William Somerset Maugham had one of the longest careers of any writer in the English language. His first novel, 

Liza of Lambeth

 (1897), created controversy because of its realistic description of working class life in South London, and encouraged Maugham to abandon a career in medicine to become a full-time writer. After a lean decade, Maugham achieved celebrity when his play 

Lady Frederick

 was staged in 1907: he quickly became one of the most successful playwrights of the early twentieth century. During the First World War, Maugham returned to fiction, publishing the semi-autobiographical novel 

Of Human Bondage

 (1915), perhaps his finest work. In subsequent years, he wrote short stories, travel narratives and novels set in the South Pacific and East and Southeast Asia, as well as…

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Citation: Holden, Philip Joseph. "W. Somerset Maugham". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 October 2008; last revised 10 April 2019. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=3003, accessed 22 February 2024.]

3003 W. Somerset Maugham 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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