Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.
W. Somerset Maugham QuotesShowing all quotes
|Birth:||25th January, 1874|
|Death:||16th December, 1965|
Maugham's father Robert Ormond Maugham was an English lawyer who handled the legal affairs of the British embassy in Paris, France. Since French law declared that all children born on French soil could be conscripted for military service, his father arranged for Maugham to be born at the embassy, technically on British soil. His grandfather, another Robert, had also been a prominent lawyer and co-founder of the English Law Society. It was taken for granted that Maugham and his brothers would follow in their footsteps. His elder brother Viscount Maugham enjoyed a distinguished legal career and served as Lord Chancellor from 1938 to 1939.
Maugham's mother Edith Mary had tuberculosis, a condition for which her doctor prescribed childbirth. She had Maugham several years after the last of his three older brothers; they were already enrolled in boarding school by the time he was three. The youngest, he was effectively raised as an only child.
Edith's sixth and final son died on 25 January 1882, one day after his birth, on Maugham's eighth birthday. Edith died of TB six days later on 31 January at the age of 41. The early death of his mother left Maugham traumatized; he kept his mother's photograph by his bedside for the rest of his life. Two years after Edith's death, Maugham's father died of cancer.
Maugham was sent to England to be cared for by his uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, the Vicar of Whitstable, in Kent. The move was damaging, as Henry Maugham proved cold and emotionally cruel. The boy attended The King's School, Canterbury, which was also difficult for him. He was teased for his bad English and his short stature, which he inherited from his father. Maugham developed a stammer that would stay with him all his life, although it was sporadic and subject to mood and circumstance.
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