Maugham, Robin, 1916-1981

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English author; nephew of W. Somerset Maugham.

From the description of The green shade : original manuscript, ca. 1965. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754866481

British writer of non-fiction, novels, plays, short stories, and screenplays, and critic.

From the description of Collection, 1932-1975. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122597854

Robin Maugham was an author of short stories, novels, non-fiction, plays, and screenplays; an officer in World War II; a barrister-at-law; and 2nd Viscount Maugham of Hartfield. His success was not without struggle. In the preface to his first autobiography, Escape from the Shadows, Maugham describes the three shadows of his life: his uncle William Somerset Maugham, his father Viscount Frederic Herbert Maugham, and the guilt he experienced due to the strict upper-middle class moral convictions that declared his homosexual desires to be perverse.

The youngest child and only son of Helen Mary and Frederic Herbert Maugham was born on May 17, 1916, as Robert Cecil Romer Maugham. His three sisters were Diana Maugham Marr-Johnson, Kate Mary Maugham Bruce, and Honor Maugham Earl. Maugham describes his childhood as lonely, with the exception of an imaginary friend, Tommy. Throughout his autobiographical works, Maugham speaks frankly about the troubles he experienced because of his attraction to men.

He spent most of his youth in boarding schools, beginning with Highfield School, Eton, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Both sides of his family practiced law, and Maugham was urged to follow the family tradition. His interest in law was less than enthusiastic; he found writing, painting, and music more pleasurable. He left Cambridge in 1937, signed up for the Inns of Court Regiment and became a judge's marshal. In April 1939, Maugham became the private secretary to the Director of the National Service Campaign. As part of this assignment, Maugham worked with Winston Churchill, creating a relationship that lasted until just before Churchill's death. When war was declared in September 1939, Maugham entered as a trooper in the Inns of Court Regiment.

Maugham served in World War II from 1939 to 1945, first with the 8th Army in North Africa and later with the Middle East Intelligence Centre. During a 1942 battle he was hit in the head with a shell fragment. This caused him to have blackouts, but the severity was never enough to have the shrapnel removed. However, due to this injury he was released from duty in 1945 and was unable to resume his law practice.

Maugham's short story, The 1946 Ms, had been published by the War Facts Press in 1943 and was his first published work. Convoy, a journal bridging the gap between military and civilian life during World War II, was created by and edited by Maugham for seven issues beginning in 1944. When his father died in 1958, Maugham became the 2nd Viscount Maugham of Hartfield. In 1960 he gained a seat in the House of Lords.

After his first published work in 1943, Maugham wrote novels, short stories, plays, travel books, dramatic works, a biography of his family, two autobiographies, and film scripts. His writing has been compared to that of his uncle in their use of exotic locales, though Robin is much more frank in his writing regarding sexuality and sexual guilt, particularly in his first autobiography. Writer, editor, and journalist Peter Burton met Maugham in 1968 and helped with the revision and rewriting of several works including Escape from the Shadows, The Last Encounter, The Barrier, The Dividing Line, Lovers in Exile, The Black Tent, as well as several articles and reviews. Burton worked as a writer and editor for Gay News from 1972 to 1982. During this time, he also worked with Maugham on many projects and compiled Maugham's bibliography. Burton discusses the many aspects of their relationship in Parallel Lives.

By 1981, Maugham's health had deteriorated. Diabetes and his abuse of alcohol, in addition to other physical problems, ended his life two months shy of his 65th birthday, on March 13, 1981.

From the guide to the Robin Maugham Collection TXRC94-A7., 1932-1975, (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center University of Texas at Austin)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Burton, Peter, 1945-2011. Peter Burton papers, circa 1960-2008. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson),. Music and literary manuscripts in the Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983. Yale University Library
creatorOf Robin Maugham Collection TXRC94-A7., 1932-1975 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983 Yale University Library
referencedIn Peter Burton papers, circa 1960-2008. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Francis Henry King Collection TXRC92-A51., 1939-1992 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Worcester Dramatic Museum. Papers, 1732-1995. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Bagnold, Enid. Enid Bagnold letters, 1963-1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Wanger, Walter F., 1894-1968. Papers, 1908-1967. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Maugham, Robin, 1916-1981. Maugham, R. mss. : letters, 1936-1967. Indiana University
referencedIn Alanson, Bertram E., 1877-1958,. William Somerset Maugham collection, 1921-1979 (bulk 1921-1958). Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Legrande, Louis. Louis Legrande papers, 1921-1965. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf King, Francis Henry. Collection, 1923-1992. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Maugham, Robin, 1916-1981. Collection, 1932-1975. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Glenville, Peter, 1913-1996. Peter Glenville Papers, 1914-2001 (bulk 1933-1993). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson),. Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Maugham, Robin, 1916-1981. The green shade : original manuscript, ca. 1965. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson),. Music and literary manuscripts in the Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Enid Bagnold Letters to Robin Maugham, 1963-1979., [Bulk Date: 1979] Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Maugham, Robin, 1916-1981. The wrong people a novel / by Robin Maugham 1971. The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alanson, Bertram E., 1877-1958, person
associatedWith Bagnold, Enid. person
associatedWith Burton, Peter person
associatedWith Burton, Peter. person
associatedWith Burton, Peter, 1945- person
associatedWith Burton, Peter, 1945-2011. person
associatedWith Davenport, John, 1904-1987 person
associatedWith Glenville, Peter, 1913-1996. person
associatedWith King, Francis Henry. person
associatedWith King, Francis Henry, 1923- person
associatedWith Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson), person
associatedWith Legrande, Louis. person
associatedWith Linders, Herman person
associatedWith Linders, Herman. person
associatedWith Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965. person
associatedWith Nicolson, Harold George, Sir, 1886-1968. person
associatedWith Nicolson, Nigel. person
associatedWith Therg, Siridhamma person
associatedWith Therg, Siridhamma. person
associatedWith Wanger, Walter F., 1894-1968. person
associatedWith Worcester Dramatic Museum. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
England
Subject
Gay men--Fiction
English literature--20th century
Gay men in literature
Homosexuality--Personal narratives
Gay men--Biography
Gay men--England--Biography
Homosexuals--Fiction
Gays--Fiction
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1916-05-17

Death 1981-03-13

Male

Britons

English

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