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This book depicts the lives of four generations and is narrated by family friend Overton although it focuses on Ernest Pontifex and his respect for his great-grandfather John. His father Theo is the books initial concern, though,and he grows after ordination into cruel and disciplinarian attitudes to parenthood which affect young Ernest. As the story progresses we see the latter give his money to a pregnant maid, become a priest and imprisoned for mistaking a respectable lady for a whore. Ernest is released only to begin an unwise relationship with the maid, Ellen. The tale and its conclusion question the values of Victorian society and offer the solace of the individual mind when convention fails. Please Note: This book has been reformatted to be easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. The Adobe eBook has bookmarks at chapter headings and is printable up to two full copies per year. Both versions are text searchable.

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