William Somerset Maugham ( MAWM; 25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was an English 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.Both Maugham's parents died before he was 10, and the orphaned boy was raised by a paternal uncle, who was emotionally cold. He did not want to become a lawyer like other men in his family, so he trained and qualified as a physician. His first novel Liza of Lambeth (1897) sold out so rapidly that Maugham gave up medicine to write full-time.
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The decent moderation of today will be the least of human things tomorrow. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the opinion of good sense . . . was that people ought not to burn too large a number of heretics; extreme and unreasonable opinion demanded that they should burn none at all.