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The small house at Allington, (The Chronicles of Barsetshire) Unknown Binding – 1904

31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Dodd, Mead & company (1904)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00089DZ1E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
OF COURSE there was a Great House at Allington. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By bookelephant on 25 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
All of the reviews on this book are right - and yet they are wrong! For me, the central character is Adolphus Crosbie, a man with whom everyone must identify. Crosbie is a man who sees the right course and acknowledges it, but cannot stop himself from following the wrong one. Who cannot understand and sympathise with this? He finds something right, and true, which would make his life better, and help him to live his life better, but ultimately cannot resist the false glamour of an aristocratic marriage - even while he knows deep down that he despises the woman he is marrying and the things for which she stands. The passage after the wedding when he finds himself alone in the train compartment with Lady Alexandrina communicates the awful, empty, cold feeling that comes with acknowledging a great mistake like nothing I have ever read before or since.
Of course Lily Dale must not be forgotten, and she is indeed more than a symbol of simplicity and truthfulness. She reminds us that people make their own experience of love - it is not a "one size fits all" affair, and asks us the question about whether for some people love can only come once.
And of course being Trollope, along the way there are a variety of well fleshed out and engaging other characters (Earl de Guest is a particularly endearing one and Trollope saunters through himself, disguised as Johnny Eames), a few guest turns from old friends (Mr Harding stands as a moral fingerpost to Crosbie as he crosses the line between right (Allington) and wrong (Courcy Castle), and Lady Dumbello enjoys a quasi flirtation with a future hero, Mr Palliser), and lyrical descriptions of the beauties of the scenery.
Every page offers its pleasures and the book is a great joy. Finally, if you read it and like it, do try to get hold of a version with the original illustrations - by Millais- which are simply lovely.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Purple fox on 5 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
Although this book could never be described as 'fast-paced', it's a wonderful book. Trollope's language is so simple, contemporary and beautiful. The characters are so human, and I found myself really sympathising, empathising, enjoying... and getting annoyed with them! The book is about relationships between people, kindness, bravery, hope and hopelessness, love and lovelessness.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 April 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This fifth novel in the Barsetshire chronicles has, as often with Trollope, an almost stupefyingly simple plot: Lily Dale is courted by the 'swell' Adolphus Crosbie who then, not one month after their engagement, drops her for the daughter of an earl. Lily is heartbroken but resolves she still loves Adolphus and therefore can accept no other man, even though a much worthier man soon presents himself in the person of John Eames.

In a nutshell, that's all there is to it. But, as also always seems the case with Trollope, out of this simple plot he weaves a beautiful tale that keeps you turning pages although nothing much really happens (definitely not by today's standards). How so? For starters, Trollope is a master at analyzing and describing the thoughts and emotions of his characters (most of them ordinary people like you and me), which makes them leap of the page like real-life people you know in the flesh and, often as not, you find yourself identifying with one or more of the main characters, wishing them well and hoping they'll succeed in their endeavours as if they were your own. In this case too, although you know from the start that nothing will come of it, you cannot help but hope that Lily will give up her stubborn behaviour and accept the man that truly loves her.

Secondly, altough in this case the main plot gives little room for mirth Trollope does introduce quite a lot of humour by means of the various subplots and secondary characters (the head-gardener Hopkins for instance, or earl De Guest). It's rarely the laugh-out-loud kind of humour (although there's a few hilarious scenes) but mostly rather subtle, which makes it none the less effective.
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Format: Paperback
The Barchester series continues with this excellent tale of young love, immaturity, selfishness and broken hearts.
Lilly Dale is loved by John Eames. Yet it is another man Adolphus Crosbie who she gets engaged to. But is Adolphus the man for Lilly? Meanwhile her sister Bell is also coming under pressure to be married but for money, not love.

Trollope is back on form here, we have the usual funny moments, but also the casual yet devastating cruelty that is inflicted on the heroine. There are many subplots, the most interesting being the branch of the de Courcy family whose daughters wish to be wed, no matter what. Trollope's knack for showing his characters from all angles really pays off in this book. There are at least two people who deserve what happens to them in this book, but Trollope's skill is in making you still feel for them as people, even if you might quietly rejoice at their fate. The pace does falter occasionally, but this novel is extremely entertaining. As for the ending.....well it might seem unsatisfying but on reflection it's perfectly right for the characters. A great read, which my review doesn't do justice to.
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