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.
Boito’s only completed opera, “Mefistofele,” based on Goethe's “Faust,” infuriated the Italian clergy by his frivolous treatment of religion.