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A Barsetshire novel in Trollopes gently satirical style
on 24 February 2001
This is the third of the Barsetshire novels and the first to leave behind the trials and tribulations of Hiram's Hospital. Typical of Trollope's subtle humour the first literary trick of this book is the title since the Doctor himself, though not exactly a minor character, is in many ways almost an overseer of the plot rather than the true hero of the story. That honour goes to his neice Mary, whose strange origin is the event that underlies the plot. So cleverly does Trollope bring us close to Mary and her plight that he has the reader practically wishing for the death of a character so that Mary's happiness might be secured. This book contains an array of interesting characters, as you would expect from Anthony Trollope, but is a little less complex than some of the "Palliser" and other novels.