Set in the final years of the 19th century, Mrs Craddock is about a young and attractive woman of independent means who marries beneath her. As he had written about a subject that was considered daring at the time, Maugham had some difficulty finding a publisher. Completed in 1900, the novel was eventually published in 1902 by William Heinemann, but only on the condition that the author took out passages which, according to Heinemann, might have offended the readers. A successful and popular book, Mrs Craddock was reissued in 1903 and again in 1908. In 1938 the first non-Bowdlerized version, stylistically improved by Maugham, came out.