W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) was a master storyteller known for his skill with plotting and conveying the nuance of relationships. Among his masterpieces, which included plays and short stories, are the novels Of Human Bondage (1915), The Painted Veil (1925), and The Razor’s Edge (1944). Although Maugham struggled early on, by 1904 he had four dramas running simultaneously in London, and he was once the world’s highest-paid author. Born at the British embassy in Paris, he was orphaned at ten and developed a stammer he never outgrew. Maugham lived in Cape Ferrat, France.