The Prince of Graustark Lacks Predecessor’s Thrills

Old, tall stone castle on mountain above Slovakian forest

George Barr McCutcheon’s first Graustark novel was a thriller with a bit of romance between between the action scenes. The Prince of Graustark hasn’t enough of either thrills or romance to be interesting.

Graustark wants Prince Robin to marry the daughter of the King of Dawsbergen. The young people have never met and refuse to consider marrying for reasons of political expediency. Their subjects blame the rebelliousness on the fact that each royal heir had one American parent.

Meanwhile, American multi-millionare William W. Blithers has decided nothing but marriage to royalty is good enough for his daughter. Rather than be humiliated by her father’s ham-fisted schemes to buy her a crown, Maud takes ship for Europe.

It just so happens Prince Robin also boards a ship bound for Europe on which he meets the girl of his dreams.

McCutcheon’s wisecracks about Mr. Blithers’ are funny, but they are confined primarily to the American episodes. Blithers’ deflation when he gets to the Graustark palace and sees what his money cannot buy rings too true to be laughed it.

The love-lorn Prince appears too dense to lead a cocker spaniel, let alone a country.

And the outcome is far too predictable for the romance to be entertaining.

The Prince of Graustark
By George Barr McCutcheon
Illustrated by A. I. Keller
Project Gutenberg EBook #6353
1914 bestseller #10

Photo credit: Slovakia by retrowiec

@ 2014 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

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