and humor and a subtly hospitable man, has his own code of behaviour, and is readily flicked on the raw by a hidden belief that his wife's relatives consider that she married beneath her. The erratic trail of ""pride's a way"" brings disaster and unhappiness, and changes the lives of all members of the family. Sometimes comedy -- sometimes tragedy -- this is an understanding study of the foibles of old age, of Charleston, poor but proud, belittling anything that deviates from the old way, even as a new world dawns in the years before the first World War. At times, the point is over-stressed. The story lacks the gentle irony and charm of The Misses Elliot of Geneva, but there's more body to the plot. A dark horse.