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: 4.05 · 194,937 ratings · 15,791 reviews · 717 distinct worksSimilar authors
Of Human Bondage

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4.13 avg rating — 47,753 ratings — published 1915 — 560 editions
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The Razor's Edge

4.19 avg rating — 35,883 ratings — published 1944 — 285 editions
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The Painted Veil

3.93 avg rating — 34,880 ratings — published 1925 — 424 editions
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The Moon and Sixpence

4.14 avg rating — 17,834 ratings — published 1919 — 239 editions
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Theatre

4.15 avg rating — 6,227 ratings — published 1937 — 72 editions
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Cakes and Ale

3.77 avg rating — 5,849 ratings — published 1930 — 59 editions
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Up at the Villa

3.68 avg rating — 4,224 ratings — published 1941 — 27 editions
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The Magician

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3.59 avg rating — 3,491 ratings — published 1908 — 244 editions
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Collected Stories

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4.33 avg rating — 1,862 ratings — published 1921 — 6 editions
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Ashenden

3.85 avg rating — 2,410 ratings — published 1927 — 163 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

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Topics Mentioning This Author

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Cover to Cover Ch...: Read-A-Thon Progress and Discussion -- June 43 44 Jun 25, 2010 10:34AM