Somerset Maugham was a British novelist, short story writer and playwright. He was born in 1874 in Paris. During the 1930's his popularity soared and he became the highest paid author of his era. Maugham's father was a British lawyer working for the embassy in Paris. In France anyone born on French soil must serve in the army. To avoid this Maugham was born at the embassy, which was technically on British soil. After five years in medical school Maugham began a successful writing career. While Maugham worked in midwifery training in a London slum during medical school he learned about the working classes. In The Magician the sinister and repulsive Oliver Haddo gradually brings a happily engaged young English girl under his hypnotic spell, a spell from which the efforts of her fiance and friends cannot save her. In the 1908 edition of the magazine Vanity Fair Aleister Crowley wrote a critique of The Magician, accusing Maugham of plagiarism. Crowley accuses Maugham of having plagiarized several books in writing The Magician."