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Summary

Maugham found a parallel to the turmoil of our own times in the duplicity, intrigue, and sensuality of the Italian Renaissance. Then and Now enters the world of Machiavelli, and covers three important months in the career of that crafty politician, worldly seducer, and high priest of schemers.

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

"Brilliant dialogue writing...as exciting as any gangster story of modern politics." (Spectator )

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Is this how The Prince was conceived and written?

An entertaining & humorous yarn: the inner workings of Nicolo Machiavelli as he is sent on a mission to Cesare Borgia.
What did he learn about governance, power and Man?.....far too much to go to waste.
Convincing & plausible & very well read.
I'm off to buy yet another WSM book now.....

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  • Dmitriy Ovsyannikov
  • 10-01-15

One more a great W.S. Maugham's novel

Great story and masterly narrated. Andrew Wincott brings listener to the atmosphere of Caesar Borgia's time. The story that can listen not only one time. Thanks for your job!