Somerset Maugham(1874-1965), Novelist, playwright and spy
William ('W.') Somerset Maugham
Sitter associated with 115 portraits
Somerset Maugham was one of the most popular and commercially successful authors of the twentieth century. He qualified as a doctor in 1897, but pursued his passion for writing following the publication of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, in the same year. His play Lady Frederick (1907) was his first theatrical success, and his largely autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage (1915) became a best seller. It was followed by other highly praised works The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Cakes and Ale (1930) and The Razor's Edge (1945). He wrote more than thirty plays, including Home and Beauty (1919) and The Letter (1927).
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.