THE DUCHESS OF GLOVER by Herbert Kubly

THE DUCHESS OF GLOVER

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Around the world in circa 200 lays -- at least that is Cally's nearest estimate at the close of a life of ""primal wanton fulfillment"" -- a gymnastic program which begins in breathy semi-parody and ends in French farce. The incidental narration is Richard Hartman's, a journalist bludgeoned by Cally to write her story. As a former member of her ""Basement Boys"" -- a ""seraglio of youths"" instituted in her later years featuring nudity, wrestling, refreshments and sex with Cally -- Richard had no choice. She's an impoverished farm-country orphan who is united with her deceased father's Boston Brahmin relatives, sifted through the Junior League to find her lifelong love in Duke, years older, who encourages her already happily ravished body to un-Puritan endeavors. Amid the gay round of theater, tours of Europe and the life of wealth and ease, there are only two dark clouds -- Duke's death and the disappearance during WW II of Duke's illegitimate German son Rollo, who admired Lady Chatterley and was surprised while twining flowers Laurentian-style, just in time for Cally to ""quiver the lilies."" And there was an Italian fisherman, an Ibizian hunter, an Egyptian dragoman, etc. At a post-mortem party, the Basement Boys, some now middle-aged, get their marching orders to keep the faith. The satirical elements are not sharp enough -- Kubly, like Cally, seems to have no braking mechanism -- there is just too much display of tumescent-to-""flaccid trumpets"" (all proclaiming that ""life is love""), not to mention Cally's billowy rhetoric, to rouse the reader to anything but a primal yawn. When you've seen one. . . .

Pub Date: May 9th, 1975
Publisher: Doubleday