90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, June 21, 2012

‘Revealing Mr. Maugham’

British novelist and playwright W. Somerset Maugham waves farewell as he leaves from New York for Europe aboard the ocean liner Aquitania, on May 22, 1923. (AP)

A new documentary by Michael House tells the story of Somerset Maugham, the novelist, spy, playwright, physician and prolific writer, who took on the taboo subjects of adultery and sexual jealousy and breathed new life into the spy novel.

He was married, had male lovers, traveled the world, and watched many of his works come to the big screen. Bette Davis played the femme fatale in the ’30s film adaptation of “Of Human Bondage,” Greta Garbo was in “The Painted Veil,” and Peter Lorre, “Secret Agent.”

Revealing Mr. Maugham” also looks at the writer’s personal struggles — including a stammer that Maugham developed as a child after his parents died.

Although he was married, Maugham had a longtime relationship with an American man, Gerald Haxton, who helped the more retiring Maugham meet the people who would become characters in Maugham’s stories.

“Revealing Mr Maugham” is available for purchase online.

Somerset Maugham Novels Discussed In This Segment


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

We now have a digital bookshelf! Explore all our books coverage or browse by genre.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

January 27 61 Comments

Nun Hopes For More Gender Equality In The Church

Sister Joan Chittister describes how the Vatican's tone toward nuns has changed and shares her hopes for the Catholic church.

January 26 3 Comments

Limitations Of Winter Freeze Inspire Maine Chef

The food at Vinland in downtown Portland is 100 percent locally sourced, even in the dead of winter.

January 26 Comment

Mayors Examine Community Policing

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has new recommendations on community policing, in the wake of Ferguson.

January 23 4 Comments

How ‘The Good War’ In Afghanistan Went Bad

Jack Fairweather's new book argues the war could turn out to be the defining tragedy of the 21st century.