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The Passing Bells
 
 
Author
Phillip Rock.
Publisher Morrow  
Format paperback
ISBN 9780062229311
Pages/Publication Date 516/2012
Daedalus Item Code 38521
This item is not available.
Description
Before there was Downton Abbey, there was Abingdon Pryory, ancestral home of Lord Greville, 9th Earl of Stanmore, who witnesses the passing of his aristocratic world amid the conflagration of World War I in this gripping 1978 novel by Phillip Rock. The guns of August are rumbling throughout Europe in the summer of 1914, though war has not yet touched the grand Park Lane home of the Greville family, where parties, dances, and romances play on. Alexandra Greville embarks on her debutante season, while her brother Charles remains hopelessly in love with the beautiful commoner Lydia Foxe. Downstairs, a new servant named Ivy struggles to adjust to the well-oiled routine of the staff, even as the arrival of an American cousin, Chicago newspaperman Martin Rilke, causes a stir throughout the house. The adventure that the coming war promises, however, is soon shattered on the bloody battlefields of Ypres and Gallipoli, along with the tranquility and stability of established British society, as the horrors of the war come home to Abingdon in the ringing of the funereal Passing Bells. "Written throughout with economy and wit," Rock's 1978 novel possesses "a capacity to shock, to astonish, and to engage" (NYTBR), with "echoes of Hemingway, Graves, and Upstairs, Downstairs, [and] characters who breathe and about whom one cares" (Library Journal). Though the author was born in Hollywood, the son of a silent film star, he grew up in England until the Blitz of 1940. Returning to Los Angeles, Rock penned novels that became films as well as novelizations of popular movies before embarking on the Passing Bells series.
 
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