 5 years ago

      I lyk dis story coz is tellng me smthng

    • profile image

      Msheffee 5 years ago

      This story is great and usefull for those who can't say no to a woman.

    • profile image

      Thembie Simelane 5 years ago

      Yestadae nyt i read the story, nd 4 ths lil sammary I AM GOING TO PASS ma Test 2mrw. Tank u..

    • profile image

      Busiswa somniso 5 years ago

      I like this story nd i knw it we doing that stry at my sku 2mrw i'm gna wrte about it nd coffe-cartgirl lv it

    • profile image

      Lekeka T 4 years ago

      Guys i apreciate wat u done for and my friend tx we already pass im doing matric.

    • profile image

      Tsatsi J 4 years ago

      Yah short stories hey! It was tough at first bt due to ur unfalling help,am able to tacle each nd every question abt the short stories. In actual fact nt jst i bt we r very much thankful.

    • profile image

      Martha 4 years ago

      A love dis short storie very nyc..we where sooo death by laughter in ma class,it was nyc reading it with ma matric 2012

    • profile image

      Nqoh 4 years ago

      I have red abt this story at schul,d principal taught us n nw i undrstand it better

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 4 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Thank you children for your appreciation. God bless you all in your studies and help you to build a bright and promising career.

    • profile image

      aaa 4 years ago

      gud 1

    • profile image

      Clifton Chikometsa 4 years ago

      It is a nice story

    • profile image

      camilla 4 years ago

      M in tertiary and my little brother is doing grade 11 and he's the one who introduced me to "the luncheon" I just think its a great story and many can relate to it....

    • profile image

      vuledzani muhadi 4 years ago

      me i read about dis story is very very good and enjoyable dat 9c people lean 2 say no 2 de woman

    • profile image

      ayursh arya 4 years ago

      nice story written by somerset....

    • profile image

      Snoo24 4 years ago

      I have read this story a million times yet it feels as much interesting as it did when i read it for the first time... good explanation.. thank you!

    • profile image

      mohammed 4 years ago

      thank

    • profile image

      ankurjain 4 years ago

      this story is very exciting

    • profile image

      jess 4 years ago

      loved this story

    • profile image

      kheimor 3 years ago

      awesome!!!!!!!wounderful indeed!!!

    • profile image

      arsh 3 years ago

      nice story

    • profile image

      saliwa 3 years ago

      lovely story by the way

    • profile image

      dipit 3 years ago

      this is known as story

      the lady that i love most

    • profile image

      meera 3 years ago

      this is how we should not be.........

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 3 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Thank you guys for your appreciation.

    • profile image

      jigyasa kanda 3 years ago

      Its a group activity in which i have to speak about the 2nd para of this story .It was very useful for me .

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 3 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Thank you guys, God bless you.

    • profile image

      sandy 3 years ago

      its quiet interesting and even useful.the author is great

    • profile image

      Olga khumlo 3 years ago

      Thank you children for your appreciation. God bless you all in your studies and help you to build a bright and promising career

    • profile image

      Olga khumlo 3 years ago

      Thank you children for your appreciation. God bless you all in your studies and help you to build a bright and promising career

    • profile image

      betty 3 years ago

      am interested in dis story its a lovly story

    • profile image

      Zuhayer 3 years ago

      That's a very nice and interesting story. The most interesting part was when the bill came, he walked out of the restaurant with whole mouth that he sees there is not a penny in his pocket. Haaaaa.

    • profile image

      wow nyc story 3 years ago

      Makungu Ndlovu

    • profile image

      Zuhayer 3 years ago

      hello Olga Khumlo I made a mistake on that comment. I have written ''with whole mouth". So it will be "for whole month''. Sorry.

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 3 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      God bless you child.

    • profile image

      Xichavo mathebane 3 years ago

      I dont understand the ending of this story.. I mean about the revenge

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 3 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Hi! Xichavo, William Somerset is exposing the false motives of modest eating habits. The lady, only an admirer of the author does not even consider the rising bill that the author would have to pay rather giving in to her greed. He finds twenty years later that the lady had to pay for her greediness, then that she weighed One Hundred and Thirty -Six Kilograms, which Somerset refers to 'the revenge'.

    • profile image

      bridgette zwane 2 years ago

      Thanks a lot was a nice understable summery short and simple

    • profile image

      olga khumlo 2 years ago

      Hello! Thanks guys you're appreciation is encouraging. God bless you all.

    • profile image

      abhash 2 years ago

      mast story hai ! by advocate anant

    • profile image

      aaannnnnnnnaaaaaaannnnnnaaannnnnnnnnnnntttttttttttttt 2 years ago

      gooooooood humourose 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      i am speech less ? **** the woman

    • profile image

      Shreyansh Vats 2 years ago

      good 2 good 3 good 4 good 4 good 4 rjsjngd

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 2 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Dear kids if you need script by dialogue, please write it and send it to gemsgleanings@gmail.com, I will correct it and send it back to you.

    • profile image

      Qhawekazi 2 years ago

      I wnt 2 ask this question why had the writer never thought of eating at Foyot's restaurant?

    • profile image

      I'm Qhawekazi Langa 2 years ago

      I wnt 2 ask ths question why didn't he mind her talking so much?

    • profile image

      Qhawekazi 2 years ago

      Hlw I want my answer plz

    • profile image

      olga khumlo 2 years ago

      At the Foyot's restaurant the most expensive dishes are served as told in the Notes from London Daily Telegraph 18 August 1894 p 6. William was not a very rich man. Sorry son I was down with Flue. You can e-mail for any emergency need to gemsgleanings@gmail.com

    • profile image

      suhanna 2 years ago

      execellent story to view

    • profile image

      zandile mabuza 2 years ago

      Its a very intresting story I luv it.

    • profile image

      mayimele Felix 2 years ago

      This is just one great story

    • profile image

      Vivek Mohan 2 years ago

      My ever time favorite short story, well crafted and narrated by Somerset Maugham clubbed with humorous incidents.

    • profile image

      lini 2 years ago

      hhohhgilo;

    • profile image

      Sushmita ( Shivsena) Pravin mestry 2 years ago

      Nice one

      need to learn something

    • profile image

      rgtrhw 2 years ago

      nice summary . thankxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • profile image

      dfgrwe 2 years ago

      morghem is a favourite writer of mine.

      thanks

    • profile image

      Tarunaa 2 years ago

      Nice summary, very helpful

      Thanks

    • profile image

      hy this is Amantle Sehunoe whos loving the book of luncheon nd fully understand it..am doing it with mr Madisa At Malefo 12A 2 years ago

      Amantle Sehunoe

    • profile image

      nihlaaslam 2 years ago

      Its goood to me

    • profile image

      Krishna 2 years ago

      I loved it...

    • profile image

      yamkela mkhize 2 years ago

      Wow this story is intresting ,ilike it

    • profile image

      Shamita 2 years ago

      what will be the thesis statement of this story?

    • profile image

      poonam 2 years ago

      i luv da story its amazing.

    • profile image

      poonam 2 years ago

      i luv da story its amazing.

    • profile image

      Mereseini Naola 2 years ago

      wow....its tremendously amazing.

    • profile image

      ranjana 2 years ago

      Its nice story .....i was reviewing this story ...n your summary helped me slot..thank u

    • profile image

      theo 2 years ago

      I never eat anything for luncheon(explain how the woman contradicted this way in the way she behaved at the luncheon,Why did this upset the writer so much)100-200 word

    • profile image

      anbarasi 2 years ago

      very nice story, i like it .thank you

    • profile image

      Donald 2 years ago

      Short straight to the main facts with simple understandable English.Big up!!

    • profile image

      kheka zhimo 2 years ago

      What is the irony of the story??

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 2 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Her remarks were sarcastic: "I never eat more than one thing for luncheon" "I'm not in the least hungry", yet she picked up a huge peach, she remarked her luncheon was just a snack " I never eat anything for luncheon", I'm not in the least hungry, "I never want more"," I couldn't possibly eat anything more."

      This depicts the irony of the story.

      Children I pray God give you all a good success. God bless you all.

    • profile image

      maggie nhlapo 2 years ago

      I really love it,it is so interesting ummmm...gents learn how to say no...laaag

    • profile image

      Mackhenz Ngongoma 2 years ago

      I'm not that guy use to read story but this make me read story

    • profile image

      ABHIRUP MAZUMDER 2 years ago

      GOOD JOB...... PLEASE GIVE CHARACTER SKETCHES......

    • profile image

      G wayne TG 2 years ago

      dear lord tnk u for making my way easer to my exams #sweeeeeeeeeet smry

    • profile image

      Qawula Kamva 2 years ago

      The story is so amazing,but I learnt something

      new on how to have an appointment with somebody.

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 2 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Dear Abhirup, could you please make an attempt to write the character sketches and send them to the email gemsgleanings@gmail.com I will make the corrections and send it back to you.

      God bless you all children, I'll be praying for each one of you.

    • profile image

      nelly 24 months ago

      I love this story....the luncheon Woooow

    • profile image

      syar 24 months ago

      ay tjo i rly du lyk dic summar coz it jst m8k me 2 undrstnd hw 2 smmrys 4 my slf

    • profile image

      Sebotsa mosiuwa sam 23 months ago

      Wow wat book tht touht me abt opportunist woman i've leand to say no!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      rahlaga granny 23 months ago

      This story is very interesting i always read it almost every day

    • profile image

      Mooketsi 22 months ago

      Thank you man.... great

    • profile image

      Mamelato sephiri 21 months ago

      Lyk a story as it is straight & foward.....thnx alot.

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 21 months ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Dear Mamelato, Mooketsi, Rahlaga and all other folks, I'm so glad it has been helpful to you and others.God bless you all and help you to always excel in your careers for His glory. Amen.

    • profile image

      bonni 21 months ago

      Can I gt help plz 4 doc story

    • olgakhumlo profile image
      Author

      olga khumlo 21 months ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Bonni Kindly let me know which story dear.

    • profile image

      Kgomotso Sekamoeng 21 months ago

      It is the story that I understand the most than others.I really like this one.

    • profile image

      mahfuza rahman 21 months ago

      I always enjoy it.

    • profile image

      olga khumlo 21 months ago

      Thank you children. I'm so glad you are all blessed. May God continue to bless you all and keep you in His paths.

    • profile image

      umang shekhar 20 months ago

      it was crazy but also very nice ,i loved it very much

    • profile image

      Ridoy 19 months ago

      Really nice story. I like it so much :)

    • profile image

      parneet 13 months ago

      it was really an amazing story that describes the feelings of a poor man who was not a rich man

    • rjbatty profile image

      rjbatty 11 months ago from Irvine

      I haven't read this story but will have to seek it out. Thanks for the summary. It reminds me of a couple times where I found myself in a similar predicament.

    • profile image

      Aditya 11 months ago

      Nice story helped me lot in my project

    • profile image

      machwebeni sboh Ntozakhe 8 months ago

      i always enjoy reading this book i have learned alot to it

    • profile image

      Meneer Machethe 7 months ago

      I hope my learners from Lethaba Sec will obtain good marks if the examiner decide to bring along this story during the next coming exam, since i taught them everything about it, All the best...

    • profile image

      Princess 6 months ago

      It is a funny story and I liked it!!!!!!!!!!!

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