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This is an autobiographical tale about a successful politician fleeing from a claustrophobic marriage. Wells had a tough time finding a publisher: everyone knew about Wells's recent affair with Amber Reeves, and it was obvious to publishers that she was represented in the book by Isabel Rivers. Wells also provided a harsh portrayal of Sidney and Beatrice Webb (as Oscar and Altiora Bailey)--Wells's former Fabian cohorts had been close to Amber's family, and thus did not approve. THE NEW MACHIAVELLI furthermore generally attacked the prevailing Victorian code of sexual morality.