A William Somerset Maugham Encyclopediaby Samuel Rogal
William Somerset Maugham was one of the most popular and successful British writers of his time. From October 1897, when he completed his medical education at St. Thomas's Hospital in London, until his death in December 1965, Maugham wrote twenty novels, filled nine volumes with his short stories, wrote thirty-one plays, and published seven volumes of prose
William Somerset Maugham was one of the most popular and successful British writers of his time. From October 1897, when he completed his medical education at St. Thomas's Hospital in London, until his death in December 1965, Maugham wrote twenty novels, filled nine volumes with his short stories, wrote thirty-one plays, and published seven volumes of prose nonfiction. His writings reflect the tensions of the Boer War, World War I, and World War II; the lavishness of the highest levels of British and American society during the first six decades of the 20th century; the glamor of Hollywood, Paris, New York, San Francisco, and London; and the romance of China, Malaya, Borneo, and India. His popularity brought him prosperity. At a 1962 auction, 35 of his paintings sold for nearly $1.5 million; bequests in his will totaled $280,000; his royalties during the last ten years of his life averaged $50,000 per year; and his Riviera estate, purchased in 1927 for $48,000, sold for $730,000 in 1967.
This reference book is a guide to Maugham's fascinating life and career. The volume begins with a brief discussion of the importance of Maugham's life and work, followed by a detailed chronology of important biographical and literary events. Through several hundred alphabetically arranged entries, the encyclopedia overviews Maugham's drama, fiction, and prose nonfiction; his family; the persons whom he knew and with whom he associated; the places where he lived and to which he journeyed, particularly the cities and villages that he inserted into his works; and the historical, cultural, social, and political issues that governed his life and career. Each entry closes with a brief bibliography, and the volume includes a selected bibliography of critical studies.
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Meet the Author
SAMUEL J. ROGAL is Chair of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts at Illinois Valley Community College. He has written some 150 articles, and his more than 25 books include A Companion to the Characters in the Fiction of W. Somerset Maugham (1996), Sing Glory and Hallelujah! Historical and Biographical Guide to Gospel Hymns Nos. 1 to 6 Complete (1996), Agriculture in Britain and America, 1660-1820: An Annotated Bibliography of the Eighteenth Century Literature (1994), Medicine in Great Britain from the Restoration to the Nineteenth Century, 1660-1800 (1992), A Chronological Outline of American Literature (1987), A Guide to the Hymns and Tunes of American Methodism, 1878-1964 (1986), The Children's Jubilee: A Bibliographical Survey of Hymnals for Infants, Youths and Sunday Schools Published in Britain and America, 1655-1900 (1983), and A Chronological Outline of British Literature (1980), all published by Greenwood.
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