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January 25: W. Somerset Maugham (1874)

It was on this date, January 25, 1874, that British novelist and playwright William Somerset Maugham was born in the British Embassy in Paris. His parents died before Maugham was ten. Brought up by a religious aunt and uncle, he got himself into medical school, clerked in the slums of Lambeth, and when his first novel sold well – Liza of Lambeth (1897) – gave up medicine for fiction. He worked for Britain’s MI6 in Russia during the Revolution, and this experience contributed to his literary depth…

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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


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August 31: Hermann von Helmholtz

Hermann von Helmholtz (1821) It was on this date, August 31, 1821, that German physician and physicist Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz was born in Potsdam, Prussia, in what is now Germany. The son of a classics teacher of small means, Hermann was persuaded to set aside his love of natural science in favor of […]



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