'She did not know what to say. She was undecided whether indignantly to assert her innocence or to break out into angry reproaches. He seemed to read her thoughts. "I've got all the proof necessary" '. Kitty Fane is the beautiful but shallow wife of Walter, a bacteriologist stationed in Hong Kong. Unsatisfied by her marriage, she starts an affair with Charles Townsend, a man whom she finds charming, attractive and exciting. But when Walter discovers her deception, he exacts a strange but terrible vengeance: Kitty must accompany him to his new posting in remote mainland China, where a cholera epidemic rages. First published to a storm of protest, "The Painted Veil" is a classic story of a woman's spiritual awakening.
William Somerset Maugham, famous as novelist, playwright and short-story writer, was born in 1874, and lived in Paris until he was ten. He was educated at King's School, Canterbury, and at Heidelberg University. He spent some time at St. Thomas' Hospital with a view to practising medicine, but left to focus exclusively on writing. In 1927, he settled in the south of France, and lived there until his death in 1965.