1961 1st edition; Little, Brown and Company publishers, Boston; Book Club Edition; hardbound in green boards with dark green lettering on spine; quite good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket quite good with very minor edge wear - see pics.
The Judas Tree is a 1961 novel by A. J. Cronin. It is considered one of the author's finest works and demonstrated a keen understanding of sin. Cronin described the book as "a complete dissection of a supreme egoist - a well-intentioned man who, through psychological and sociological influences, develops into a weak and self-indulgent heel who brings disaster on three different women and is himself destroyed by the fourth."
The book begins with the story of David Moray, his early career as an ambitious young doctor away on business. He has promised to return to marry a woman he loves, Mary Douglas. Early on in the story he is introduced to successful people and is invited to accompany a prominent family on their ship as their personal physician. In doing so he breaks his promise to Mary and goes in another direction. Instead he briefly marries and divorces Doris, the daughter of the wealthy family he has befriended, whom he indicates was unsound mentally.
Later in David's life he is a wealthy, retired Scottish doctor living in Switzerland who is haunted by the memory of Mary. Attempting to go back to an earlier time, and too late, he returns home to seek her out and make amends. He learns that Mary has died and instead encounters her young, penniless daughter, Kathy, who is involved in mission work. He indulges in a friendship which evolves into more. Logically doubtful and not believing he can have a life with Kathy, David marries Frida, a countess whom he does not love. Not reading a letter Kathy sent, he is unaware Kathy believes they are soon to reunite. Awaiting their departure for a honeymoon cruise his ruminations are interrupted by a brief thought of the unopened letter. He then overhears his butler speaking to Kathy, who has just made a difficult journey to reach him. Overwhelmed that he could have been with her on his own terms at this location and not the mission, he is at a loss for words - David cannot explain that he has just married someone.
Frida asks to speak to Kathy alone, explaining that David found her by seeking her mother whom he failed to return for...