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Marriage to W. Somerset Maugham

Marriage to Henry Wellcome[edit]


Gwendoline Syrie Maud Wellcome (née Barnardo). Photo from 1901.

In 1901, on a visit to Khartoum together with her father, she met Henry Wellcome, an American-born British industrialist who had made his fortune in prescribed drugs (his firm have become Burroughs Wellcome). She was 22 and he turned into forty eight, and they married soon after. In 1903 they’d a son, Henry Mounteney Wellcome. The Wellcomes’ marriage changed into no longer happy, and Syrie reportedly had severa affairs, such as with the branch keep tycoon Harry Gordon Selfridge, Brig. Gen. Percy Desmond Fitzgerald, and the novelist William Somerset Maugham. Eventually, after a few years of separation, she became pregnant with Maugham’s simplest infant, Mary Elizabeth, who become known as Liza.[9]When the kid became born in Rome, Italy, she was given Wellcome’s surname. Wellcome then publicly sued for divorce, naming Maugham as co-respondent.[10]


Syrie Wellcome and W. Somerset Maugham married in 1917 in New Jersey, despite the fact that he became predominantly gay and would spend lots of his marriage apart from his wife. They divorced in 1928. Her divorce settlement from Maugham become their house at 213 King’s Road, fully provided, a Rolls-Royce, and a couple of,four hundred pounds a yr for her and 600 kilos a 12 months for Liza.

In his 1962 memoir Looking Back Maugham virulently criticised his former spouse, which triggered a public outcry. After Maugham’s death in 1965 John Beverley Nichols, a former lover of Maugham’s and a close friend of Syrie’s, wrote in rebuttal a defense of her known as A Case of Human Bondage (1966).

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