Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin
W. Somerset Maugham
was born in 1874 and lived in Paris until he was ten. He was educated at King's School, Canterbury, and at Heidelberg University. He afterwards walked the wards of St. Thomas's Hospital with a view to practice in medicine, but the success of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth
(1897), won him over to letters. Something of his hospital experience is reflected, however, in the first of his masterpieces, Of Human Bondage
(1915), and with The Moon and Sixpence
(1919) his reputation as a novelist was assured.
His position as one of the most successful playwrights on the London stage was being consolidated simultaneously. His first play, A Man of Honour (1903), was followed by a procession of successes just before and after the First World War. (At one point only Bernard Shaw had more plays running at the same time in London.) His theatre career ended with Sheppey (1933).
His fame as a short-story writer began with The Trembling of a Leaf, sub-titled Little Stories of the South Sea Islands, in 1921, after which he published more than ten collections.
W. Somerset Maugham's general books are fewer in number. They include travel books, such as On a Chinese Screen (1922) and Don Fernando (1935), essays, criticism, and the self-revealing The Summing Up (1938) and A Writer's Notebook (1949).
W. Somerset Maugham became a Companion of Honour in 1954. He died in 1965.
Table of contents:
Collected Short Stories Volume 2 Preface
The Vessel of Wrath
The Force of Circumstance
Flotsam and Jetsam
The Alien Corn
The Creative Impulse
The Man with the Scar
The Closed Shop
The Colonel's Lady
The Social Sense
In a Strange Land
A Friend in Need
The Round Dozen
The Human Element
Footprints in the Jungle
The Door of Opportunity