A few days ago, someone in the Pym-along of Excellent Women shared a link to a wonderful article titled "Barbara Pym and the New Spinster." It referenced another article from a now-defunct website, but I was fortunately able to track down a copy. So there you are, if you haven't had the pleasure of reading it:
And apparently, much of her own work experience went into the novel:
"During the war she’d been placed in the Censorship Department, then joined the Wrens; she now lived in London with her younger sister Hilary. She didn’t expect to make a living off her writing. She worked at the International African Institute in the editorial department, managing its journal and ushering various “dusty academic” anthropological monographs and studies through publication."