William Somerset Maugham ( MAWM; 25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was an English writer, known for his plays, novels and short stories. Born in Paris, where he spent his first ten years, Maugham was schooled in England and went to a German university. He became a medical student in London and qualified as a physician in 1897. He never practised medicine, and became a full-time writer. His first novel, Liza of Lambeth (1897), a study of life in the slums, attracted attention, but it was as a playwright that he first achieved national celebrity. By 1908 he had four plays running at once in the West End of London. He wrote his 32nd and last play in 1933, after which he abandoned the theatre and concentrated on novels and short stories.
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