January 25 - W. Somerset Maugham
Bio: William Somerset Maugham was a British 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. Maugham’s masterpiece is generally agreed to be Of Human Bondage, a semi-autobiographical novel.
- Disguised as a reporter, Maugham worked for the British Intelligence in Russia during the Russian Revolution in 1917, but his stuttering and poor health hindered his career in this field. 
- Unable to take his Spanish royalties out of the country, Maugham decided to use the money to pay for a luxury holiday there. He chose one of the best hotels and dined extravagantly every evening, until he felt satisfied that he had spent most of the accumulated sum. He informed the manager that he would be leaving the following day, and asked for his bill. The manager beamed at his distinguished guest. “It has been an honor having you here,” he replied. “You have brought much good publicity to us. Therefore, there is no bill.” 
- The early death of his mother left Maugham traumatized; he kept his mother’s photograph by his bedside for the rest of his life. 
- Alfred Hitchcock was a great admirer of Maugham’s work. In his famous interview with François Truffaut, Hitchcock claimed that Maugham was one of the few fiction writers he enjoyed reading for leisure. 
- Maugham’s love life was almost never smooth. He once confessed: “I have most loved people who cared little or nothing for me and when people have loved me I have been embarrassed… In order not to hurt their feelings, I have often acted a passion I did not feel.” 
The sun rose, dispelling the mist, and she saw winding onwards as far as the eye could reach, among the rice-fields, across a little river and through undulating country the path they were to follow: perhaps her faults and follies, the unhappiness she had suffered, were not entirely vain if she could follow the path that now she dimly discerned before her, not the path that kind funny old Waddington had spoken of that led nowhither, but the path those dear nuns at the convent followed so humbly, the path that led to peace.
from The Painted Veil
[He smiled and took her hand and pressed it. They got up and walked out of the gallery. They stood for a moment at the balustrade and looked at Trafalgar Square.] Cabs and omnibuses hurried to and fro, and crowds passed, hastening in every direction, and the sun was shining.
from Of Human Bondage
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5