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The Magician by W. Somerset (William Somerset) Maugham
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The Magician

A NOVEL By SOMERSET MAUGHAM

TOGETHER WITH A FRAGMENT OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY

1908




A FRAGMENT OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY


In 1897, after spending five years at St Thomas's Hospital I passed the
examinations which enabled me to practise medicine. While still a medical
student I had published a novel called _Liza of Lambeth_ which caused a
mild sensation, and on the strength of that I rashly decided to abandon
doctoring and earn my living as a writer; so, as soon as I was
'qualified', I set out for Spain and spent the best part of a year in
Seville. I amused myself hugely and wrote a bad novel. Then I returned to
London and, with a friend of my own age, took and furnished a small flat
near Victoria Station. A maid of all work cooked for us and kept the flat
neat and tidy. My friend was at the Bar, and so I had the day (and the
flat) to myself and my work. During the next six years I wrote several
novels and a number of plays. Only one of these novels had any success,
but even that failed to make the stir that my first one had made. I could
get no manager to take my plays. At last, in desperation, I sent one,
which I called _A Man of Honour_, to the Stage Society, which gave two
performances, one on Sunday night, another on Monday afternoon, of plays