"All novels are, every now and then, a great deal of a bore. You have to accept that. No novel is interesting all the way through unless it's a very, very short one."
You wouldn't expect to find a YouTube clip of an author born in 1874 talking about a book he'd published in 1915. But Somerset Maugham had the good fortune to live a long life, whilst writers like D H Lawrence (born 11 years after Maugham) seem as remote as Thomas Hardy.
Here's an interview that Maugham did with the wonderfully effete Malcolm Muggeridge. The sound is slightly out of synch with the video:
Somerset Maugham's longevity was probably a result of good genes and living in the south of France, but there may have been another factor too. According to Clement Freud, Maugham was "obsessed with staying alive and spent most of his later years averting death, which included the consumption of a range of pills including some made from the entrails of swan".
Freud also noted that Maugham had the worst halitosis he had ever encountered.
Fortunately YouTube is still several years away from providing odourama, so we can enoy this close-up encounter with Somerset Maugham without holding our breath.