The Perennial Bachelor a portrait of senseless waste

The title character of The Perennial Bachelor, Victor Campion, is a virtual nonentity to all but his immediate family, including Anne Parrish’s readers.

Victor was his parents eighth child but first son.


The Perennial Bachelor by Anne Parrish

Harper & Brothers, 1925, 334 pp. 1925 bestseller #8. My grade: B.


Only three of the Campion girls lived past childhood. Victor was born the evening his father died in a riding accident.

Margaret Campion is a lovely but stupid woman. At her death, she makes Maggie, the eldest daughter, promise to take care of Victor.

Victor becomes his sisters’ life as he was their mother’s.

Parrish presents the story in not-quite-in-focus memories of various of the “three Campion girls” and Victor.

Readers see each sister trying desperately to conceal from the other sisters the pain of sacrificing her own dreams so Victor can have the best.

Details about the clothing, household habits, handicraft projects, and social activities of the family members from the Civil War period through the Jazz Age reveal the extent to which the Campion’s fortunes decline as they grow older.

The Campions are pathetic when they are young. As they get old, the senseless waste of four lives is painful to watch.

Readers will want a sunny novel as a chaser after The Perennial Bachelor.

© 2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

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