W. Somerset (William Somerset) Maugham
A nine year old boy's mother dies shortly after the death of his father. He is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in a small East-Anglian village, where his uncle is vicar. This uncle holds the boy's significant inheritance for him until he comes of age, giving him unlimited power over the boy.
The novel is considered a masterpiece, and is also highly autobiographical, though Maugham claimed: "This is a novel, not an autobiography, though much...
The Moon and Sixpence is a fictional novel heavily influenced by the life of French painter Paul Gauguin. The novel is told first-person, dipping episodically into the mind of the artist. Charles Strickland is an English stock broker, who leaves everything behind him in his middle age to live in defiant squalor in Paris as an artist. His genius is eventually recognized by a Dutch painter.