THE HERITAGE by Frances Parkinson Keyes


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Through the years, alack-the-day, the titillating tinkle of Antoine's silver has given way to a plebeian thonk, as the Empress of Lounge-and-Lozenge literature serves up leftovers. Take if you will--if you can a young, handsome Boston lad, near the turn of the century, descended from proper Bostonians on the one doeskinned hand, and Irish aristocracy on t'other. Spurred on by his Irish grandmother, Lady Susannah, Peter Bradford sets off to Ireland to be viewed by his childless uncle, the seventh Earl of Cloneen. While travelling the Irish Mail, Peter shares a compartment with a mysterious young beauty who obviously sports a fascinating history but isn't telling. There's plenty for everyone to tell that next night, however, after Peter and the Lady (Anne) celebrate a tumultous nuit d'amour on an overnight ferry. Off into the morning light goes Anne, carrying unbeknownst to her, a future bit of Boston within. While visiting cousins, Peter receives word that Uncle has died, and guess who is the widow? Guess who is the heir? Forced to keep their secret, Anne and Peter spar with their guilt and with each other, and after an interminable pregnancy a boy is born, thereby booting Peter from the earldom. However, Peter is content to marry Anne, opt for Ireland and act as guardian for his son ('tis his. You see Anne and the old Earl never--). A lushly tasseled beginning promises much of the old artistry at work, but the remainder produces naught but a creeping story and a clutter of tedious, over-garrulous people. $6.95 for the tribute.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1968
Publisher: McGraw-Hill