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Summary

Considered by Graham Greene to be Maugham's best work, Don Fernando is a paean to a golden age of enormous creative energy. It discusses the writings of St. Teresa and the paintings of El Greco, and comments with sagacity and wit on such illustrious figures as Cervantes, Velazquez, and the creator of Don Juan.

This vibrant assessment of a great people at their greatest hour is full of happy surprises, curious facts, and stimulating opinions that reflect Maugham's lifelong enchantment with the landscape and people of Spain.

William Somerset Maugham (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 of the 1930s. Maugham was orphaned by the age of ten, but after an unhappy childhood, he flourished when he moved to London to study medicine as a young man, giving him plenty of inspiration for his literary ambitions. His first novel, Liza of Lambeth, sold out in a matter of weeks, prompting Maugham to leave medicine and embark on a 65-year career as a man of letters. By 1914 he was famous, with ten successful plays produced and ten novels published. In 1917, he was asked by the British Secret Intelligence Service (now MI6) to undertake a special mission in Russia; an experience which would go on to inspire Ashenden, a collection of short stories about a gentlemanly spy that influenced Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Maugham’s most famous works include Of Human Bondage, a semiautobiographical novel, The Moon and Sixpence, Cakes and Ale and The Razor’s Edge. His writing has inspired a string of over 35 film adaptations and has influenced many notable authors, including Anthony Burgess, George Orwell and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

©2012 W. Somerset Maugham (P)2012 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"Maugham's best travel book” (Washington Post)
"He was a superb storyteller - one of the very best in our language - who wrote with a worldly, sardonic understanding of the human condition” (Daily Mail)

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Master storyteller.

Maugham exhibits a love of people and helps to immortalise characters that seem from another world. Well read and well worth a listen.

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  • Dmitriy Ovsyannikov
  • 19-01-15

Great!

One of the best Maugham' work. The spirit of Spain in her golden age. Masterpiece and excellent narration! Thank you for great job!