Maugham, W(illiam) Somerset biographical name
(born Jan. 25, 1874, Paris, Francedied Dec. 16, 1965, Nice) English novelist, playwright, and short-story writer. He abandoned a short career in medicine when his first novel, Liza of Lambeth (1897), had some success. His plays, mainly Edwardian social comedies, brought him financial security. His reputation rests primarily on the novels Of Human Bondage (1915), The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Cakes and Ale (1930), and The Razor's Edge (1944), all of which were adapted for film and some for television. His short stories often portray the confusion of Europeans in alien surroundings. His works, regarded less highly today than formerly, are characterized by a clear, unadorned style, cosmopolitan settings, and a shrewd understanding of human nature.
W. Somerset Maugham.—Michael Ochs Archives/Venice, Calif.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Maugham, W(illiam) Somerset, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up Maugham, W(illiam) Somerset? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.