William Somerset Maugham

William Somerset Maugham is definitely one of the most popular British prose writers and playwrights of the 30s. He was born on January 25, 1874. Theaters staged more than 30 of his plays. 9 novels were filmed. That included ”Theatre”, “The Painted Veil”, and “Of Human Bondage”. The most striking facts from biography of the writer are presented below:

  • Somerset Maugham was born and died in France, but has always been a subject of the British crown.

  • Until the age of ten, William spoke only French. He began to learn English when he moved to England after the death of his parents. From the age of 10, Maugham began to stutter – a disorder which he was never able to get rid of.

  • Somerset was born in the family of hereditary lawyers - his grandfather, father and older brother, who took the rank of Lord Chancellor, were engaged in advocacy.

  • During the World War I Maugham collaborated with MI5. He also worked in the Russian Empire until 1917 being in the secret mission. Some of his memoirs of the life of a secret agent later formed the basis of literary works.

  • France was the writer's love for ever. In the 1930s he bought a luxurious villa at Cape Ferrat. Nevertheless, the fashionable atmosphere did not dampen the mood - every day Maugham worked in his office where he wrote at least 1,500 words and always placed his desk against a blank wall so that nothing would distract him from his work.

  • The writer does not have a grave - his ashes are scattered near the walls of the Maugham Library in Canterbury (photo 3).

  • We can say that Maugham received a creative monument during his lifetime: in 1947 the Somerset Maugham Prize was established which is now awarded to the English writers under the age of 35.

The name of a true talent is priceless!
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