When The Land of Promise was first brought to Canada in 1914, it immediately split the critics. The Canadian Gazette claimed “Mr Maugham . . . has done Canada a good turn in striving to show Western Canada honestly to the public”, while a Mr. T Herbert Chestnut writing out of Regina angrily dismissed the play as “an outrageous libel on Western Canada, especially Manitoba” and Mary E. Mcleod Moore of Toronto predicted “Mr Maugham will have to fight duels with indignant Manitobans, lacking a sense of humour, who lament that Canada should be so misrepresented in the Mother Country.”
The Land of Promise follows Norah, a lady’s maid in early 20th century England who is left without money or a position. She moves to Manitoba to live with her brother, who has settled down with a farm and a new Canadian wife. There, Norah struggles with culture class, a different type of labour, and her own hastily-planned attempt at independence.