The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham
'Somerset Maugham? If anybody ever sold their soul to the devil, he did, and with sizzling relish!' Stephen Tennant, in a letter to Hugo Vickers For ... Show synopsis 'Somerset Maugham? If anybody ever sold their soul to the devil, he did, and with sizzling relish!' Stephen Tennant, in a letter to Hugo Vickers For nearly sixty years Somerset Maugham (1874--1965) was one of the most famous writers in the world, and yet his personal life was largely kept hidden. An enormously successful playwright and the author of over a hundred short stories and twenty-one novels -- several of which, Of Human Bondage, Cakes and Ale and The Razor's Edge, are now established classics -- Maugham early became an expert at concealment. Predominantly homosexual, Maugham made a disastrous marriage to Syrie Wellcome, although deeply in love with the charming but dissolute Gerald Haxton. It was partly to escape his wife that Maugham undertook the extensive journeys in the Far East that inspired so many of his memorable short stories. A talented linguist, during both world wars Maugham worked for British Intelligence. In between he moved in literary and theatrical circles in London, New York and Hollywood and entertained lavishly at his luxurious villa in the south of France. Outwardly his life was richly rewarding, but privately he suffered anguish from an unrequited love affair and a shocking final betrayal. Acclaimed biographer Selina Hastings has had access to Maugham's extensive private correspondence as well as to important family testimony, which sheds a fascinating new light on this complex and extraordinary man.