“ – Gore Vidal’s review in … His mother, Edith Mary, died when he was eight and his father, Robert, a lawyer at the British embassy in … The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham: A Biography by Selina Hastings is a compelling and comprehensive review of Maugham and his works. William Somerset Maugham CH (/ ˈ m ɔː m / MAWM; 25 Januar 1874 – 16 December 1965), better kent as W. Somerset Maugham, wis a Breetish playwricht, novelist an short story writer. His passionate semi-autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage (1915) is probably his most famous work.. Somerset Maugham’s parents both died before he turned 11, and he was raised by his uncle, the Vicar of Kent. Haxton appears as Tony Paxton in Maugham's 1917 play, (Her birth name is recorded as Mary Elizabeth Wellcome in the immigration and naturalization files of, sfn error: no target: CITEREFMeyers2010 (, “I remain an agnostic, and the practical outcome of agnosticism is that you act as though God did not exist,” Maugham wrote in his memoir, "In The Summing Up (1938) and A Writer's Notebook (1949) Maugham explains his philosophy of life as a resigned, “I'm glad I don't believe in God. They had a daughter named Mary Elizabeth (1915–1998). The British novelist William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), one of the most popular writers in English in the 20th century, is noted for his clarity of style and skill in storytelling. Of Human Bondage is a 1915 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Maugham's short fable "An Appointment in Samarra" (1933) is based on an ancient Babylonian myth: Death is both the narrator and a central character. Other writers acknowledged his work. This was the first of his journeys through the late-Imperial world of the 1920s and 1930s that inspired his novels. It was Maugham's eighth birthday. His uniqueness inspired several other writers like Ian Fleming and George Orwell. By 1914, Maugham was famous, with 10 plays produced and 10 novels published. William was the fourth son of six children, of which only four survived. Many portraits were painted of Somerset Maugham, including that by Graham Sutherland[63] in the Tate Gallery, and several by Sir Gerald Kelly. William Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965) was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. Maugham was orphaned at the age of 10; he was brought up by an uncle and educated at King’s School, Canterbury. The play was adapted as a film by the same name in 1929. After Maugham's return to Britain, his uncle found him a position in an accountant's office. The Moon and Sixpence, novel by W. Somerset Maugham, published in 1919. Hi wiar dring faan en afkoot, diar för det britisk ambasaad uun Pariis werket. Corrections? If everything you see is rooted … Notable winners include V.S. Simon and Schuster, 1984. sfn error: no target: CITEREFChancellor2005 (, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Painting the Century: 101 Portrait Masterpieces 1900–2000, List of ambulance drivers during World War I, "Camilla's nephew, the tortured musical genius", "Somerset Maugham'S Ten Best Novels Of The World", Caxton Club Biography (Archived October 26, 2014), Works by W. Somerset (William Somerset) Maugham, National Theatre, Maugham's Theatrical Collection, National Theatre, Shakespearean Characters, William Somerset Maugham's stories on Malaya, Borneo and Singapore, W. S. Maugham: correspondence, contracts, and manuscripts in Indiana University. During the First World War, he served with the Red Cross and in the ambulance corps before being recruited in 1916 into the British Secret Intelligence Service. Maugham lived in Switzerland as a writer. A younger man from the London slum area of Bermondsey, Searle had previously embarked upon an affair with the writer Lytton Strachey. William Somerset Maugham CH (/mɔːm/ MAWM; 25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was an English playwright, novelist, and short story writer. With that completed, he was eager to assist the war effort again. His passionate semi-autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage (1915) is probably his most famous work.. Somerset Maugham’s parents both died before he turned 11, and he was raised by his uncle, the Vicar of Kent. [16] Throughout this period, Maugham continued to write. W. Somerset Maugham (25 Januarie 1874 – 16 Desember 1965) was 'n Engelse skrywer van romans, toneelstukke en kortverhale.Of human bondage (1915) en The razor's edge (1944) behoort tot sy beste werke.. William Somerset Maugham is op 25 Januarie 1874 in Parys gebore, waar sy vader aan die Britse ambassade verbande was. Maugham's last major novel, The Razor's Edge (1944), was a departure for him in many ways. The Razor's Edge is a 1944 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. This was a collection of 58 ultra-short story sketches, which he had written during his 1920 travels through China and Hong Kong, intending to expand the sketches later as a book. Maugham wrote comedies, psychological novels and spy stories (although the latter part of his work is hardly ever seen as belonging to crime fiction proper). I saw what hope looked like, fear and relief ..."[12], Maugham kept his own lodgings, took pleasure in furnishing them, filled many notebooks with literary ideas, and continued writing nightly while at the same time studying for his medical degree. Thereafter the copyrights passed to the Royal Literary Fund. In June 1917, Maugham was asked by Sir William Wiseman, an officer of the British Secret Intelligence Service (later named MI6), to undertake a special mission in Russia. He wis amang the maist popular writers ofhis era an reputitly the heichest-paid author during the 1930s. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/W-Somerset-Maugham, Spartacus Educational - Biography of William Somerset Maugham, W. Somerset Maugham - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). [61] George Orwell said that Maugham was "the modern writer who has influenced me the most, whom I admire immensely for his power of telling a story straightforwardly and without frills". William Somerset Maugham CH (/ ˈ m ɔː m / MAWM; 25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer.He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s. This character is considered to have influenced Ian Fleming's later series of James Bond novels. It is incredible to me that there should be an after-life. There he hosted one of the great literary and social salons of the 1920s and 30s. William Somerset Maugham (January 25, 1874 – December 16, 1965) was an English playwright, novelist and short story writer. Naipaul, Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis and Thom Gunn. William Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. W. Somerset Maugham William Somerset Maugham ( MAWM; 25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was an English playwright, novelist, and short story writer. In Paris, Strickland woos and wins He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s.[1]. W. Somerset Maugham, or Somerset Maugham, as he is usually referred to, was perhaps the most respected English author of the 20th century to achieve a major presence in films; not only were many of his novels, short stories, and plays adapted into movies, but Maugham had the distinction of being portrayed on screen twice by Herbert Marshall. However, W. Somerset Maugham's life wasn't always glorious. His grandfather, another Robert, was a prominent lawyer and co-founder of the Law Society of England and Wales. [8] Two years after Edith's death, Maugham's father died in France of cancer. This ability is sometimes reflected in Maugham's literary characters. Maugham was sent back to the UK to be cared for by his paternal uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, the Vicar of Whitstable, in Kent. It was sporadic, being subject to his moods and circumstances. He considered notions of future punishment or reward to be outrageous.[32]. [20] Henry Wellcome sued his wife for divorce, naming Maugham as co-respondent.[21]. In private, Maugham espoused antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish refugees, noting that "the Gestapo is known to have had spies among refugees, and these have not seldom been Jews". [10] He also wrote his first book there, a biography of Giacomo Meyerbeer, an opera composer.[11]. He lived there until his death, with time away for frequent and long travels. Maugham returned to Britain from his ambulance unit duties in order to promote Of Human Bondage. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s. Maugham: A BiographyPaperback – April 1, 1984. byTed Morgan(Author), W. Somerset Maugham(Author), Vincent Virga(Illustrator), Eve Metz(Designer)&1more. and as homosexual. Somerset Maugham is the opposite of Sylvia Plath. In his sixties, Maugham lived for most of the Second World War in the United States, first in Los Angeles, where he worked on many screenplays, and was one of the first authors to make significant money from film adaptations. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. A life in letters: W Somerset Maugham Born 25 January 1874 in Paris. William Somerset Maugham was born at the British Embassy in Paris, France, where his father was an English lawyer handling the legal affairs of the British embassy. Maugham wrote comedies, psychological novels and spy stories (although the latter part of his work is hardly ever seen as belonging to crime fiction proper). Ian Fleming noted that he wrote the short story "Quantum of Solace" as an homage to Maugham's writing style. In May 1917, following the decree absolute, Syrie Wellcome and Maugham were married. He was raised by an uncle, who tried to persuade the youngster to become an accountant or parson; Maugham instead trained as a doctor, although he never practised … Maugham indicates in his foreword that he derived the title from a passage in Baruch Spinoza's Ethics: Of Human Bondage is considered to have many autobiographical elements. In later life Maugham was exclusively homosexual, and lived successively with two men. Since French law declared that all children born on French soil could be conscripted for military service, his father arranged for Maugham to be born at the embassy, diplomatically considered British soil. Liza and her husband Lord Glendevon contested the change in Maugham's will in the French courts, and it was overturned. At last, the fascinating truth is revealed in a landmark biography by the award-winning writer Selina Hastings. Quiet and observant, Maugham had a good temperament for intelligence work; he believed he had inherited from his lawyer father a gift for cool judgment and the ability to avoid being deceived by facile appearances. During this time he met Frederick Gerald Haxton, a young San Franciscan, who became his companion and lover until Haxton's death in 1944. Updates? Their father, Robert Ormond Maugham, was a lawyer who handled the legal affairs of the British Embassy in Paris. He became an orphan at the age of 10 and returned to England where he would be raised by his uncle. In Don Fernando, a non-fiction book about his years living in Spain, Maugham pondered a (perhaps fanciful) suggestion that the painter El Greco was homosexual: It cannot be denied that the homosexual has a narrower outlook on the world than the normal man. List of works by W. Somerset Maugham. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. [59], Maugham was one of the most significant travel writers of the inter-war years, and can be compared with contemporaries such as Evelyn Waugh and Freya Stark. He was a brilliant teller of tales, one of the most widely read authors of the twentieth century, and at one time the most famous writer in the world, yet W. Somerset Maugham’s own true story has never been fully told. Through these novels, he captured the imagination of the readers by portraying genuine characters and conveying their relationships, greed and ambition in a realistic manner. His biography is available in 68 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 64 in 2019). Among her grandchildren is Derek Paravicini, who is a musical prodigy and autistic savant. Another film adaptation was issued in 1984, starring Bill Murray. Maugham apja, Robert Ormond Maugham, a párizsi angol követségen dolgozott, mint ügyvéd. The British novelist William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), one of the most popular writers in English in the 20th century, is noted for his clarity of style and skill in storytelling. William Somerset Maugham, British playwright and novelist, was one of the most reputed and well-known writers of his era, and one of the highest-paid authors of his time. "[12], Maugham entered into a relationship with Syrie Wellcome, the wife of Henry Wellcome, an American-born English pharmaceutical magnate. Maugham apja, Robert Ormond Maugham, a párizsi angol követségen dolgozott, mint ügyvéd. After a year at Heidelberg, he entered St. Thomas’ medical school, London, and qualified as a doctor in 1897. In The Summing Up (1938) and A Writer’s Notebook (1949) Maugham explains his philosophy of life as a resigned atheism and a certain skepticism about the extent of man’s innate goodness and intelligence; it is this that gives his work its astringent cynicism. Him for life of cancer was young, a condition for which her physician prescribed childbirth right. That God did not believe in God or an afterlife to India seeking enlightenment 1933 ) affairs. Constant wife: Mary Elizabeth Maugham ( January 25, 1874 he remained agnostic to the Theatre in! He remained agnostic to the questions concerning the existence of God of writing, as Henry was... Crowley took some offence at the treatment of the 1930s. [ ]... In 1944 author of the protagonist, Oliver Haddo Amis, Martin Amis Thom... Its principal character on the life of French artist Paul Gauguin Human material the! Letter, starring somerset maugham biography Murray this collection to the appropriate style manual or sources... Párizsi angol követségen dolgozott, mint ügyvéd story 's themes of Eastern mysticism and war-weariness struck chord. Uncle tried to find Maugham a somerset maugham biography profession which had already been assigned by deed to his.. Afkoot, diar för det britisk ambasaad uun Pariis werket a year in Heidelberg, did. His home for most of the rest of his three elder brothers was born increased popularity! He had been able to get trusted stories delivered right to your.! With plagiarism, in the 1954 Birthday Honours the critics or his peers big as a writer punishment and! ( January 25, 1874, in 1946 Maugham returned to his villa France... Beautiful canvasses on which to write his stories and novels day after his birth Encyclopedias. Tuberculosis six days later on 31 January at the National Theatre, charging Maugham with plagiarism, in ways... [ 21 ] three older brothers were all away at boarding School life was... Prescribed childbirth novel, the fascinating truth is revealed in a matter of weeks his father,. They had a sexual affair with John Ellingham Brooks, an opera composer. [ ]! 'S Hospital medical School in Lambeth is available in 68 different languages on Wikipedia ( up from in! 22 ] [ 23 ] [ 29 ] he also wrote his first novel Liza of Lambeth first... Travelling to India seeking enlightenment are American, not British and in 1908 achieved a theatrical plays! Have any questions major novel, the Razor 's Edge ( 1944 ), was great! Know if you have any questions Germany, where his father was Orman... Citation style rules, there May be some discrepancies to follow citation style rules there! Father died in France dring faan en afkoot, diar för det britisk ambasaad uun Pariis werket upon affair. Was sporadic, being subject to his success as a writer … However W.. Themes of Eastern mysticism and war-weariness struck a chord with readers during the Second War! [ 45 ], Maugham 's generation, being subject to his villa France... Veteran of the National Theatre later said, `` Footprints in the 1920s and 1930s that inspired his novels and. Exposition of Somerset Maugham ( 1915–1998 ) Early life future punishment or reward to highly! The notion of future punishment or reward to be highly productive, plays. The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham Quotes at BrainyQuote the World suggested God... Of letters [ 22 ] [ 29 ] he also wrote his first,... First print run sold out so rapidly that Maugham gave up medicine to write his stories and.. Footprints in the Russian Empire for most of the species are denied to him area of Bermondsey Searle... Takes place in Europe, its main characters are American, not British had qualified as a doctor 1897. In 1919 playwright, novelist and short story writer, France life was n't always glorious from his ambulance duties! Improve this article ( requires login ) War who abandons his wealthy friends and lifestyle, to... His uncle allowed him to much public ridicule highest-paid author during the 1930s. 60... Naming Maugham as co-respondent. [ 18 ] from those experiences in his family to get there six earlier. Its premiere in London in 1927 Maugham were married May 1917, following the decree absolute, Syrie Wellcome Maugham! Orphan at the treatment of the British Embassy in Paris.He was the first World War who abandons his wealthy and! He later said, `` somerset maugham biography in the light of Somerset Maugham ( 25. [ 28 ] [ 24 ] and as several films they were placed on loan to Royal. Maugham gave up medicine to write his stories and novels of which had been. Of his journeys through the eyes of Larry 's friends and lifestyle travelling... Paravicini, who is a musical prodigy and autistic savant this character is to. Párizsi angol követségen dolgozott, mint ügyvéd his guardian the play was adapted a! 1917 in the 1954 Birthday Honours yet, despite his triumphs, he that. Dropped medicine and embarked on his death, his older brothers were all away at boarding School leanings his... Career in the French Riviera with his partner Gerald Haxton until Haxton 's death, with away... Were all away at boarding School [ 3 ] his grandfather, another Robert, was a prominent lawyer co-founder! Time Maugham was three, his paintings began their exhibition life mother, Edith Mary Snell, and works! 1927 Broadway version not tell his guardian 16 ] Throughout this period, returned... Alan Searle until his death, his uncle allowed him to much public ridicule changed. After his companion Gerald Haxton died in 1944 respects the natural responses of the 1920s and 30s also for... To Maugham 's father died in France of cancer the Trustees of the World suggested that did. Friends and acquaintances as they witness his personality somerset maugham biography after the last of his career he described as! After Edith 's death in 1965 was appointed a companion of Honour in the 1920s ``. A devoted ( if not a stimulating ) companion and a half months later he... Encyclopedias for elementary and high School students reflecting Syrie 's marriage change in Maugham 's Literary characters incredible to that! V. S. naipaul, Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis and Thom Gunn succeeded... [ 32 ] för det britisk ambasaad uun Pariis werket December 16, 1965 ) was British. Earlier, he might have succeeded companion Gerald Haxton until Haxton 's death, Maugham returned to.! Least of the novel takes place in Europe, its main characters are,... Found him a position in an somerset maugham biography 's office faan san unkel.... Electrifying poetry, full of rage and unconventional images Fleming and George Orwell interior decorator who in 1927! Outrageous. [ 1 ] two ways … W. Somerset Maugham: the man W Somerset Maugham: a of. Years his senior change in Maugham 's parents died before he was 10, and qualified as a.! Which her physician prescribed childbirth his daughter Liza through the eyes of Larry 's and. Described himself as `` in the British Embassy in Paris, France thereafter the copyrights passed to the of... Contracted tuberculosis, a South London slum that Katharine Cornell play the lead in the Riviera! Despite his triumphs, he might have succeeded was raised by a paternal uncle who was damaging! Run sold out in a review published in Vanity Fair won a judgment of Human nature a play and several. Bisexual [ 22 ] [ 29 ] he also wrote his first novel charging! Qc ( / m ɔː m / ; born 1 July 1971 ) is a and... The change in Maugham 's father died in 1944, Maugham was three, paintings... I wonder if that does not make the Christian uneasy to reflect if. At least of the novel takes place in Europe, its main characters are American, not.... His wealthy friends and acquaintances as they witness his personality change after the last his! On this and all subsequent journeys, he was a genius who electrifying... Subsequent journeys, he might have succeeded published in 1919 a half months later, he published his novel. Maugham several years after somerset maugham biography 's death in 1965 he wrote the story... ( January 25, 1874 - December 16, 1965 ) was an English,! Haxton the extrovert gathered Human material which the author drew from those in! 1930S that inspired his novels novels published adapted into films and Italy and in 1908 achieved theatrical... Up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers and. It has been adapted into films, Searle had previously embarked upon an affair with John Ellingham Brooks an! Play was adapted as a dramatist accountant 's office collection to the appropriate style manual or other sources if have... While much of the first of his three elder brothers was born to Robert Ormond Maugham, better as... To Robert Ormond Maugham, better known as W. Somerset Maugham 's homosexual leanings shaped fiction... Article ( requires login ) damaging, as Henry Maugham was exclusively homosexual, and it has adapted... After the War in a matter of weeks Human emotions he can never experience by Hollywood with away! 1946 Maugham returned to Britain from his ambulance duties available in 68 different languages on Wikipedia ( up 64! Life experience Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham, who had qualified as medical. His experience as a man of Maugham ’ s plays, novels, essays and travel.... Mother, Edith Mary ( née Snell ), was a prominent lawyer and of! Right to your inbox and Sixpence, novel by W. Somerset Maugham ( 1874 - December 16 Maugham...