Prepared by:
Zhenya Repyova
Yulia Kaduk
William Somerset Maugham was
an English playwright, novelist
and short story writer. He was
among the most popular writers...
W. Somerset
Maugham was born
in Paris as the sixth
and youngest son of
the solicitor to the
British embassy. He
learned Fr...
Educated at
King's School,
Canterbury, and
Heidelberg
University in
Germany,
Maugham then
studied six
years medicine
in Lo...
He abandoned medicine after the success of his
first novels and plays but he studied the craft of
writing as assiduously a...
Marriage & Personal Life
By this time, his homosexuality had become
known to everyone and he was often dragged
into contro...
Maugham then lived in Paris for ten
years as a struggling young author.
In 1897 his first novel, LIZA OF
LAMBERT appeared....
Maugham's breakthrough novel was the semiautobiographical OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1915), which
is usually considered his outstan...
W. Somerset Maugham lived to
be 91 years of age. He passed
away December 16th, 1965. He
had lived in Victorian England,
tu...
Hollywood loves W. Somerset Maugham. More
than the works of most other twentieth-century
writers, Maugham’s plays, novels,...
Essential Facts
• Although of British descent, Maugham was born in
Paris. To prevent Maugham from being drafted into the
m...
The most popular novels
• Liza of Lambeth (1897)

• The Moon and Sixpence (1919 )
• The Painted Veil (1925)
• Cakes and Al...
Liza of Lambeth was W.
Somerset Maugham's first
novel, which he wrote
while working as a doctor
at a hospital in Lambeth,
...
The Moon and Sixpence
is a novel by W. Somerset
Maugham, told in
episodic form by the firstperson narrator as a
series of ...
The Painted Veil is a 2006 ChineseAmerican drama film directed by
John Curran. The screenplay by Ron
Nyswaner is based on ...
Cakes and Ale: or, the Skeleton in the
Cupboard is a novel by British author
William Somerset Maugham. It is often
alleged...
In Theatre, W. Somerset Maugham–the author of the
classic novels Of Human Bondage and Up at the Villa–
introduces us to Ju...
The Razor’s Edge is a book by W.
Somerset Maugham published in 1944.
Its epigraph reads, "The sharp edge of a
razor is dif...
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  1. 1. Prepared by: Zhenya Repyova Yulia Kaduk
  2. 2. William Somerset Maugham was an English playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s
  3. 3. W. Somerset Maugham was born in Paris as the sixth and youngest son of the solicitor to the British embassy. He learned French as his native tongue. At the age of 10 Maugham was orphaned and sent to England to live with his uncle, the vicar of Whitestable
  4. 4. Educated at King's School, Canterbury, and Heidelberg University in Germany, Maugham then studied six years medicine in London. He qualified in 1897 as a doctor from St. Thomas' medical school
  5. 5. He abandoned medicine after the success of his first novels and plays but he studied the craft of writing as assiduously as he had medicine, often writing out passages of other novelists. He never owned a typewriter but wrote everything by hand. He eventually developed a habit of writing four hours each morning
  6. 6. Marriage & Personal Life By this time, his homosexuality had become known to everyone and he was often dragged into controversies for to his sexual orientation. Nonetheless, he also had affairs with many women among which the most enduring was with Syrie Wellcome, wife of American-born Englishman Henry Wellcome. His romance with Syrie resulted in a daughter Liza and Syrie's divorce with his husband Henry. In May 1917, Maugham married Syrie accepting Liza as his daughter. The marriage became strained due to his contemptuous relationship with Haxton and they divorced around 1927
  7. 7. Maugham then lived in Paris for ten years as a struggling young author. In 1897 his first novel, LIZA OF LAMBERT appeared. His first play, A MAN OF HONOUR was produced in 1903. Four of his plays ran simultaneously in London in 1904
  8. 8. Maugham's breakthrough novel was the semiautobiographical OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1915), which is usually considered his outstanding achievement. It made him the most popular author of his time. During World War I he was a volunteer ambulance driver, one of the so called Literary Ambulance Drivers of the day. In 1928 he purchased Mauresque (a word meaning 'of Moorish style'), a villa on the Riviera in the south of France overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. In the early part of 1938 Maugham Travels in India, meeting Sri Ramana Maharshi, who he later used as a model for the holy man in his novel The Razor’s Edge. As the the Nazi military juggernaut thrust across the border into France, Maugham, like thousands of others, was forced to become a refugee, albeit, a fairly well off refugee. Under the auspices of his American publisher Nelson Doubleday, he settled in the United States for the duration of the war, first in South Carolina then in Hollywood, California. With the end of hostilities he returned to Mauresque and it remained his home till the end of his days
  9. 9. W. Somerset Maugham lived to be 91 years of age. He passed away December 16th, 1965. He had lived in Victorian England, turn of the century America, Europe between the wars, and seen the invention of movies, radio, and television --- briefly summing it all up somewhat with his own words in Looking Back. All the while he traveled the world, rubbed shoulders with the richest and the most famous people of the day, put together a private art collection of Impressionist paintings that was the envy of all who saw it, and observed the human condition in all its myriad forms
  10. 10. Hollywood loves W. Somerset Maugham. More than the works of most other twentieth-century writers, Maugham’s plays, novels, and short stories have been adapted into films. In part, this was attributable to his enormous output, but it is even more closely tied to his enduring popularity. That popularity and the lucrative financial benefits that it brought had a negative impact on Maugham’s literary reputation. A writer who was too often written off as well liked rather than well respected, Maugham frequent joked about his own apparent inferiority. Yet, despite his modesty, Maugham created a body of work characterized by incredible range. While he was known for fluffy tales like Theatre (which was adapted into the 2004 film Being Julia), his dark, late-career novel The Razor’s Edge proved Maugham was an author of substance
  11. 11. Essential Facts • Although of British descent, Maugham was born in Paris. To prevent Maugham from being drafted into the military under French law, Maugham’s father arranged for his son to be born on British Embassy grounds. • Despite his gift with language on the page, Maugham suffered from a severe stutter throughout his life. • Maugham was one of the “Literary Ambulance Drivers” of World War I. The moniker was a slang term for the unusually high number of literary greats (such as Ernest Hemingway and E. E. Cummings) who served as ambulance drivers during the war. • Maugham briefly did intelligence work at the end of the First World War. The written account of his experiences was highly influential on Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond. • For half a decade, Maugham studied medicine. Though the experience would continue to influence his writing for the rest of his life, it was particularly crucial to his first and highly successful novel, Liza of Lambeth
  12. 12. The most popular novels • Liza of Lambeth (1897) • The Moon and Sixpence (1919 ) • The Painted Veil (1925) • Cakes and Ale or, the Skeleton in the Cupboard (1930) • Theatre (1937) • The Razor’s Edge (1944)
  13. 13. Liza of Lambeth was W. Somerset Maugham's first novel, which he wrote while working as a doctor at a hospital in Lambeth, then a working class district of London. It depicts the short life and death of Liza Kemp, an 18year-old factory worker who lives together with her aging mother in Vere Street (obviously fictional) off Westminster Bridge Road (real) in Lambeth. All in all, it gives the reader an interesting insight into the everyday lives of working class Londoners at the turn of the century
  14. 14. The Moon and Sixpence is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham, told in episodic form by the firstperson narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland, a middle-aged English stockbroker who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist. The story is said to be loosely based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin
  15. 15. The Painted Veil is a 2006 ChineseAmerican drama film directed by John Curran. The screenplay by Ron Nyswaner is based on the 1925 novel of the same title by W. Somerset Maugham. Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Toby Jones, Anthony Wong Chau Sang and Liev Schreiber appear in the leading roles.This is the third Film adaptation of the Maugham book, following a 1934 film starring Herbert Marshall and Greta Garbo and a 1957 version called The Seventh Sin with Bill Travers and Eleanor Parker
  16. 16. Cakes and Ale: or, the Skeleton in the Cupboard is a novel by British author William Somerset Maugham. It is often alleged to be a thinly veiled roman a clef examining contemporary novelists Thomas Hardy (as Edward Driffield) and Hugh Walpole (as Alroy Kear) — though Maugham maintained he had created both characters as composites and in fact explicitly denies any connection to Hardy in his own introduction to later editions of the novel. Maugham exposes the misguided social snobbery leveled at the character Rosie Driffield (Edward's first wife), whose frankness, honesty and sexual freedom make her a target of conservative propriety. Her character is treated favourably by the book's narrator, Ashenden, who understands her sexual energy to be a muse to the many artists who surround her
  17. 17. In Theatre, W. Somerset Maugham–the author of the classic novels Of Human Bondage and Up at the Villa– introduces us to Julia Lambert, a woman of breathtaking poise and talent whose looks have stood by her forty-six years. She is one of the greatest actresses England–so good, in fact, that perhaps she never stops acting
  18. 18. The Razor’s Edge is a book by W. Somerset Maugham published in 1944. Its epigraph reads, "The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard," taken from a verse in the KathaUpanishad. The Razor’s Edge tells the story of Larry Darrell, an American pilot traumatized by his experiences in World War I, who sets off in search of some transcendent meaning in his life. The story begins through the eyes of Larry’s friends and acquaintances as they witness his personality change after the War. His rejection of conventional life and search for meaningful experience allows him to thrive while the more materialistic characters suffer reversals of fortune. The book was twice adapted into film, first in 1946 starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney, and Herbert Marshall as Maugham, and then a 1984 adaptation starring Bill Murray
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