Farewell Victoria

By T. H. White


(1933) October, 1858. In the manor house of Ambleden, the servants were lighting the fires, the children were stirring in the nursery and Sir William was preparing for a substantial breakfast before the morning's cubbing. In the afternoon, if the weather held, there would be hunting. Young Mundy, eight-year-old son of the head groom, awoke to a comfortable world. He was already able to run errands for his father, to fetch a pail or a blanket, to hold a bridle, and soon he would be able to act as groom when the children rode their ponies.

This is the world in which T. H. White begins his panorama of the Victorian era, a lovely lyrical novel in which the appealing figure of Mundy is the focal point of an ample historical tapestry. Through Mundy's eyes we watch the drama and spectacle of the passing years, as he leaves the quiet, generous contry life of the mid-nineteenth century to serve in the fierce campaigns of the Zulu War. The Edwardian era finds Mundy coachman to a redheaded Russian countess who is eccentric enough still to drive behind horses when the day of the motorcar has already arrived— with the King himself, an enthusiastic and early patron, "tearing about the country at twenty miles an hour!"

Behind the tender and moving story of Mundy's homely personal concerns, we glimpse the sense of historical destiny and continuity that illumined such works as Cavalcade, NoŽl Coward's tribute to another great era of England's past, and T. H. White's own modern classic, The Once and Future King. While Mr. White is writing here in a very different vein from that which has earned him such a devoted following in this country, the publication of Farewell Victoria will undoubtedly serve to heighten the respect with which he is regarded by readers and critics alike.

copied from the dust jacket


England Have My Bones: For the Reader of the Works of T. H. White
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Revised Saturday, 28-Sep-2002 22:11:23 CDT.