Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The professor's house (Cather) 57

I read my first Cather novel a few weeks ago, and it was time for another from my TBR pile. Reading The professor's house seemed apt when I was about to visit my father later that day.

The book is the story of Professor St. Peter; he has just published his magnum opus and is about to move into a new house built with the profits made from this work. We meet him sitting in the study of his old house, reluctant to leave the place where he has worked so hard and gained so much enjoyment from doing research. He and his family move house, but St. Peter continues to rent the old house in order to escape back to somewhere he feels comfortable.

The book is divided into three sections. The first entitled The family introduces us to St. Peter and his family and we learn about the characters and what is going on in their lives. In the second section, Tom Outland's Story, we meet Tom, an old student of the Professor and family friend, who was killed during the First World War an invention that led to great wealth for one of the St. Peter's daughters. Finally, the third, shortest section is entitled The professor, and deals with St. Peter's reflections on Tom Outland.

I thought this was a lovely book - the Professor was in many ways reminiscent of my own father, being both committed to his family, to his teaching, but really consumed by his research.

Three times published by Virago, I own the middle cover.


  1. This is one of my favorite books. There is so much about it that I like.

    I couldn't find your email, but I tagged The B Files over at My Porch. If you are interested check it out. If you are not (or don't like being tagged) I understand.

  2. I like the sound of this book, although, I have to say, I've never actually read anything by Cather. Also, methinks the middle one does have the best cover.

  3. This is my very favorite Cather novel. In fact, I managed to sneak it into my oral examination list in grad school simply because I wanted to talk about it!

    Those are all lovely covers!

  4. Thomas - you're right, lots about this to like! Will check out your porch later.

    Another Cookie - definitely give Cather a go, I hadn't read any before this challenge. I think the middle cover is very Professorial.

    Makedo - how wonderful being able to talk about books that you like in an exam!