I haven’t been serving much Maugham these last few days. It just occurred to me if I want to move on to another novel next month, I better get cracking. Maugham’s kind of hard right now just because Cakes and Ale is very much about himself—or at least a version of himself—and The Summing Up was so distinctive. It’s hard not to think about some of his faults—like on how women were liberated at the time of that writing, in the 1930s, or when I was reading about how Mary Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792 and is talking about some of the same things still being talked about. Confession: when I first heard about Mary Wollstonecraft in high school, I dismissed her because dumb white guy. I always thought a concentration on her ignored her daughter, Mary Shelley, though I wasn’t into Frankenstein (the novel) in high school. Dumb white guy.