Barrister Basil Wake and his arresting wife Hyacinth lead a well-appointed existence in the social whirl of London’s early 1900s. For eight years Hyacinth has conducted a most discreet affair with Parliamentarian Michael Choyce, who seems to fit into the Wakes’ lives so conveniently. But an invitation to attend a Private View and a startling portrait of the mysterious and beautiful Daphne Adeane signifies a change in this comfortable set-up.
Author biography:Maurice Baring Born in London in 1874, Maurice Baring was a man of letters, a scion of a family long prominent in the financial ventures of the British Empire. The son of the 1st Baron Revelstoke (a director of the Bank of England and a senior partner at Baring Bros.) he was educated at Eton and at Cambridge, and joined the diplomatic service in 1898.
In 1904 he became a journalist and reported the Russo-Japanese War in Manchuria; later he was a correspondent in Russia and Constantinople. He is credited with having discovered Chekov’s work in Moscow and helping to introduce it to the West.
Baring is remembered as a versatile, prolific and highly successful writer, who produced articles, plays, biographies, criticism, poetry, translations, stories and novels. He is regarded as a representative of the social culture that flourished in England before World War I, his work highly regarded to this day for the acute intimate portraits of the time.