Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham

Cakes and Ale is a brilliant satire of literary life that still rings true today. The novel also exposes the misguided social snobbery prevalent at the time, which in the novel is levelled at the character Rosie Driffield (you either love her or hate her) who becomes a target of conservative propriety.

The characters Alroy Kear and Edward Driffield are said to be characterizations of the novelists Hugh Walpole and Thomas Hardy, however Maugham denied this in a letter to Walpole “I certainly never intended Alroy Kear to be a portrait of you. He is made up of a dozen people and the greater part of him is myself”