Robert Kimberly

Frank H. SPEARMAN (1859 - 1937)

The novel is set among the wealthy of the Northeast in the USA of the early 1900's. A close knit group of about ten couples in high society visit each others homes for dance, drink, conversation and partying. The male members are mostly affiliated with a closely held conglomerate controlling the sugar refinery industry. Robert Kimberly and his brother Charles are the top executives. Robert Kimberly is very highly respected and is seen as the leader; unlike most of the group, he is not married. He cares for his very decrepit oldest brother, with the help of a hired Catholic monk. Alice McBirney and her husband have recently moved from the Midwest to join the group. He has just sold his refinery to the Kimberlys, and is now an officer. Robert Kimberly is soon very attracted to Alice. She tries to avoid any such improprieties; she wants him only as a friend.

The novel has some serious themes, like the sanctity of marriage, the Catholic Church, the relationship of classes in society, labor vs. management, divorce, etc. Robert has the highest of values in most regards, but falls hopelessly in love with Alice. The idea of adultery is a horror to Alice, though her marriage is an unhappy one. She will not consider divorce. The resolutions in the story are not happy ones.

It is most interesting that Frank Spearman should write this novel. He is known for his Westerns; they always concerned the early days of the railroads. He preceded this romance novel with two Westerns; after "Robert Kimberly", all were Westerns. This reader thinks "Robert Kimberly" was this best work. (Summary by Bob Rollins)

Genre(s): Literary Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Chapter 01 Bob R
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Play 02 Chapter 02 Bob R
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Play 08 Chapter 08 Bob R
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Play 10 Chapter 10 Bob R
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Play 17 Chapter 17 Bob R
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Play 19 Chapter 19 Bob R
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Play 21 Chapter 21 Bob R
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Play 22 Chapter 22 Bob R
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Play 23 Chapter 23 Bob R
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Play 29 Chapter 29 Bob R
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Play 30 Chapter 30 Bob R
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Play 31 Chapter 31 Bob R
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Play 47 Chapter 47 Bob R
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Play 48 Chapter 48 Bob R
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