I was surprised at how readable this book was, how universal some of the sentiments expressed are in today's world. I would not have appreciated this book 20 or 30 years ago - just didn't have the life experience required.
I notice the author was writing in England about the same time J.R.R. Tolkien was writing "The Hobbit", and probably borrowed the idea of a hyphenated name for his quasi-villians, the Sackville-Baggins'. Maybe there's a story behind that.