Cakes and Ale

Cakes and Ale Cover

Cakes and Ale

By W. Somerset Maugham

Vintage, Paperback, 9780375725029, 320pp.

Publication Date: December 5, 2000


Cakes and Ale is a delicious satire of London literary society between the Wars. Social climber Alroy Kear is flattered when he is selected by Edward Driffield's wife to pen the official biography of her lionized novelist husband, and determined to write a bestseller. But then Kear discovers the great novelist's voluptuous muse (and unlikely first wife), Rosie. The lively, loving heroine once gave Driffield enough material to last a lifetime, but now her memory casts an embarrissing shadow over his career and respectable image.  Wise, witty, deeply satisfying, Cakes and Ale is Maugham at his best.

About the Author
W. Somerset Maugham lived in France and England. He died in 1965.

Praise For Cakes and Ale

"[Maugham] is a master for creating the appetite for information, of withholding it until the right moment, and then providing it surprisingly."  --Evelyn Waugh

"Maugham is a catty delight." --The Boston Globe

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010

Novels of manners never get old. Any quick flip through one of today's celebrity magazines will prove that. From social climbers to spouse grabbers, century to century, nothing changes. Author Helen Simonson offers three novels for going beyond Jane Austen's gossip. More at

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.