This article is about the novel. His best-known work, it has been adapted several times for stage and screen. In the book’s Prologue, The go between hartley pdf Colston chances upon a diary from 1900, the year of his thirteenth birthday, and gradually pieces together a memory that he has suppressed.
Leo relives the events of what had once seemed to him its hopeful beginning. Leo’s interaction with the adult world. As a result, he is invited as a guest to spend the summer at Brandham Hall, the country home of his schoolfellow, Marcus Maudsley. There the socially clumsy Leo, with his regional accent, is a middle class boy among the wealthy upper class. Though it is obvious that he does not really fit in, his hosts do their best to make him feel welcome, treating him with kindness and indulgence, especially their daughter Marian. Ted Burgess, with whom she is having a clandestine relationship.
Leo is happy to help Marian because he has a crush on her and likes Ted. Besides, Leo is initially ignorant of the significance or content of the messages that he is asked to carry between them and the well-meaning, innocent boy is easily manipulated by the lovers. Leo is too naïve to understand why they can never marry. The situation is further complicated by the fact that Marian is about to become engaged to Hugh, Viscount Trimingham, the descendant of the area’s nobility who formerly lived in Brandham Hall. Leo naively believes that Marian’s engagement ought to bring the correspondence between her and Ted to an end.
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Ultimately, his unwilling involvement has disastrous consequences when Marian’s mother makes him accompany her as she tracks the lovers down to their hiding place and discovers them making love. Ted’s suicide and Leo’s nervous collapse. In the Epilogue, the older Leo sums up how profoundly the experience has affected him. Forbidding himself even to think about the scandal, he had shut down his emotions and imaginative nature, leaving room only for facts. As a result he has never been able to establish intimate relationships.
Now, looking back on the events through the eyes of a mature adult, he feels it is important to return to Brandham some fifty years later in order to tie up loose ends. There he meets Marian’s grandson and finds Marian herself living in her former nanny’s cottage. He also learns that Lord Trimingham had married Marian and acknowledged Ted’s son by her as his own. In the end, the elderly Marian persuades Leo, the only other survivor from her past, to act once more as go-between and assure her estranged grandson that there was nothing to be ashamed of in her affair with Ted Burgess.