W. Somerset Maugham


Born
in Paris, France
January 25, 1874

Died
December 16, 1965

Genre

Influences


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.

Maugham wrote at a time when experimental modernist literature such as that of William Faulkner, Thomas Mann, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf was gaining increasing popularity and winning critical acclaim. In this context, his plain prose style was criticized as 'such a tissue of clichés' that one
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Average rating: 4.04 · 171,531 ratings · 13,762 reviews · 583 distinct worksSimilar authors
Of Human Bondage

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4.13 avg rating — 42,421 ratings — published 1915 — 149 editions
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The Razor's Edge

4.18 avg rating — 32,319 ratings — published 1944 — 170 editions
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The Painted Veil

3.92 avg rating — 31,393 ratings — published 1925 — 146 editions
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The Moon and Sixpence

4.13 avg rating — 15,541 ratings — published 1919 — 444 editions
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Theatre

4.14 avg rating — 5,521 ratings — published 1937 — 66 editions
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Cakes and Ale

3.76 avg rating — 5,330 ratings — published 1930 — 21 editions
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Up at the Villa

3.67 avg rating — 3,724 ratings — published 1941 — 53 editions
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The Magician

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3.58 avg rating — 3,103 ratings — published 1908 — 109 editions
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Collected Stories

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4.32 avg rating — 1,786 ratings — published 1921 — 5 editions
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Collected Short Stories: Vo...

4.33 avg rating — 1,676 ratings — published 1951 — 16 editions
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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

Polls

Voting is now open for our January Classical read. Voting will stay open until December 15th, 2018 and the winning book will be announced on December 16th, 2018.

 
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Topics Mentioning This Author

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75 Books...More o...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Authors you love 17 2009 Jan 27, 2009 04:14AM  
Listomania: Somerset Maugham's Top Ten 1 177 Aug 14, 2009 07:51AM  
The Next Best Boo...: January's Group Reads Are..... 93 493 Jan 12, 2010 07:43AM  
The Next Best Boo...: February's WINNERS ARE..... 107 504 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.") 29 171 Apr 19, 2010 12:20PM  
Book Buying Addic...: Titles A-Z Game 684 679 Apr 21, 2010 07:20PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Spring Challenge 2010 Completed Tasks 2734 2430 May 31, 2010 09:00PM  
Cover to Cover Ch...: Read-A-Thon Progress and Discussion -- June 43 43 Jun 25, 2010 10:34AM