William Somerset Maugham (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was a British novelist, playwright, short-storywriter, highest paid author in the world in the 1930s.
William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris, the sixth and youngest son of the solicitor to the British embassy. Maugham learned French as his nativetongue. His mother Edith Mary died on 31 January, at the age of 41, two years after Maugham's mother's death, his father died of cancer
At the age of 10, Maugham was orphaned and sent to Englandto live with his uncle, the Reverend Henry MacDonald Maugham. Educated at King's School, Canterbury, and Heidelberg University, Maugham then studied six years medicine in London, but abandonedmedicine after the success of his first novels and plays.
Maugham lived in Paris for ten years as a struggling young author. In 1897 appeared his first novel, LIZA OF LAMBETH, which drew on his experiencesof attending women in childbirth. Maugham named his daughter and only child, Elizabeth 'Liza' Mary Maugham, after the title character
His first play, A MAN OF HONOUR, was produced in 1903. Four ofhis dramas ran simultaneously in London in 1904. Maugham's breakthrough novel was the semi-autobiographical OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1915), which is usually considered his outstanding achievement.
By 1914Maugham was famous, with 10 plays produced and 10 novels published. Too old to enlist when World War I broke out, Maugham served in France as a member of the British Red Cross's so-called "LiteraryAmbulance Drivers", a group of some 23 well-known writers including Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos and E. E. Cummings. During this time he met Frederick Gerald Haxton, a young San Franciscan whobecame his companion and lover until Haxton's death in 1944 (Haxton appears. In 1927 Somerset Maugham settled in the South of France and lived there until his...