Summary (Masterplots: Revised Category Edition, British Fiction Series)
Mr. Bracknel, an Irish businessman, was disgusted with his family, for he felt that they all tried to oppose his wishes merely for the sake of displeasing him. The members of his family felt, however, that he was unduly tyrannical. Alfred Bracknel, the oldest child, had a place in his father’s business, but he paid little attention to his work. Instead, he preferred to spend his time and thought on gambling, drinking, and women, much to his father’s disgust. Seventeen-year-old Denis, the youngest child, displeased his father with his interest in everything mystical. Mr. Bracknel prided himself upon being a very practical person.
May, the oldest daughter, gave her father the least trouble, but Amy, a very sensual girl, constantly fell in love with undesirable young men whom her father had to discourage. Mrs. Bracknel annoyed her husband because she was sickly. Although only forty-six years old, she seemed much older, while her husband was still a lusty man.
The entire family thought that Denis was a little mad because of his interest in the occult. He had been sent away to school in England. After his career there had ended in failure, a series of tutors had not been able to cope with him. At last, a physician who specialized in mental cases recommended to Mr. Bracknel that he hire Hubert Rusk, a young Englishman, as a tutor for the boy. The doctor knew Rusk and felt that he could depend on the young man to be careful of the boy’s mental...
(The entire section is 1210 words.)
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