My Father's Glory

This article is about the novel. For the film, see My Father's Glory (film).
My Father's Glory
Author Marcel Pagnol
Original title La Gloire de Mon Père
Country France
Language French
Series Souvenirs d'enfance
Genre Autobiographical novel
Publisher Pastorelly
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)

My Father's Glory (French: La Gloire de mon père) is a 1957 autobiographical novel by Marcel Pagnol. Its sequel is My Mother's Castle. It is the first of four volumes in Pagnol's Souvenirs d'enfance series. It is also a 1990 film based on the novel, and directed by Yves Robert.

Plot summary

Young Marcel was born in the country but raised in Marseille. His father, Joseph, is a hard-working strongly atheist public school teacher in Marseille. Marcel's Aunt Rose marries the round, jovial, and very theistic and Roman Catholic Uncle Jules. Joseph and Uncle Jules come into conflict over religion.

Over summer break, Joseph and Jules decide to take their families to a house in the country.

Jules decides to educate Joseph in hunting techniques. Marcel wants to come hunting with them, but the two adults don't like the idea; they lie to him that he can come, but leave the house while he is still just waking up. Marcel, aware of their deceit, gets up and follows them stealthily. He observes Jules making a fool out of Joseph over his hunting prowess. Marcel is lost in the wilderness when he meets a boy called Lili, who tells him where the hunting party is. Joseph takes potshots at two rock partridges and they fall to ground beside Marcel. He watches as Jules reprimands Joseph for shooting at and missing the birds. At this point, Marcel reveals himself and the partridges.

Later, Lili, who knows everything about the countryside, becomes Marcel's friend and teaches him about the ways of the countryside. They regularly go exploring in the countryside of Provence, in southern France.

As the holiday comes to an end, Marcel plans with Lili to hide himself in a cave, and live there as a hermit, in order to continue living in Provence, which he has grown very fond of. On the day of their departure, Marcel gets up early in the morning. He has written a letter for this purpose earlier, explaining his disappearance to his parents, and excusing his behaviour. He warns them that they will not be able to find him in his "new home," and should not bother searching. He then walks to the cave with Lili, who was waiting for him near his house. As they arrive, Marcel begins to become afraid of living alone. He invents all kinds of excuses to avoid living in the cave. He then runs home quickly to prevent his parents reading the letter, which he had placed on his pillow. As he returns home, everyone is already busy loading up a carriage for the journey home. He runs up to his room, and discovers that the letter is still on his pillow, and he assumes that no one has read it. As he gets ready to leave the house for a last time, his parents make a remark which indicates that they in fact did read the letter.


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