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
...more

Average rating: 4.04 · 212,536 ratings · 17,133 reviews · 735 distinct worksSimilar authors
Of Human Bondage

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4.10 avg rating — 52,751 ratings — published 1915 — 599 editions
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The Razor's Edge

4.19 avg rating — 38,083 ratings — published 1944 — 443 editions
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The Painted Veil

3.94 avg rating — 37,131 ratings — published 1925 — 86 editions
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The Moon and Sixpence

4.14 avg rating — 19,180 ratings — published 1919 — 841 editions
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Theatre

4.15 avg rating — 6,668 ratings — published 1937 — 78 editions
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Cakes and Ale

3.77 avg rating — 6,157 ratings — published 1930 — 158 editions
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Up at the Villa

3.69 avg rating — 4,546 ratings — published 1941 — 77 editions
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The Magician

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3.60 avg rating — 3,860 ratings — published 1908 — 443 editions
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Collected Stories

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4.33 avg rating — 1,890 ratings — published 1921 — 6 editions
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Ashenden

3.85 avg rating — 2,654 ratings — published 1927 — 203 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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75 Books...More o...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Authors you love 17 2131 Jan 27, 2009 04:14AM  
Listomania: Somerset Maugham's Top Ten 1 197 Aug 14, 2009 07:51AM  
The Next Best Boo...: January's Group Reads Are..... 91 498 Jan 12, 2010 07:43AM  
The Next Best Boo...: February's WINNERS ARE..... 103 506 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.") 29 172 Apr 19, 2010 12:20PM  
Book Buying Addic...: Titles A-Z Game 684 732 Apr 21, 2010 07:20PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Spring Challenge 2010 Completed Tasks 2734 2470 May 31, 2010 09:00PM  
Cover to Cover Ch...: Read-A-Thon Progress and Discussion -- June 43 44 Jun 25, 2010 10:34AM