“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.” – W . Somerset Maugham
Born in France towards the end of the 19th century, more specifically in
1874, William Somerset Maugham lived in Paris for more than nine years. Somerset Maugham was a highly educated child. In fact, he received education from well-known schools such as the Heidelberg University, a university specialized in modern science. This aforementioned university was ranked, in 2016, best German University according to the Shanghai Ranking, thus, indicating Somerset Maugham’s well-developed intellectual capacities (Universität Heidelberg). However, it is only in 1897 that Maugham graduated from a London-based university, St. Thomas’ Medical School, with a diploma allowing him to practice medicine (IMDB). He spent five years of his life in this university (Maugham 1).
Alongside his studies, the Frenchman gave a try at literature, which had an unexpected success, thus, compromising his future career in the medical field. Indeed, it is in 1897, the same year that he graduated from medical school, that William Somerset Maugham published his first novel called Liza of Lambeth, discussing the issues of adultery in the middle class and the consequences related to these practices (Maugham). It took many years until another of his work was acclaimed by the public. In fact, his first masterpiece that would mark the literature world, Of Human Bondage, was only published in 1915 (Maugham). In an autobiography, as Maugham discusses about his literary work, he says, “My best book is generally supposed to be Of Human Bondages. His sales prove that it is still widely read […]” (Maugham 354). Due to his success, he then published many novels that were immediately considered as masterpieces that would change the world of literature. It is after being well-know, in 1944, that Somerset Maugham wrote the novel covered by our specialists on this blog called The Razor’s Edge. The boundaries of Maugham’s talents are not exclusively regarding writing novels. Indeed, the novelist wrote many acclaimed short stories, essays, autobiographies and travel books that are now all internationally known (Maugham).
The Somerset Maugham Award
Being such a great author comes with a great financial compensation. Indeed, during the 1930s, Maugham was one of the highest paid author in the world, demonstrating his talent. With this compensation, Maugham decided to build a fund in 1947 to help young writers in the United Kingdom, where the laureates must produce a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry (The Society of Authors).
After having a worldwide success, Maugham established in southern France. He died in 1965 after having many successes (Maugham).
Further Reading and Sources
Ten Novels and Their Authors – W. Somerset Maugham Compilation of essays
A Writer’s Notebook – W. Somerset Maugham One of the greatest autobiography of all time written. It is Maugham’s autobiography.
Description of Maugham’s award
Website owned by Amazon providing general information on artists.
Compilation of Maugham’s quotes
Information on Maugham’s first university.