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W. Somerset Maugham
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    (January 25, 1874-December 16, 1965)
    Born in Paris, France
    Birth name was William Somerset Maugham
    Wrote the novels 'Liza of Lambeth' (1897), 'Of Human Bondage' (1915), 'The Moon and Sixpence' (1919), 'The Painted Veil' (1925), 'Cakes and Ale' (1930), 'Up at the Villa' (1941) and 'The Razor's Edge' (1944)
    Wrote the plays 'The Circle' (1921), 'East of Suez' (1922), 'The Constant Wife' (1926), 'The Letter' (1927) and 'For Services Rendered' (1932)
    He had a daughter out of wedlock.
    After marrying her mother, he continued living with another man.
    He alienated many of his friends by including them, barely disguised, as characters in his works.
    His attempt to leave his estate to his lover, Adam Searle, by adopting Searle as his son led to a bitter battle with his daughter.
    Shortly before his death, he told his nephew Robin, 'I've been a horrible and evil man. Every one of the few people who have ever got to know me well has ended up by hating me.'
    His mother died in childbirth when he was eight, and his father died from cancer two years later.
    He served as an ambulance driver during World War I.
    His spy novel 'Asheden' influenced Ian Fleming's James Bond series.
    He established the Somerset Maugham Award for best British writer under age 35.
    He coined the phrase, 'If forty million people do a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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