THE WAX FOUNDATION by Gwen Davenport


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A will -- of iron -- leaves all of Evalina Wagner Wax's estate to a foundation for the improvement of society, except the $7,000 left to the 7 lizards in the orchid house of her castle on the Hudson, Ten Towers. Aaron Jeremiah Wagner, a nephew who has less than perfect self esteem, is one of the three directors and with them must choose the 8 fellows who are to work and study (and keep the rules) at Ten Towers and, as resident member, see to it the place remains a museum. A grab bag is the result of the first group and Aaron is a busy boy keeping the odd ones in line- from the man whose work is a world language, the one who is planning a universal calendar, to the woman who is a prophetess of God, another whose concern is sex, etc., etc., and in maintaining the respectability of the ""Waxworks"". Trouble with the help, with thefts, with various infractions, drive Aaron, when he falls in love with Maggie, whose subject is food and a food pill, to rebel -- and to get the full benefit of his strike for independence. The questions of the validity of schemes for improving society and of the desire to perpetuate self rather than to help through the conditions of a will surround this and are given wry answers. Not Waugh-some.

Publisher: Doubleday