Maugham Somerset 1874 - 1965 (91)

It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.


Of Human Bondage

There was no meaning in life, and man by living served no end. It was immaterial whether he was born or not born, whether he lived or ceased to live. Life was insignificant and death without consequence. Philip exulted, as he had exulted in his boyhood when the weight of a belief in God was lifted from his shoulders: it seemed to him that the last burden of responsibility was taken from him; and for the first time he was utterly free.

William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) was an English novelist and playwright. He was born in Paris, on January 25, 1874, the fourth of six children (two died in infancy) of the legal advisor of the British Embassy. He was eight when he lost his mother and at ten he lost his father as well; he was sent to live with an uncle. At 16 he went to Heidelberg to learn German, he studied medicine. He specialized in gynecology, but in 1897 he published his first work and since then he abandoned medicine for writing. In 1904 he wrote the comedy "An honest man" which had great success and in the coming decades he wrote many successful plays, many of which satirized the senior English class.

In 1914 he voluntarily joined the English army and after the war he worked in British intelligence services; he was sent to Russia where he correspond the revolution. Since 1928 he moved to southern France and lived exclusively from writing. His most important novels was “Human slavery”, 1915, the fictionalized biography of Gauguin “The moon and 6 pence”, 1919 and “The razor's edge”, 1944 In 1951 he published in three volumes all his short stories. He died on December 16, 1965.