TO BE A PILGRIM by Joyce Cary


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With less irony than The Moonlight, or again Herself Surprised, but with the same leisurely expansiveness which here approaches dullness, this retraces an old man's memories of the past, his last days in the present. Thomas Loftus Wilcher, whose Victorian solidity and sentimentality directed his attachments toward the home, the family, is seen- in his last months- as he is taken back to the family place- Tolbrook, by his niece and nephew who both question his mental as well as physical capacities. There he is drawn back to his childhood; to his closest tie with Lucy, his sister, mischievous, proud, headstrong who runs away with a Benjaminite sect and makes an unhappy marriage to a religious rouser. To Edward, the older brother, and his political career- and the castoff mistress-Julie- whom Tom also loved. And more recently to the blowsy housekeeper, Mrs. Jimson, whom Tom had wanted to marry in his old age- but whom his protective relatives had jailed for petty thievery.... A faithful portrayal of character and situation which provokes little sympathy, provides little action.

Pub Date: April 13th, 1949
Publisher: Harper