The Late George Apley (1947)
- Summaries (2)
George and Catherine Apley of Boston lead a proper life in the proper social circle, as did the Apleys before them. When grown daughter Eleanor falls in love with Howard (from New York!), and son John with Myrtle (from Worcester!), the ordered life of the Apley home on Beacon Street is threatened, as is the hoped-for union of John and Apley-cousin Agnes.
It's 1912 Boston. The Apley family, led by its patriarch George, is built on a foundation of the strong traditions of being Bostonians. Anyone who is anyone in Boston knows who the Apleys are, or at least that's what the Apleys would like to believe. George aspires to the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who he sees as espousing the strong traditions upon which he lives. George and his wife Catherine's life, and by extension that of George's extended family, is turned upside down when their two children go against the traditions of the family. Daughter Eleanor has fallen in love with Howard Boulder, who is not only not originally from Boston but is not a Harvard man. And the family believes that son John is courting his cousin, Agnes Willing, as he should be. Agnes also believes this to be the case. But that belief is false as John has fallen in love with someone outside his circle, namely Myrtle Dole, who is not only the daughter of a mechanic, but is - aghast to George - a foreigner: she lives in Worcester. George tries to convince his children that they should follow his strict moral traditions. He can't quite understand why his family and public life isn't falling into place like tradition dictates it should.
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