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By W. Somerset Maugham

Cakes and Ale is a scrumptious satire of London literary society among the Wars. Social climber Alroy Kear is flattered while he's chosen via Edward Driffield's spouse to pen the authentic biography of her lionized novelist husband, and made up our minds to write down a bestseller. yet then Kear discovers the good novelist's voluptuous muse (and not likely first wife), Rosie. The energetic, loving heroine as soon as gave Driffield adequate fabric to final a life-time, yet now her reminiscence casts an embarrissing shadow over his profession and good image.  Wise, witty, deeply enjoyable, Cakes and Ale is Maugham at his top.

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On the finish of luncheon we went again into the drawing room and once we were status approximately for 2 or 3 mins Edward Driffield got here as much as me. i used to be conversing with the vicar and for wish of something larger to claim used to be admiring the captivating view. I became to my host. “I was once simply asserting how picturesque that little row of cottages is down there. ” “From right here. ” Driffield checked out their damaged define and an ironic smile curled his skinny lips. “I was once born in a single of them. Rum, isn’t it? ” yet Mrs. Driffield got here as much as us with bustling geniality. Her voice used to be brisk and melodious. “Oh, Edward, I’m definite the duchess wish to see your writing room. She has to head presently. ” “I’m so sorry, yet i have to trap the three-eighteen from Tercanbury,” acknowledged the duchess. We filed into Driffield’s learn. It was once a wide room at the different aspect of the home, looking at the related view because the eating room, with a bow window. It used to be this type of room committed spouse could obviously organize for her literary husband. It was once scrupulously tidy and massive bowls of flora gave it a female contact. “This is the table at which he’s written all his later works,” acknowledged Mrs. Driffield, last a e-book that used to be open face downward on it. “It’s the frontispiece within the 3rd quantity of the variation de luxe. It’s a interval piece. ” all of us renowned the writing desk and woman Hodmarsh, while she concept nobody used to be having a look, ran her palms alongside its below area to work out if it used to be actual. Mrs. Driffield gave us a brief, vivid smile. “Would you're keen on to determine one in all his manuscripts? ” “I’d love to,” acknowledged the duchess, “and then I easily needs to bolt. ” Mrs. Driffield took from a shelf a manuscript certain in blue morocco, and whereas the remainder of the occasion reverently tested it I had a glance on the books with which the room used to be covered. As authors will, I ran my eye around fast to determine if there have been any of mine, yet couldn't locate one; I observed, even if, a whole set of Alroy Kear’s and a very good many novels in vivid bindings, which seemed suspiciously unread; I guessed that they have been the works of authors who had despatched them to the grasp in homage to his expertise and maybe the wish of some phrases of eulogy which may be utilized in the publisher’s ads. yet the entire books have been so well prepared, they have been so fresh, that I had the influence they have been very seldom learn. there has been the Oxford Dictionary and there have been average variations in grand bindings of lots of the English classics, Fielding, Boswell, Hazlitt, and so forth, and there have been an outstanding many books at the sea; I well-known the variously colored, untidy volumes of the crusing instructions issued by means of the Admiralty, and there have been a few works on gardening. The room had the glance now not of a writer’s workshop, yet of a memorial to an outstanding identify, and also you might virtually see already the desultory tripper wandering in for wish of anything higher to do and odor the really musty, shut odor of a museum that few visited. I had a suspicion that these days if Driffield learn something in any respect it used to be the Gardener’s Chronicle or the transport Gazette, of which I observed a package on a desk within the nook.

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