Books: Vote for Victoria

TO BE A PILGRIM (343 pp.)—Joyce Cary—Harper ($3).

Tom Wilcher was one of those choice eccentrics who, if English novelists are to be believed, still wander about the English countryside. He was a tough-minded conservative. He believed in God. He despised what seemed to him the shilly-shallowness of the between-wars younger generation and stoutly affirmed that the days of his youth, well before World War I, were the best a man could be born to.

When his niece Ann, a painfully plain woman doctor, bundled him off to the family's abandoned country house, old Tom feared that it was not so much out...

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