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The Rector of Justin (Modern Library) by…

The Rector of Justin (Modern Library) (original 1964; edition 2001)

by Louis Auchincloss (Author)

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413440,872 (3.86)18
Traces the fictional life of Dr. Francis Prescott, the founder and head of a New England prep school.
Title:The Rector of Justin (Modern Library)
Authors:Louis Auchincloss (Author)
Info:Modern Library (2001), Edition: New edition, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Owned but not read

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The Rector of Justin: A Novel by Louis Auchincloss (1964)



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4727. The Rector of Justin, by Louis Auchincloss (read 14 Jul 2010) An account of the rector of a boys' school in Massachusetts (fictional) like Groton, where the author went to school. It shows the Rector in various ways, through the eyes of an admiring young master, an admiring trustee of the school, a non-admiring daughter, a boy who had a major run-in with the Rector, etc. I guess I still identify more with the student, so I did not like the rector, on balance. The book is less bland than Goodbye Mr. Chips, and less sentimental and I admit I liked this book less than I did James HIlton's masterpiece. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jul 14, 2010 |
Beautifully written, insightful, well-crafted. Auchincloss's subject, Frank Prescott, is the dynamic, devout, idealistic founder of a first-rate boys' school in New England, and Auchincloss richly conveys the singleminded determination that leads to his success. But Prescott's achievement is leavened with deep disillusionment late in his life, as his legacy takes a turn independent of his original vision. Prescott is portrayed through the memoirs of five people he influences, all of which happen to be collected by a sensitive young man who becomes a kind of acolyte of Prescott's later years. Every memoir reveals something new, and each is distinct, interesting, and surprising in its own way.

Here is my favorite paragraph of the book, from page 304, as Brian, Prescott's biographer, considers the family life of the wealthy businessman David Griscam:

"Yes, I saw them, those three little rooms, dusky and elegant, polished and neat and efficient, with a small residue of the best bibelots, and Mrs. Griscam writing checks on the cash saved at her slender-legged escritoire. And I saw Sylvester and Doris, happy in a Tudor cottage in Rye and Amy traveling from horse show to horse show. They needed money--oh , yes, they needed plenty of money, more money than I could even visualize--but they didn't need the heavy minted coin in which Mr. Griscam sought to entomb them. They didn't need, or in the least want, the big solid stone house, the shiny town car with the spoked wheels, the thick glass-grilled doors, the pompous porte-cochere, all the external paraphernalia of wealth without which men of Mr. Griscam's generation couldn't quite believe it existed. Poor Mr. Griscam, he had provided all the things that nobody wanted because, as the child of a bankrupt, he couldn't even take in the fact that everybody did not need, like himself, the constant consolation of marble pillars!" ( )
1 vote knappus | Mar 26, 2008 |
This novel by Louis Auchincloss is a modern classic and represents his best work in the genre. The novel tells the life story, from his youth as a schoolboy to his death at age 85, of Dr. Francis Prescott, rector/headmaster/founder of the exclusive New England Episcopalian boys' school Justin Martyr (a famous prep school). The author uses six narrators, both male and female, whose attitudes toward their subject range from veneration to hatred. The method elucidates effectively the somewhat larger-than-life central character, and the book is both well written and compulsively readable. While not a particularly profound or deep book, it is an excellent, enjoyable read, and a fine introduction to this modern author. If you enjoy this novel I would recommend Auchincloss' short stories. ( )
1 vote jwhenderson | May 25, 2007 |
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For Two John Winthrops

My Son and Brother
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September 10, 1939. I have always wanted to keep a journal, but whenever I am about to start one, I am disuaded by the idea that it is too late.
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