Considering the prints of his books, Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) is the most read English writer after Dickens. He lived 92 years and left a huge literary heritage: twenty novels, thirty-one plays, great number of travel notes, essays and short stories. Somerset Maugham is noted for his clarity of style and skill in storytelling.
Some of the titles of Maugham's early novels were well-known amongst a whole generation of readers: "Of Human Bondage" (1915), "The Moon and Sixpence" (1919), "Ashenden": or, "The British Agent" (1938), and "Cakes and Ale": or, "The Skeleton in the Cupboard" (1930). Among his plays, perhaps best known and much produced was "Rain" (1922). An early autobiography is "The Summing Up" (1938).