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In the book, Huxley satirises the fads and fashions of the time. The Crome of this novel's title is an English Country House in which most of the action occurs.
Aldous Huxley's first novel, Crome Yellow, was published in 1921, and, as a comedy of manners and ideas, its relatively realistic setting and format may come as a surprise to fans of his later works such as Point Counter Point and Brave New World. Some who know only Brave New World may not know that as a 16-year-old planning to enter medicine, Aldous Huxley was stricken by a serious eye disease which left him temporarily blind, and which derailed what certainly would have been a prominent career as a physician or scientist.
Crome Yellow has often been called "witty," as well as "talky," and it certainly owes as much to Vanity Fair as it may, surprisingly to some, owe to Tristram Shandy, although one might think that characters such as Mr. Barbecue-Smith and his remarkable writing theories could have some literary antecedents in Lawrence Sterne.