Only one anecdote survives in which somebody else gets the better of Somerset Maugham in a verbal exchange: One night in the South of France, Maugham, who was famously closeted about his homosexuality, was caught by Elsa Maxwell sneaking out of one of her lavish parties early. "Must go, my dear," he explained suavely. "Got to keep my youth, you know." "Oh, Willie," Elsa said reproachfully, "next time... More >>>