Novelist, storyteller, and British playwright, born by chance in Paris in 1874 and died in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat in 1965. He/She spent his childhood in Paris, where his father worked as a lawyer for the British Embassy, which meant that his first language was French. On the death of his parents he/she moved to England, studied at the King's School in Canterbury and then he/she went to Germany, to the University of Heidelberg, to study medicine.
His delicate health gave him a difficult childhood, problems that are not resolved with age, because when he/she was young he/she had to spend a long time in the South of France, on the French Riviera, recovering from tuberculosis. In 1892 he/she returned to London to do medicine in the Hospital St. Thomas practices; There he/she worked as a physician and surgeon, and had the opportunity to learn about the misery of the suburbs of the great city, which was reflected in his work Liza of Lambeth (1897). This novel, realistic description of the London slums, which tells a passionate story of love outside marriage, begins the series of protagonists of "burning heart" so characteristic of this author. Maugham, master of penetrating observation and antirromantico style, was contrary to use the novel as a vehicle to discuss a point of view or a theory, so only used his technique of writer in his remarks.
During those years he/she also wrote several plays, genre which achieved a notable success with his first work, a man of honour (1903); However, the work that established him definitely Lady Frederick (1907), as a result of which was the most famous playwright in the country until the 1920s.
Human bondage (1915), which critics considered better of his novels, was written it in the years immediately prior to World War II, a parenthesis in his work of writer, during which he/she was working at the service of the British intelligence in Russia and France. This autobiographical novel, which recounts the struggle of the young Philip Carey for emancipation from the atmosphere that oppresses it, and find a valid life philosophy to deal with the outside world.
He married Syrie Wellcome in 1916, which divorced in 1927, when Maugham began another relationship with an American, Gerald Haxton, together which was traveling for a while by far East and the Pacific Islands until it settled on the French Riviera, in the South of France, in 1928. Meanwhile Maugham continued writing works that were authentic best sellers at the time; notably, some such as the Moon and Sixpence (1919) - fictionalized biography of the painter Gauguin, the painted veil (1925) and biscuits and beer (1930). He/She wrote also a number of short stories, which were collected in anthologies and volumes as the casuarina (1926), many of which were subsequently adapted to cinema.
In 1940, Maugham had to flee from France to the United States to escape the nazis; There he/she lived peacefully until the end of the war, when he/she returned to France with another partner, Alan Searle. Haxton died in 1944, the same year that was published the knife-edge, another of his best novels. In 1949 he/she published notebook, collecting notes and sketches made in the course of his literary career on facts and personal experiences.
Its abundant production of fictional and narrative reflects the atmosphere of contemporary British socialites or is inspired by his experiences traveling around the world. Its style highlights a critical irony that analyzes society with cold reflection into diagnostic mode. In addition to the cited titles include others such as the Mrs Craddock (1902), the promised land (1913), the circle (1921), our models (1923), the letter (1927) and the imperfect married (1927).