W. Somerset Maugham

The Somerset Maugham BBC Radio Collection
  • The Somerset Maugham BBC Radio Collection

    • W. Somerset Maugham

    • Alex Jennings (Read by)

    • Dirk Bogarde (Read by)

    • Janet Maw (Read by)

    • Full Cast (Read by)

    BBC Radio 4 dramatisations and readings of Somerset Maugham's fiction - plus bonus programme Replay: Somerset Maugham

    William Somerset Maugham was one of the most successful English writers of the 20th Century, and remains the most adapted for film and TV. This collection includes eight of his novels, plays and short stories, as heard on BBC radio, as well as an illuminating interview with the author himself.

    The Moon and Sixpence - Respectable stockbroker Charles Strickland abandons his wife and children to live as a painter in Paris and Tahiti. Starring Ronald Pickup and Patrick Allen.

    The Painted Veil - First published in 1925 to a storm of protest, this is a haunting, poignant tale of one woman's spiritual awakening. Starring Sarah Smart and Nicholas Farrell.

    The Sacred Flame- Invalided following an air crash, Maurice is determined to remain cheerful. But his condition affects all those who are close to him. Starring Julian Glover, Wendy Hiller, Hannah Gordon and Janet Maw.

    Ashenden, Gentleman Spy - Ashenden, a writer by profession, returns from the First World War and is offered a position in the Secret Service. Five short stories based on Maugham's own wartime experiences, read byAlex Jennings.

    For Services Rendered- In this incisive state-of-the nation play, it is 1932, and the progressive Ardsley family seem to be managing their lives very well. But in reality, each of them is fighting for survival. Starring David Calder, Sian Thomas and Louise Brealey.

    The Narrow Corner - Sailing home from the East Indies, a doctor and his two companions are forced to seek shelter on the island of Kanda - where they encounter the beautiful, sultry Louise... Starring Garard Green, Owen Scott, Douglas Blackwell and Cara Kelly.

    Christmas Holiday - 1938, and Charley is looking forward to spending Christmas in Paris with his old school friend, Simon. But they are both ignorant of the storm clouds lowering over Europe... Starring Peter Rumney and Anthony Daniels.

    The Razor's Edge - After the First World War, Larry Darrell returns to Chicago but finds it difficult to fit back into society. To the dismay of his fiancée, Isabel, he heads for Paris and embarks on a spiritual quest. StarringNicholas Le Prevost, John Light and Megan Dodds.

    Replay: Somerset Maugham - Philip French presents an archive interview with Somerset Maugham, recorded in 1954 on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

William Somerset Maugham, famous as novelist, playwright and short-story writer, was born in 1874, and lived in Paris until he was ten. He was educated at King's School, Canterbury, and at Heidelberg University. He spent some time at St. Thomas' Hospital with a view to practising medicine, but the success of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, published in 1897, won him over to letters. Of Human Bondage, the first of his masterpieces, came out in 1915, and with the publication in 1919 of The Moon and Sixpence his reputation as a novelist was established. His position as a successful playwright was being consolidated at the same time. His first play, A Man of Honour, was followed by a series of successes just before and after World War I, and his career in the theatre did not end until 1933 with Sheppey. His fame as a short story writer began with The Trembling of a Leaf, subtitled Little Stories of the South Sea Islands, in 1921, after which he published more than ten collections. His other works include travel books such as On a Chinese Screen, and Don Fernando, essays, criticism, and the autobiographical The Summing Up and A Writer's Notebook. In 1927, he settled in the south of France, and lived there until his death in 1965.


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