People, Feb. 8, 1960

His 86th birthday found Author W. Somerset Maugham in Bangkok and in the middle of his leisurely "farewell tour" of the Far East. To gratify a U.S. newsman's request, the Old Party issued a handwritten statement addressed to America. It went, in part: "Thank you for all the kindness that I have received at your hands since I first came to America 50 years ago . . . I have an idea that in two or three hundred years English will be the universal language, spoken all over the world. Of course, it won't be the English we speak now; it...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!