Concluding

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Dalkey Archive Press, 1948 - Literary Criticism - 213 pages
3 Reviews

Considered by Henry Green to be one of his best novels, Concluding tells the story of the strange events events that occur in a single day at a State-run school for girls. Retired scientist Mr. Rock, "an old man in love with his goose," lives in a cottage with his adult granddaughter Elizabeth. Bordering the grounds of the school, the cottage -- which the State has given Rock for the duration of his life in gratitude for his scientific contributions -- is coveted by the school's two spinsterish governesses, Misses Edge and Baker.

As the story opens, two students are missing. The resultant search for their whereabouts raises numerous fears and questions: have they been harmed? have they left on their own, alone? or have they perhaps been persuaded by the school's only male instructor, Sebastian Birt? how will the governesses keep the news from parents and State authorities until the girls have been found and an acceptable story contrived? will Rock report them for negligence? Meanwhile, as rumors and versions of the girls' disappearance spread through the school, and the governesses attempt to conceal their alarm by preparing for the school's tenth annual Founders Day Ball, the seemingly innocent proceedings take on an air of mystery, intrigue, and impending doom.

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User Review  - lucybrown - LibraryThing

This was the first book that I read by Green, and it wasn't probably the best place to start since it seems atypical in several ways. The story's setting, a girl's school, is exceedingly odd. While ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - js229 - LibraryThing

Just a bit dull. There is some satirical envisioning of a future State, and a bit of old vs young constrast. Fortunately but surprisingly an elderly male author managed to write a book set in an institution for late teenage girls without being the least salacious. Read full review

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About the author (1948)

Henry Green is the pen-name for Henry Vincent Yorke, the son of a prosperous Midlands industrialist. He was born near Tewkesbury in 1905 and was educated at Eton and Oxford, where he wrote his first novel, Blindness, published in 1926. He entered the family business on the factory-floor, and went on to run the firm while writing eight other novels (all to be reissued as Harvill paperbacks). For Angus Wilson he was "one of the few really considerable English novelists of our time", while W.H. Auden considered him to be "the finest living English novelist". Henry Green died in 1973.

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