His position as one of the most successful playwrights on the London stage was being consolidated simultaneously. His first play,A Man of Honour (1903), was followed by a procession of successes just before and after the First World War. (At one point only Bernard Shaw had more plays running at the same time in London.) His theatre career ended withSheppey (1933).
His fame as a short-story writer began with The Trembling of a Leaf, sub-titledLittle Stories of the South Sea Islands, in 1921, after which he published more than ten collections.
W. Somerset Maugham's general books are fewer in number. They include travel books, such asOn a Chinese Screen (1922) and Don Fernando (1935), essays, criticism, and the self-revealingThe Summing Up (1938) and A Writer's Notebook (1949).
W. Somerset Maugham became a Companion of Honour in 1954. He died in 1965.