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. Commercial success with high book sales, successful theatre productions and a string of film adaptations, backed by astute stock market investments, allowed Maugham to live a very comfortable life. Small and weak as a boy, Maugham had been proud even then of his stamina, and as an adult he kept churning out the books, proud that he could. Yet, despite his triumphs, he never attracted the highest respect from the critics or his peers. Maugham himself attributed this to his lack of "lyrical quality", his small vocabulary and failure to make expert use of metaphor in his work.
'It is very difficult for a writer of my generation, if he is honest, to pretend indifference to the work of Somerset Maugham,' wrote Gore Vidal. 'He was always so entirely there.' Of Human Bondage is a potent expression of the power of sexual obs... Read More »
The Magician is one of Somerset Maughams most complex and perceptive novels. Running through it is the theme of evil, deftly woven into a story as memorable for its action as for its astonishingly vivid characters. In fin de siècle Paris, Arthur ... Read More »
A story of the proud Allertons whose fortune has been squandered, and whose three-hundred-year estate Hamlyn's Purlieu stands to be lost to the family. Lucy and George Allerton, brother and sister, are resolved to overcome the mistakes of their fa... Read More »