W. Somerset Maugham

W. Somerset Maugham

Author profile

in Paris, France
January 25, 1874

December 16, 1965



About this author

William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874. He spoke French even before he spoke a word of English, a fact to which some critics attribute the purity of his style.

His parents died early and, after an unhappy boyhood, which he recorded poignantly in 'Of Human Bondage' , Maugham became a qualified physician. But writing was his true vocation. For ten years before his first success, he almost literally starved while pouring out novels and plays.

During World War I, Maugham worked for the British Secret Service . He travelled all over the world, and made many visits to America. After World War II, Maugham made his home in south of France and continued to move between England and Nice till his death in 1965.

Average rating: 4.01 · 109,737 ratings · 8,680 reviews · 410 distinct works · Similar authors
Of Human Bondage
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 29,713 ratings — published 1915 — 223 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
The Razor's Edge
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 22,061 ratings — published 1944 — 121 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
The Painted Veil
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 20,433 ratings — published 1924 — 87 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
The Moon and Sixpence
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 9,323 ratings — published 1919 — 27 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 3,289 ratings — published 1937 — 47 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Cakes and Ale
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 3,557 ratings — published 1930 — 51 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Up at the Villa
3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 2,282 ratings — published 1941 — 39 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Collected Stories
4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 1,369 ratings — published 1921 — 3 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
The Magician
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 1,862 ratings — published 1908 — 106 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Collected Short Stories: Vo...
4.32 of 5 stars 4.32 avg rating — 1,196 ratings — published 1951 — 13 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
More books by W. Somerset Maugham…
“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
W. Somerset Maugham

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”
W. Somerset Maugham, Books and You

“The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love.”
W. Somerset Maugham


What book do you want to read for the Classic Book Group Read for the period of October through December 2014?

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
The Painted Veil, by W. Somerset Maugham
Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful but love-starved Kitty Fane.

When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.

The Painted Veil is a beautifully written affirmation of the human capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.
  22 votes, 43.1%

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.
  15 votes, 29.4%

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle
He stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and in so doing became an undying symbol of virtue. But most important, Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men offer young readers more than enough adventure and thrills to keep them turning the pages. Who could resist the arrows flying, danger lurking, and medieval intrigue?
  14 votes, 27.5%


Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
75 Books: This topic has been closed to new comments. Authors you love 17 1550 Jan 27, 2009 04:14AM  
Listomania: Somerset Maugham's Top Ten 1 123 Aug 14, 2009 07:51AM  
The Next Best Boo...: January's Group Reads Are..... 93 488 Jan 12, 2010 07:43AM  
The Next Best Boo...: February's WINNERS ARE..... 107 501 Feb 01, 2010 01:13PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. 5.10 ("The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.") 29 168 Apr 19, 2010 12:20PM  
Book Buying Addic...: Titles A-Z Game 684 542 Apr 21, 2010 07:20PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Spring Challenge 2010 Completed Tasks 2734 2331 May 31, 2010 09:00PM  
Cover to Cover Ch...: Read-A-Thon Progress and Discussion -- June 43 42 Jun 25, 2010 10:34AM