25th in the Welsh Women's Classics series. First published in 1932 and set in the second half of the 19th century, Crumbling Pageant is the story of Catherine Jones and her obsession with the decaying Morfa mansion. The house was once splendid, now its owners, the Morys family are almost bankrupt and Morfa is crumbling away in the woods. Catherine dreams of restoring it to its original glory, and in pursuit of her dream neglects everything else, even her own children. The Joneses are a farming family, but Catherines father has become a doctor. His wife is an Englishwoman, once a governess. The girl herself moves sometimes uneasily between the chapel-going Joneses and the local gentry wives. She becomes friends with Richard Morys, but he wants to make his way in the world elsewhere, so Catherine marries his uncouth half-brother Erasmus. As mistress of Morfa she uses her inheritance to restore the estate, even trying to mould her children, Lucian and Louise to the same purpose. Meanwhile Richard Morys has become a successful industrialist, learning the lesson of concern for his workers. Then there is a banking crisis. Catherine loses her income and Lucian steps in, working to repair the damage his mothers neglect has caused her tenants. Catherine is left alone, back in her childhood home, 'a grey-haired woman' standing in an empty road.
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