Princess September Summary by Somerset Maugham

A King & His Daughters

This is a story about freedom, beauty, jealousy and faith. The story has a king who had an interesting way of naming his daughter. As the number of daughters would increase, he would change all of their names to form a set pattern. For example, all of them were named like the days of the week when they were seven.

Princess September

The last daughter was his ninth and so he named her September, according to the month of the year. All other daughters were given their names accordingly as months of the calendar.

However, this seeded some animosity among the princesses who did not enjoy the constant changing of their names and held a grudge against Princess September in particular.

Then on the occasion of his birthday, the King gifted all his daughters a singing parrot. The girls were delighted as the parrot sang praises to the king etc for them all day long.

But September’s parrot died soon and she became sad and morose. She stopped enjoying anything and turned pale. Other princesses did not try to console her. 

A New Visitor

One day Princess September had a new visitor in shape of a bird. The bird started singing melodious songs to her. September fell in love with the bird and showed it to her parents and siblings with pride and happiness. This made the other princesses envious of September. 

Then one day the bird did not return. Princess September got worried, thinking it might have been in a mishap. Her sisters fuelled her fear by talking about animals that eat birds. They advised her to encage the bird. Princess September obliged and when the bird eventually returned and told her that it had gone to its father-in-law, she put it inside her golden cage.

The bird protested a lot and but princess told it that cage is a safer place for it because it might become a prey for the predators.

Encaged Bird

The bird felt betrayed and refused singing. The next day Princess found the bird weak and lifeless in her cage. She understood that the bird had to sing to live and she could sing only when it was uncaged. Therefore, on the appeals of the bird, she opened the cage and set it free.

The bird thanked her and promised to visit her often and sing for her. Soon, the bird started visiting regularly and they enjoyed a loving bond. The princess opened her window and waited for the bird to return every day.

The Sun brought the beauty out of her and September grew into a beautiful young woman over the years. Other princesses remained behind closed rooms and did not grow into beautiful maidens. Eventually, they were married to simple and salaried men.

Princess September, however, became the Queen after marrying a young king because of her beauty. She finally had a dream wedding and lived happily ever after.

Read important questions about Princess September here.

Princess September Story Video