William Somerset Maugham was born on 25 January 1874 and was to become a playwright and novelist of staggering talent. Losing both his parents at age 10, he was raised by a paternal uncle. Maugham eventually trained and qualified as a doctor. The initial print run of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, published in 1897, sold out so rapidly that Maugham gave up medicine to write full-time. His life was certainly full, as the short biography at the end of this book will attest to, but it is also a life full of marvellous works and dedication to his art. Here we publish The Circle.