The Heirs Apparent by Phillip Gibbs twines two heart-felt cries of British fiction of the ’20s and ’30s: “Nothing’s been the same since the war,” and “young people today only want to have fun.”
The basic plot is a familiar one. Julian Perryam leaves Oxford without taking his degree just before he can be expelled after a night in which he and friends drank too much and got back after hours. Julian’s friend Audrey Nye, daughter of a vicar, is sent down.
After years of hobnobbing with rich kids who don’t need to work or for whom a career is assured by their parents’ connections, the ex-scholars find themselves having to work for a living — a task for which Oxford has not prepared them — in a of high unemployment.
Julian and Audrey spout the slogans of their peers but secretly are as conventional as their parents. Living at home again, they realize how much their families sacrificed for them.
Gibbs enriches his romance with sprinkling of sarcasm that mature readers will feel the young idealists’ selfcenteredness warrants.
Julian and Audrey rise to the challenge in 1924. Whether they will bring up their children according to their slogans or according to their principles is open to speculation.The Heirs Apparent
By Phillip Gibbs
Grosset & Dunlap, 1924
1924 bestseller #4
My grade: B
© 2014 Linda GortonAragoni