CORONATION by Paul Gallico


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A might-be-true story that has the potentials of a tear jerker, but fortunately Paul Gallico has kept the telling on an almost casual journalistic level. For this reason some will feel it lacks ""the Gallico touch"" -- while others will like it as it stands... Here- dramatized in the story of one family of five that travelled 3rd class overnight from Little Pudney to London to ""see the queen"" -- is revealed the British reverence for the symbol of royalty, their generally high code of ethics- and how they feel that all of England is let down when this fails, and their extraordinary ability to salvage from the wreck of hopes something estimable to carry on... The Claggs had sacrificed the annual fortnight by the sea for the chance to see the coronation day parade from reserved seats; only Granny rebelled. To 11-year old Johnny it meant a realization of a dream; he would see Britain's military might in all its glory. To 7-year old Gwendoline a vision of a real queen-part fairy princess- would come to life. To the mother it meant a momentary escape from the humdrum of daily existence. Buffeted by the crowds, they found that as ticket holders they were revered. And then- betrayal. Wellington Crescent was there- the perfect spot. But No. 4 was a bombed-out hole. The tickets were phoneys. It must have been a temptation to produce a happy ending. What Gallico has done is closer to real life- for the Claggs, desperate as was the disappointment, each found a measure of reprieve, a reward and a new deepening of family unity. A small book- a big price.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday