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Last of the Old Guardby Louis Auchincloss
Synopses & Reviews
"'Private papers left by the dead may present difficult problems for the survivor,' Auchincloss writes in his latest chronicle of the WASP wealthy, and they do for Adrian Suydam, 'an American gentleman of the old school,' who sets about writing the biography of his deceased corporate law partner, Ernest Saunders. It's 1944, and grand old New York is in its full glory as Adrian digs into Ernest's past (and, by virtue of their close relationship, his own), touching on muffled scandals that could threaten 'the old order of the wellborn and highly educated.' The tone is cool and reserved as Adrian examines how Ernest's passionate devotion to the firm — founded in 1883 — precludes him from finding true love and how his colleague foresees the loss of 'the homogeneity, the esprit de corps, the intimacy' that 'the changing conditions of modern law practice' presage. The law partners' friendship constitutes a classic fraternal love story, and Auchincloss, for all his narrative stuffiness, effortlessly conjures a bygone world of privilege." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The American master Louis Auchincloss offers an intimate look behind the closed doors of a prominent New York law firm.
Nearing the end of his days, Adrian Suydam, half the partnership of the law firm of Suydam & Saunders, reflects on his lifelong friendship and business relationship with Ernest Saunders, a tragic and complicated man incapable of properly loving anyone. In this perceptive novel, set against the backdrop of old New York, Auchincloss exposes the temptations and vicissitudes that thrust his characters toward unforeseen fates.
Drawing on his career as a wills-and-trusts attorney, Auchincloss elegantly brings to life a stratum of society that few have seen. Through interwoven tales of family members, clients, and such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and the Astors, readers get an insiders look at a secretive world. Touching, comical, and erudite, Last of the Old Guard is both a revealing history of a high-profile law firm and an intimate portrait of a poignant friendship between two men.
Drawing on his career as an attorney, Auchincloss elegantly brings to life a stratum of society that few have seen. Touching, comical, and erudite, "Last of the Old Guard" is both a revealing history of a high-profile law firm and an intimate portrait of a poignant friendship between two men.
About the Author
Louis Auchincloss was honored in the year 2000 as a “Living Landmark” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy. During his long career he wrote more than sixty books, including the story collection Manhattan Monologues and the novel The Rector of Justin. The former president of the Academy of Arts and Letters, he resided in New York City until his death in January 2010.
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