ROBIN MAUGHAM, British novelist, playwright and travel writer born (d: 1981); Robin Maugham was a decent enough novelist in his own right, with or without the influential help of his uncle Willie. The Servant, of course, requires no apology for literary nepotism. That Robin was Gay, and a chip off the old Maugham block in that respect, goes without saying. It’s his memoirs of the senior Maugham, however, that are slightly suspect, although his two attempts to cash in on his uncle’s celebrity are in themselves not open to criticism, given the incestuous nature of the publishing racket to begin with.

It’s the stories he tells, the family secrets, that don’t always hold water. Like, for example, that well-told story of how Uncle Willie arranged to have his lover, Gerald Haxton, screw the innocent Robin until he was black and blue. A nice yarn, and, given the good looks of Haxton, not exactly a fatal experience for a young homosexual to have endured. Only, it’s not true, as Maugham’s biographer has shown.

Apparently Robin Maugham was a novelist even when writing autobiography.