Email this review


A sixty year panorama of an English village, from the days of the old aristocracy, to the rise of the new democracy- a period which spanned three wars and saw complete change of face of the civilized world. The story is slight, but one feels one is living in the village, knowing the squires- the Lanforts, father and son and daughter- and what they stood for in their generous spirit of the privileges and responsibilities of their role; knowing the Vicar, and his daughter, Lucilla; knowing Will Downes, who at twelve aspired to be bootboy at Brackenford -- and ultimately butler; knowing the tradespeople, the farmers, the so-called Radicals who wanted to see the end of privilege, and twisted motives and facts to fit their own thesis. It was an almost self-sufficient village, before motor cars carried the range farther. It was preeminently Conservative in the best sense of the world. It was Old England. And the spirit, the ideals, died hard, when the drastic changes under Labour, swept the old landmarks away, landmarks in both a physical and an emotional sense. The final chapters bring the threads together, and build up to a moving climax as the grand old lady, Lucilla Philmer, backs a move to oust the Labour candidate and put in a Conservative -- and speaks from the platform of the days that were gone- and the days that had come. Pictures in slow motion, with the elements that will provide a modern Galsworthy with substance for a better book. An evocative, nostalgic book, which one can read with quiet pleasure.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1952
Publisher: Macmillan