Hugo

Alfred Shaughnessy, Author Tabb House (UK) $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-873951-12-5
Shaughnessy, who wrote scripts for TV's Upstairs, Downstairs, gives a new twist to the theme of forbidden love. Orphaned Hugo Mayne grows up between two world wars at Charnfield, an estate outside London, under the eye of his stern stepfather, Sir Richard. Hugo is clearly different from other boys. He likes to read, has little interest in girls, displays a keen artistic sensibility and becomes unusually attached to his stepmother, Celia. Despite Sir Richard's efforts to make a man of Hugo by taking him hunting and riding, the boy develops homosexual relationships with classmates at Eton and Oxford. Although Hugo, portrayed as effeminate and artistic, and his phillistine, philandering stepbrother Jeremy, the legal heir of Charnfield, become stereotypical types (the gay and the straight; the good and the bad), Shaughnessy nevertheless captures the subtleties in the dynamics between various characters. For fans of the genre, the tale has the appeal of a highbrow soap opera. Indeed, the narrative, marked by closely observed period and psychological detail, moves with the even timing of a Masterpiece Theater series. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
Paperback - 394 pages - 978-0-7862-0546-2
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