Liza of Lambeth was the first novel by W(illiam) Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), the English author and novelist. Maugham was born in Paris, orphaned when he was only 10 and then brought up by an uncle. He was educated at King's School, Canterbury and after a year at Heidelberg University, he studied medicine at St. Thomas' Hospital Medical School. He qualified as a doctor in 1897. It was based on his experiences as an obstetrician at St Thomas's.
Liza of Lambeth was mildly successful and encouraged him give up medicine for full time writing. Initially he traveled but soon became a very successful author with four plays running simultaneously in London during 1908. For a brief time was a secret agent during World War I.
Maugham explained his philosophy of life as a resigned atheism and a certain skepticism about the extent of man's innate goodness and intelligence. This perhaps explains why his writing generally has a disillusioned, ironic or cynical feel with good narrative style.