Mr. Crewe is not the hero of the Winston Churchill novel that bears his name, nor is he heroic.
While Crewe has a good brain, a fortune, and aptitude for hard work, he also has one serious handicap: Mr. Humphrey Crewe doesn’t have a lick of sense.
Mr. Crewe’s Career by Winston Churchill
1908 bestseller #1. Project Gutenberg Ebook #3684. My grade: B.
Churchill’s real story is about lawyer Austen Vane, whose father is lobbyist for the Imperial Railroad, and Victoria Flint, daughter of the railroad’s CEO.
Predictably, Austen and Victoria fall in love.
The romance, however, is secondary to the young people’s relationships to their respective fathers.
Austen wins a case against the railroad, and Victoria starts asking her father embarrassing questions.
The railroad lobby, in the person of Hilary Vane, controls the state’s Republican Party and the statehouse.
Austen and Victoria both realize they need to set their own course without cutting off relationships with their fathers.
Meanwhile, Crewe, stymied by the railroad lobby in his efforts to pass reform legislation, declares himself candidate for governor.
Churchill uses Crewe’s career as a way to get an inside picture of the political machine.
It’s not a pretty picture.
Churchill wisely refrains from ending the novel with universal happiness. Too many of the characters have too many regrets for that.
© 2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni