The Englishman W. Somerset Maugham credited the French writer Guy de Maupassant as a master of the short story form, whom Maugham sought to learn from and emulate in his own short stories.
Maupassant himself was influenced by the writings of Honoré de Balzac and by being a protégé of Gustav Flaubert. It was Flaubert who then introduced Maupassant to some of the most innovative writers of the time, including the French authors Émile Zola and Alexandre Dumas, and the Russian author Ivan Turgenev. Turgenev, in turn, brought Maupassant to the attention of Leo Tolstoy.
Tolstoy subsequently wrote an essay on the author entitled ‘The Works of Guy de Maupassant‘.