A highly civilised man writing for highly civilised people. But more significantly, his moral universe is also that of his subjects, and as a result this book acknowledges the importance of such grossly old-fashioned values as self-restraint, fidelity and forgiveness. But there may be a historical irony here, for as the English seek to rediscover an authentic sense of Englishness, these are the very values which they are beginning to consider to be the bedrock of their nation. Gale may yet receive the honour which this fine achievement demonstrates he fully deserves.

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