William Somerset Maugham (1874- 1965) was a British 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. He was a doctor whose first novel was so successful that he gave up medicine to write full time. He served as a doctor in WWI before being recruited into the British Intelligence Service. His works include 'Of Human Bondage' and 'The Razor's Edge'.