ASTLE CORNER by Joyce Cary


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Castle Corner, as Joyce essay, was to have been the beginning of a project tracing the lives of his characters through the years 1880-1935. Discouraged by criticism and the complexity of the problem, he abandoned the project after the first volume. The novel is concerned with the fortunes of the Protestant Irish Corner family, their friends and rivals, tenants and servants, from the time of Parnell to the Boer War. Politics and trade influence the Corners primarily, but they are more deeply touched by the usual events -- births, deaths, romances, weddings, illness. For example it is the improvident investment of the brothers John and Felix in an African trading company which accounts for the family's financial losses though no one seems to take this very seriously. John, the heir, is cheerfully ignorant of finance and Felix, his older brother, is far too learned to have much common sense. He eventually goes native in Nigeria but emerges from that experience essentially unmoved. By the close of the book interest has shifted to the younger characters.... There is nothing here which seems unauthentic and there are many memorable scenes. But if Castle Corner also seems dull, it may be that it is too much like life itself.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1963
Publisher: Harper & Row