Spanning most of the decades of the twentieth century, this entertaining collection of stories reveals the inner lives of America's upper classes in the polished, elegant prose that is Louis Auchincloss's signature. The intricate balance of power in a marriage, the artist's hunger for inspiration, the responsibilities of privileged youth on the eve of war — Auchincloss casts a knowing yet sympathetic eye on such dilemmas as they play themselves out in the salons, clubs, boarding schools, Park Avenue drawing rooms, and summer hideaways of the moneyed classes.
In "The Man of Good Will," an aging Seth Middletown finds himself unable to save a beloved grandson torn apart by the sixties — a boy carefully protected from a family secret. Dick and Joyce Emmons, in "The Lotos Eaters," are surprised to find their new marriage subtly undermined by their own enchanted existence on a paradisal Florida island. A theatrical grande dame and an admiring young actor are "Priestess and Acolyte"—until they realize that the passions that rule them are irreconcilable.
Evident on every page of the eight stories contained here are Auchincloss's superb ear for dialogue and his ability to suggest what lies beneath the surface of human relationships. Tales of Yesteryear will give Auchincloss's loyal readers cause to rejoice, and newcomers a delightful introduction to one of America's most distinguished authors.