THE BOLINVARS by Marguerite F. Bayliss
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Here's a book that has had a unique career. Published originally as a Derrydale limited at $15, in 1937, it was even then reported as meriting a wider audience than its 750 copies would give it, so we were particularly interested when -- last January -- galley proofs reached us for a trade edition. Before date set for publication, the book was bought for serialisation by Ladies' Home Journal, again an unusual procedure for a magazine that does not ordinarily buy second serial rights. Now -- at last -- the book is to be published, and we still report it as perfect escape reading even for those who know and care little for the sportsman paradise depicted and definitely for the picaresque novel -- cum-snob-appeal -- de luxe market. At the start the style seems early 19th century derivative, artificial, stilted; soon -- as the story gathers pace -- that seems appropriate. Rich diet of mystery, romance, adventure, of horses, hounds and sportsmanship on both sides of the Atlantic. The tale is told by Dev Bolinvar, who is the ""Jersey Bolinvar"", but it is Hugo, the ""Virginia Bolinvar"" who is the central figure of the story. The skeleton in the family cupboard is known to both, but Hugo thinks he alone knows it, and holds his cousin at a distance, the while he lays plans for a double life for himself, in which he will eventually put off the mantle of the Bolinvars. But Dev puts a different interpretation on it -- and together with Hugo's jilted sweetheart, ferrets out the truth, and the cousins come through adventure unscathed to perfect amity, a romance is patched up, and the tale winds up in a well-high incredible four state hunt for the devil fox, which the famous black hounds run to ground in the Jersey Bolinvar's own Sorland Mountain. Grand winter evening entertainment.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1944
Publisher: Holt