Hugh Walpole
Public DomainHugh Walpole - Credit: Carl Van Vechten

Stella Gibbons addresses the letter in the foreword to the fictitious Anthony Pookworthy (the letters following his name stand for ‘Associated Back Scratcher’ and ‘Licensed Log Roller’).  

According to biographer Reggie Oliver, Pookworthy is meant to represent Hugh Walpole, author of the Herries Chronicles, whom Stella Gibbons described in an interview as ‘pompous and vain’. Reggie Oliver has also suggested that the letter is a parody of the ‘prefatory letter’ in  Walpole’s novel Judith Paris (1931) which is addressed  to J. B. Priestley, and  begins, ‘My Dear Jack’, just as  Stella’s letter begins, ‘My dear Tony’.