W. Somerset Maugham

  • British playwright
  • Born January 25, 1874
  • Died December 16, 1965

William Somerset Maugham, CH ( MAWM; 25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965), better known as W. Somerset Maugham, was an English playwright, novelist, and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s.Both Maugham's parents died before he was 10, and he was raised by a paternal uncle who was emotionally cold. He did not want to become a lawyer like other men in his family, so he trained and qualified as a physician. The initial run of his first novel Liza of Lambeth (1897) sold out so rapidly that he gave up medicine to write full time.

The writer is more concerned to know than to judge.

Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.

Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.

It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.

I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation.

There are two good things in life - freedom of thought and freedom of action.

Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long.

The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.

The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.

Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequence than to have a really affectionate mother.

The trouble with young writers is that they are all in their sixties.

It's no good trying to keep up old friendships. It's painful for both sides. The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it.

Men have an extraordinarily erroneous opinion of their position in nature; and the error is ineradicable.

Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.

No egoism is so insufferable as that of the Christian with regard to his soul.

Death doesn't affect the living because it has not happened yet. Death doesn't concern the dead because they have ceased to exist.

When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character.

In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.

Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

The world is quickly bored by the recital of misfortune, and willing avoids the sight of distress.

Have common sense and stick to the point.

It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.

It is well known that Beauty does not look with a good grace on the timid advances of Humour.

In Hollywood, the women are all peaches. It makes one long for an apple occasionally.

There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless.

It is unsafe to take your reader for more of a fool than he is.

Marriage is a very good thing, but I think it's a mistake to make a habit out of it.

You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences.

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

What has influenced my life more than any other single thing has been my stammer. Had I not stammered I would probably... have gone to Cambridge as my brothers did, perhaps have become a don and every now and then published a dreary book about French literature.

It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it.

It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it.

I made up my mind long ago that life was too short to do anything for myself that I could pay others to do for me.

Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.

If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?

We have long passed the Victorian Era when asterisks were followed after a certain interval by a baby.

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.

The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind.