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Theatre is a novel by the British writer W. Somerset Maugham, first published in 1937 by William Heinemann (UK) and Doubleday Doran (US).
The novel describes a successful actress and her husband, a theatre manager; her life and career is disturbed by a stormy affair with a young accountant.
In the preface to a collected edition, Maugham writes that during the thirty years between the productions of his first play and his last play, he knew "a great number of distinguished actresses. Julia Lambert, the heroine of Theatre, is a portrait of none of them. I have taken a trait here and a trait there and sought to create a living person. Because I was not much affected by the glamour of the brilliant creatures I had known in the flesh I drew the creature of my fancy, I dare say, with a certain coolness. I think Julia is true to life.... I feel a great affection for her; I am not shocked by her naughtiness, nor scandalized by her absurdities...."[
William Somerset Maugham CH 25 January 1874 - 16 December 1965), 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.
During the First World War, he served with the Red Cross and in the ambulance corps before being recruited in 1916 into the British Secret Intelligence Service. He worked for the service in Switzerland and Russia before the October Revolution of 1917 in the Russian Empire. During and after the war, he travelled in India, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He drew from those experiences in his later short stories and novels.
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