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The Bookman (London) 61: 63-64. October 1921

review of THE MAGNIFICENT MR. BANGS.

By Joseph C. Lincoln.

8s. 6d. (Appleton.)

    Cape Cod is the Yankees' Yarmouth, with Cornwall and Pegwell Bay thrown in. Its characters and habits and dialect are there ready-made for the humorist, and he has simply to go and pick them up like shells upon the shore. The marvel is that every other house around that broken bit of coast is not occupied with a successful novelist or playwright yanking off streaks of genius, as local speech might put it, for the theatres and periodicals of the eastern states, while the good folk of Boston and New York sail past through the Cape Cod canal and lick their lips in anticipation of the toothsome fare to come. Unfortunately for all such plans the Cape has all it requires in the person of Mr. Lincoln, and he keeps adding to his score of volumes on its life and people with such steady persistence that nobody troubles to compete with him. Boston last year produced a play from his novel of "Shavings," and there at a glance one caught the ozone of this refreshing region, together with its fun and sunshine, its cheerful prepossession with its own concerns, and the ease with which a human oddity can settle there and vegetate in happiness and perfect suitability. That was the way with the Hon. Galusha Bangs, the Egyptologist, a middle-aged bachelor in the style of Mr. Todman, who drifts into the natty home and the warm affections of Martha Phipps. He saves her from having to leave the place of her affections first by becoming her lodger and then by buying up the "dud " shares she has been induced to speculate in. The inevitable happens, and thanks to Galusha's banker cousin, who quells Martha's diffidence by an appeal to her good nature and common sense, these two Cheeryble souls pair off. Egypt is a long way from Cape Cod— perhaps that is why Mr. Lincoln chose it —but it seems to us that Mr. and Mrs. Bangs would brighten even the sunshine of the Pyramids with their quiet heartiness and serenity, their genuine humanity and natural fund of homely humour.

posted June 2004 at CapeCodHistory.us