The book was acclaimed as the first "serious" work by Marquand, who had previously been known for his "Mr. Moto spy novels and other popular fiction. It was a bestseller and won the "Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1938. An article in "The New Yorker decades later called the book the "best-wrought fictional monument to the nation's "Protestant elite that we know of."
In 1944 it was adapted as a Broadway play, and in 1947, it was made into a "feature film starring "Ronald Colman. In 1955 "20th Century Fox produced a TV series starring "Raymond Massey and "Joanne Woodward that ran until 1957.
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