College history professor ROBERT WHITTLE believes the world is coming to an end, even though his devoted wife AMANDA and young daughter LUCINDA don't take much stock in his prediction. Consumed by his depressing prophecy, Mr. Whittle is suddenly distracted by the alarmingly beautiful PENELOPE ANDREWS, a student who turns heads wherever she goes. Penelope enjoys the affections of her boyfriend, fellow student MARVIN GREENE, but it's apparent that Marvin is growing restless of his first love and beginning to ...
College history professor ROBERT WHITTLE believes the world is coming to an end, even though his devoted wife AMANDA and young daughter LUCINDA don't take much stock in his prediction. Consumed by his depressing prophecy, Mr. Whittle is suddenly distracted by the alarmingly beautiful PENELOPE ANDREWS, a student who turns heads wherever she goes. Penelope enjoys the affections of her boyfriend, fellow student MARVIN GREENE, but it's apparent that Marvin is growing restless of his first love and beginning to contemplate other conquests. That evening the Whittles decide to entertain their good friends MR. and MRS. BLANEY, and it becomes evident that Mr. Blaney, though happily married, begins to have fantasies about Whittle's wife Amanda. Not long after Penelope, realizing that things aren't going well with Marvin, gets a crush on Mr. Whittle. Meanwhile, Mr. Whittle's doomsday prediction proceeds to spread throughout the town, causing a great deal of unrest. This invokes the ire of Amanda who has an argument with her husband since she thinks his "prophecy" is alienating their friends. Their marriage is in trouble, and Amanda lets her husband know it. With that, Mr. Whittle looks for comfort in the dreamy-eyed Penelope. When he doesn't return home, Amanda finds solace in the care of Mr. Blaney. In an impetuous moment, Amanda kisses Blaney on the cheek just as Mr. Whittle shows up. Embarrassed, Blaney scurries home to his own wife. Upset, Amanda runs after her husband to apologize, but Whittle thinks she's mad at him because of his indiscreet behavior with young Penelope. Troubled, Whittle stays out all night in a terrible rainstorm, talking to God and trying to make sense of it all. Amanda worries and waits for her husband to come home. The next morning a haggard Whittle staggers through the front door. With teary eyes and love in her heart, Amanda greets her disheveled husband. Nathan's "Mr. Whittle and the Morning Star" is a charming story whose central themes are of greener pastures, of living out fantasies, and of being careful of what you dream-- because it just might come true.
"A genuine Robert Nathan with all the sympathetic understanding of character, his quiet humor and unsuspected satire. A strong 'yes' for this book."
--G.W. Hill, Library Journal
Author of such revered books as PORTRAIT OF JENNIE, THE BISHOP’S WIFE, THE RIVER JOURNEY, and STONECLIFF, Robert Nathan was born in New York City in 1894 and was educated at private schools in the United States and Switzerland. While attending Harvard University where he was a classmate with E.E. Cummings, Nathan was an editor of the Harvard Monthly, in which his first stories and poems appeared. While at Cambridge, Nathan also found the time to become an accomplished cellist, a lightweight boxer, and Captain of the fencing team. After leaving college, Mr. Nathan devoted his time exclusively to writing until his passing in 1985. Early on, Nathan’s work strengthened his reputation with both the public and peers. F. Scott Fitzgerald once referred to Robert Nathan as his favorite writer. During this period, the legendary Louis B. Mayer contracted him to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. Nathan ultimately didn’t enjoy the experience, though the movie industry continually craved his work. Five of his novels have been made into films. The aforementioned “Portrait of Jennie” and “The Bishop’s Wife,” as well as “One More Spring,” “Wake Up and Dream” (from the novel “The Enchanted Voyage”) and “Color of Evening.” Robert Nathan was the author of over fifty volumes of novels, poetry, and plays, and from this body of distinguished work he acquired a reputation as a master of satiric fantasy unique in American Letters. In the twilight of his career he was known as “The Dean of Author’s,” since many prominent writers including Irving Stone and Irving Wallace sought out Nathan’s guidance. A member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters for fifty years, Mr. Nathan called both Cape Cod and California home. Happily, his last fifteen years were spent in the companionship of his wife, English born actress, Anna Lee.