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Alice Vavasour has broken off her engagement with John Grey, her faultless fiance, in order to marry her cousin George. According to the Victorian moral code, Alice must pay for her poor behaviour, but the reader forgives her, not because she has been punished and repents, but because we have a complete understanding of her motives.
Mr Peacocke, a Classical scholar, has come to Broughtonshire with his beautiful American wife to live as a schoolmaster. But when the blackmailing brother of her first husband-a reprobate from Louisiana--appears at the school gates, their dreadful secret is revealed and the county is scandalized.
The central theme of the novel is the sexual jealousy of Louis Trevelyn who unjustly accuses his wife Emily of a liason with a friend of her father's. As his suspicion deepens into madness, Trollope gives us a profound psychological study in which Louis' obsessive delirium is comparable to the tormented figure of Othello, tragically flawed by self-deception.
In the fourth novel of the Barsetshire Chronicles series, a young Victorian clergyman's social ambition leads him to the brink of ruin.
The first book in the Barsetshire Chronicles tells the story of an elderly clergyman who resigns his church sinecure when it becomes the center of public controversy.
In this second novel of the Barsetshire Chronicles series, Trollope continues the story begun in The Warden and explores the conflict between the High and Low Church during the mid-Victorian period.
The Prime Minister is the key work and penultimate novel in the Palliser series. Ferdinand Lopez, a handsome impostor, pursues Emily Wharton for her charm and her fortune, and plots to win membership of that most exclusive of English clubs, the Houses of Parliament.
The fifth of the Barsetshire Chronicles and sequel to Framely Parsonage, The Small House at Allington (1864) introduces Lily Dale, Trollope's most admired heroine, and recounts the tale of her love for the ambitious, self-seeking Crosbie. Crushed by his faithlessness, she tries unsuccessfully to conceal her grief and, despite the deserving attentions of her honest suitor Johnny Eames, sentences herself to a life of spinsterhood. Critical reception of the novel was among the most favourable Trollope ever received. His analysis of the psychological grip of love, and the complexity of the inner lives of his men and women, is masterful; yet he is equally compelling when, with customary irony and precision, he draws upon a characteristic theme - the invasion of the country side by the disruptive and irresponsible city - to create a vivid picture of the changes occurring in mid-nineteenth-century England.
This was the new metropolitan disease Trollope set out brilliantly to expose in The Way We Live Now. His milieux are the City's financial institutions, London's exclusive West End squares and drones' clubs populated by languorous aristocrats, all offering rich pickings for the unscrupulous spectator, whether in the marriage or the money market. Among the unscrupulous are the hack-writer Lady Carbury, her son Felix and, above all, Melmotte, a financier of uncertain origins and Napoleonic ruthlessness, energy and charm, whose dramatic rise and fall dominates the novel. The Way We Live Now, unpopular on its first appearance in 1874-5 is now widely recognized as Trollope's masterpiece. An unorthodox satire with a happy ending, it explores decadence and change in what Frank Kermode calls 'a world increasingly more congenial to the speculator than to the gentleman.'