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.
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Silence is one of the great arts of conversation, as allowed by Cicero himself, who says, 'there is not only an art, but an eloquence in it.' A well bred woman may easily and effectually promote the most useful and elegant conversation without speaking a word. The modes of speech are scarcely more variable than the modes of silence.
The Americans, who are the most efficient people on earth, . . . have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on a conversation without giving a moment's reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication.