W. Somerset Maugham

You got it, W! I totally agree with you. The only important thing in a book is the meaning that is has for you.

I’ve always seen W as one of those authors that you were exposed to during school who looked, wrote and were dull, even despite of the sassy suits of the time, but W. Somerset Maugham’s biography reads like a novel in itself.

Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) was born in the British embassy in Paris in order to avoid French military conscription. By the ripe age of 10, he was orphaned and sent to live with a cold, vicar uncle in England. W trained to be a medical doctor, but his second novel “Liza of Lambeth” was such a success that he chose to concentrate on a writing career.

During the First World War, W worked with the Red Cross in the “Literary Ambulance Drivers, of which E.E. Cummings also was a part. (What’s with the letters instead of first names?) W wrote his masterpiece “On Human Bondage” in between his ambulance shifts at Dunkirk.

Oh yes, he apparently also did some intelligence work for the agency later known as MI6, travelled widely, and wrote movie scripts in Hollywood during World War 2. W also sold some paintings that belonged to his daughter, Liza, and ended up with a civil suit in court.

W, my soon-to-be friend, you’re life sounds riveting! I actually can’t wait to read something from your hand.


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