Cakes and Ale, Chapter Nineteen

It’s a relatively long chapter—especially given the short ones lately—where young man Ashenden finds out Rosie has left Edward for the first guy young man Ashenden caught her having an affair with. He’s a little worried he’s being informed because he too was cuckolding Edward, but it’s actually just because he’s supposed to go down and spy in his old hometown and find out the scoop. Maugham relates the tale without much commentary from old man Ashenden, but the upper class trio giving Ashenden his mission are a bunch of sleaze balls. Maybe the most impressive moment is how much Maugham’s able to make out of a dialogue exchange where Ashenden stands up for himself (for the first time in the novel). He still ends up accepting the mission, but not all their demands.

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