Edward’s highly principled world upturns when his father reveals that he has been illegally speculating with clients’ money. To make matters worse, he soon discovers his large, scandal-fearing family would perpetuate the crime rather than risk public dishonour.
Of course it’s pleasant and comfortable to keep within the law… then the law will look after you. Otherwise you have to look pretty sharp after yourself. You have to cultivate your own sense of right and wrong… deal with your own justice. But that makes a bigger man of you, let me tell you.
This magnificently observed, hugely enjoyable portrait of an upper-middle-class family was written by the father of 20th-century British theatre, Harley Granville Barker, ten years before the first world war finally sent old values flying.