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My Father's Glory ( ) is a 1957 autobiographical novel by Marcel Pagnol. Its sequel is My Mother's Castle.

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 Marseillemarker. 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 respective families to a house in the country. On this trip, Marcel makes a new friend in wilderness-wise boy Lili. (In the biography/autobiography, this takes place in the second book, My Mothers Castle.)

Jules decides to educate Joseph on hunting. Marcel wants to come hunting with them, but the two adults don't like the idea. Eventually they consent and let him go. But it seems they never were going to let him go and lie to him and leave the house while he is still just waking up. But he won't let that stop him, and follows them stealthily. Jules is making a fool out of Joseph with his hunting prowess. This enrages Marcel. But while he is following them he gets lost in the wilderness.

Hearing the hunters later, he follows the sounds to the top of a high cliff. His presence there scares out the legendary birds, the Rock Partridges. Joseph shoots two down with his side-by-side loading musket. Jules does not believe that Joseph has made the kill. Marcel retrieves the birds and holds them by the legs in his outspread arms on the cliff for the sight of the hunters in the valley below. He "lifts his father's glory to the sky." Hence the name "My Father's Glory."

Back in the village, the residents are amazed at Joseph's skill. Marcel is very proud of him, but realizes his father's vanity when Joseph poses for a photograph with the birds. Earlier, Joseph had mocked a colleague who posed with fish, calling such poses a lack of dignity.

When the summer ends, Marcel is unwilling to return home and leaves a letter to his family saying he's planning to stay. Lili gives him a place to stay, but he realizes that he can't make it on his own. He then returns home, hoping his parents haven't yet seen his letter. To his relief, the letter is still on the bed where he left it. But later, Joseph makes references about the letter, though never saying directly that he saw it. After that, the family packs up and returns home. (In the biography/autobiography, this takes place in the second book, My Mothers Castle.)


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