W. Somerset Maugham (January 25, 1874 - December 16, 1965)
Born: 25th January, 1874
Died: 16th December, 1965
Nationality: British writer
Region: Paris, France, Nice
Notable works: "The Razor's Edge", "Cakes and Ale", "Of Human Bondage", "The Moon and Sixpence", "Liza of Lambeth"

W. Somerset Maugham Facts

Biography

W. Somerset Maugham, in full William Somerset Maugham, (born Jan. 25, 1874, Paris, France--died Dec. 16, 1965, Nice), English novelist, playwright, and short-story writer whose work is characterized by a clear unadorned style, cosmopolitan settings, and a shrewd understanding of human nature.

Maugham was orphaned at the age of 10; he was brought up by an uncle and educated at King's School, Canterbury. After a year at Heidelberg, he entered St. Thomas' medical school, London, and qualified as a doctor in 1897. He drew upon his experiences as an obstetrician in his first novel, Liza of Lambeth (1897), and its success, though small, encouraged him to abandon medicine. He traveled in Spain and Italy and in 1908 achieved a theatrical triumph--four plays running in London at once--that brought him financial security. During World War I he worked as a secret agent. After the war he resumed his interrupted travels and, in 1928, bought a villa on Cape Ferrat in the south of France, which became his permanent home.

His reputation as a novelist rests primarily on four books: Of Human Bondage (1915), a semi-autobiographical account of a young medical student's painful progress toward maturity; The Moon and Sixpence (1919), an account of an unconventional artist, suggested by the life of Paul Gauguin; Cakes and Ale (1930), the story of a famous novelist, which is thought to contain caricatures of Thomas Hardy and Hugh Walpole; and The Razor's Edge (1944), the story of a young American war veteran's quest for a satisfying way of life. Maugham's plays, mainly Edwardian social comedies, soon became dated, but his short stories have increased in popularity. Many portray the conflict of Europeans in alien surroundings that provoke strong emotions, and Maugham's skill in handling plot, in the manner of Guy de Maupassant, is distinguished by economy and suspense. In The Summing Up (1938) and A Writer's Notebook (1949) Maugham explains his philosophy of life as a resigned atheism and a certain skepticism about the extent of man's innate goodness and intelligence; it is this that gives his work its astringent cynicism.

Top 85 W. Somerset Maugham quotes

It is salutary to train oneself to be no more affected by censure than by praise.
Affected
Censure
More
Oneself
Praise
Than
Train
Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
Belief
Common
Common belief
Contrary
Exercise
Grows
Imagination
Mature
More
Powerful
Than
Young
When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character.
Character
Choose
Choosing
Friends
Over
Personality
You
Your
My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.
Anyone
Belief
Broadcast
Fill
Hardly
Horror
Large
Life
My own
Own
Sexual
Surprise
Were
Whose
The most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency.
About
Always
Expediency
Most
Principle
Sacrificed
Thing
Useful
Useful thing
Love is only a dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species.
Achieve
Continuation
Dirty
Love
Love is
Only
Played
Species
Trick
Us
We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.
Chance
Changed
Changing
Continue
Happy
Last
Love
Nor
Person
Persons
Same
Those
To love
Year
A man marries to have a home, but also because he doesn't want to be bothered with sex and all that sort of thing.
Also
Because
Bothered
He
Home
Man
Sex
Sort
Thing
Want
The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
Ability
Substitute
Wit
Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
Acquiring
Effect
Excess
Exhilarating
Habit
Moderation
Occasion
Prevents
It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
About
Accept
Anything
Best
Funny
Funny thing
Get
Life
Often
Refuse
Thing
Very
You
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
Knows
No-one
Novel
Rules
Three
Unfortunately
Writing
The love that lasts longest is the love that is never returned.
Lasts
Longest
Love
Never
Returned
In Hollywood, the women are all peaches. It makes one long for an apple occasionally.
Apple
Hollywood
Long
Makes
Occasionally
Peaches
Women
Women are
If you want to eat well in England, eat three breakfasts.
Eat
England
Three
Want
Well
You
Writing is the supreme solace.
Solace
Supreme
Writing
The crown of literature is poetry.
Crown
Literature
Poetry
The writer of prose can only step aside when the poet passes.
Aside
Only
Passes
Poet
Prose
Step
Writer
It is unsafe to take your reader for more of a fool than he is.
Fool
He
More
Reader
Take
Than
Unsafe
Your
Money is the string with which a sardonic destiny directs the motions of its puppets.
Destiny
Money
Motions
Puppets
String
Which
Have common sense and stick to the point.
Common
Point
Sense
Stick
It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.
Character
Does
Happiness
Makes
Men
Most
Part
Petty
Sometimes
Suffering
True
Vindictive
The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.
Beautiful
Essence
Unity
Variety
The great American novel has not only already been written, it has already been rejected.
American
Been
Great
Great american
Novel
Only
Rejected
Written
Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.
Also
Build
Call
Day
Develop
Forth
Generation
Great
Institutions
Interests
Land
Let us
May
Our
If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?
Beliefs
Change
Forever
Good
Good news
Life
Like
News
Will
You
Your
The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind.
Common
Contrary
Humble
Idea
Kind
Makes
Making
Most
On the contrary
Part
People
Spoils
Success
Them
I would sooner read a time-table or a catalogue than nothing at all. They are much more entertaining than half the novels that are written.
Catalogue
Entertaining
Half
More
Much
Nothing
Novels
Read
Sooner
Than
Would
Written
Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Advice
Affair
Death
Dreary
Dull
Nothing
Very
Whatsoever
You
Tolerance is another word for indifference.
Another
Indifference
Tolerance
Word
It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up.
Day
Get
Lovely
Pity
Thought
Up
The world in general doesn't know what to make of originality; it is startled out of its comfortable habits of thought, and its first reaction is one of anger.
Anger
Comfortable
First
General
Habits
Know
Make
Originality
Out
Reaction
Thought
World
Perfection has one grave defect: it is apt to be dull.
Apt
Defect
Dull
Grave
Perfection
Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequence than to have a really affectionate mother.
Affectionate
Befall
Boy
Bring
Consequence
Few
Misfortunes
Mother
Really
Than
Which
Worse
An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.
About
Bad
Bad ones
Easier
Give
Good
Good habits
Habits
Much
Than
Thing
Unfortunate
Up
World
Marriage is a very good thing, but I think it's a mistake to make a habit out of it.
Good
Good thing
Habit
I think
Make
Marriage
Mistake
Out
Thing
Think
Very
Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.
Adventure
Artist
Every
Expression
His
Production
Should
Soul
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.
Ask
Dignity
Enough
Frank
Generous
Independent
Just
Preserve
Wealth
Work
When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.
Across
Becomes
Book
Come
Eyes
Me
Meaning
Now
Now and then
Only
Part
Passage
Perhaps
Phrase
If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom, and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.
Anything
Comfort
Freedom
Irony
Lose
Money
More
Nation
Than
Too
Values
Will
Impropriety is the soul of wit.
Soul
Wit
It wasn't until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say, 'I don't know.'
Discovered
Easy
How
Know
Late
Life
Say
Until
People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.
Ask
Criticism
Only
People
Praise
Want
It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it.
Happy
Illusion
Lost
Those
Who
Youth
Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.
About
Beauty
Ecstasy
Hunger
Like
Nothing
Perfume
Really
Rose
Said
Simple
Smell
You
It's no good trying to keep up old friendships. It's painful for both sides. The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it.
Both
Both sides
Face
Fact
Friendships
Good
Grows
Keep
Old
Only
Out
Painful
People
Sides
We know our friends by their defects rather than by their merits.
Defects
Friends
Know
Merits
Our
Rather
Than
The artist produces for the liberation of his soul. It is his nature to create as it is the nature of water to run down the hill.
Artist
Create
Down
Hill
His
Liberation
Nature
Produces
Run
Soul
Water
In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.
Blaze
City
Country
Darkness
Familiar
Friendly
Hostile
Lights
Like
Menacing
Monstrous
Night
Time
Unnatural
You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences.
Anything
Consequences
Prepared
Take
World
You

W. Somerset Maugham essays

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Reviewing Somerset Maugham The Short Story English Books Essay
W. Somerset Maugham's "THE ENTIRE Short Testimonies of W. Somerset Maugham" are two self-compiled amounts filled with literary sketches from his vacations across the world. Through careful observation, Maugham's enthusiastic insight into individuals nature shows a most interesting matter choice. Written in a careful structure, he writes the same kind of tale in a uncooked and riveting way. While working as a health care provider in the slums of London, he arrived to contact with less than reputable characters, some of which intrigued him. These initial experiences with brilliant individuals..
The Conflict of the Realms Essay
The War of the WorldsThe War from the Worlds-are watching through telescopes the vision of the crash of the comet and the celestial body overhead and are setting up scientific papers on what they take to always be the slight damage done to the earth. Wells's narrator then simply neatly upends homocentrist pretensions: "Which simply shows just how small the vastest man catastrophes may seem, at a distance of some million miles. "Wells's perspectives on the contingency of civilization are certainly not always alien.To the end of his life, Wells himself regarded the technological..
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