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Literature & Language
Book Review
English (U.S.)
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The Voysey Inheritance by Harler Granville (Book Review Sample)


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The Voysey Inheritance






The Voysey Inheritance Review

The Voysey Inheritance is an impressive play by Harler Granville that is centered on ‘victimless crime’ and middle-class respectability. The play was first performed in 1901 under the supervision of Peter Gill. The plot reveals a family located in well-heeled suburbia and surviving on money gotten through deception. However, quite a number of the family members of the Voysey family are initially unaware of the source of their wealth until Mr. Voysey senior decides to reveal the truth about his criminal activities, which he conducted alongside his son Edward. On realizing the fraudulent behavior of his father, Edward seemed shocked at first since his father had engaged in the criminal activities to sustain his family’s luxurious lifestyle, which they were accustomed to. Upon realization, Edward tries to correct the wrongs of his father by exposing his crime to the entire Voysey family. However, the reaction from the Voysey family was unexpected since they demanded that Edward continues with the business to sustain their lavish lifestyle. More so, Mr. Voysey’s client also demands that Edward continues with the business to recover their wealth. The opposition led Edward to the realization that the principled path may not be easy to follow and which forms the plot of the entire play. The main setting of the play revolves around the Voysey’s middle-class home in Chislehurst and their offices in Lincoln’s Inn.

Barker’s play stretches past the depiction of a single family to become a quasi-Marxist attack on the corruption of capitalism. The portrayal of unearned incomes as tainted depicts Granville Barker’s point of view concerning the whole situation. Nonetheless, the hypocrisy of Edward’s life is also questioned by Barker as Mr. Voysey senior states that “You must realize…that money making is one thing, religion another and family life a third” (Mamet, 118). Peter Gill’s production acts as a constant reminder of the unwelcome consequences of the play through the incorporation of an aural mosaic of Edwardian life, which adds echoes of everything from Barrie and Masefield to Sullivan and Elgar. Also, the production acts as a reminder of Granville Barker’s masterpiece throu

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