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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 March 2016
This excellent book will soon be seen as a tv dramatisation. Trollope was a prolific writer. His background is fascinating.
He was born on 24 April 1815 and he died in December 1882.Today he is regarded as one of the most successful and respected novelists of the Victorian era. This was not ways so. His Barsetshire Chronicles revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire. Trollope also wrote books on social, political and gender matters.

His father was a barrister and a Fellow of New College , Oxford. He failed at the bar and his ventures into farming were unsuccessful. He was the son of landed gentry but very short of money. As a result, Anthony had a miserable upbringing. He went to Harrow and Winchester, as did his two older brothers, for short spells only. He hated both. He was bullied and even considered suicide .

His mother took up writing and her income kept the family afloat. His father fled to Belgium to escape debtors prison. After the family joined him, Anthony got a job in London as a Post Office Clerk. His father died the same year, 1834. He was not a great success and had to borrow money to survive. He sought escape by taking a job in Ireland as a postal surveyor's clerk. The work involved inspection tours in Connacht. He loved the job and took up fox hunting, a pursuit he followed for 30 years.

Trollope married Rose in 1844, the daughter of a bank manager. At this time, he had written very little but he began writing while travelling on the train around Ireland. His earliest novels were written while working as a Post Office Inspector. He revealed that he got some of his ideas for his books by dipping into the lost-letter box. Many of his novels were set in Ireland at a time of growing hostility between the Irish and England. The dreadful famine of the 1850's exacerbated this.

In 1851 he was sent to England to reorganize rural mail delivery in the south west. In two years he travelled all over GB, often on horseback. He records it was the happiest two years of his life. During these rides he conceived the plot of several novels, for example The Warden and Barchester Towers. He got promotion and eventually moved to Waltham Cross, where he lived until 1871. In 1864 he left the PO and stood as a Liberal candidate for Beverley in 1868. Like many boroughs it had a reputation for vote- buying. Corruption was rife. He came fourth. Afterwards, he concentrated on his literary career. He travelled to Australia in 1871 to visit his son, a sheep farmer.This produced the plots for more novels. He died in London.

Trollope was a great observer of humans and the environment. He had a vivid imagination and liked to address readers directly. Admirers of his work included Thackeray, Eliot and Collins. He had a better appreciation of money than most, no doubt due to his background. He had also a deep insight and sensitivity to the position of women in Victorian society. He has a huge following which includes Prime Ministers, actors, economists, judges and poets.

This novel is one of his best though perhaps not as well known as some of his others. It focuses on a modest country medical practioner who lives in the west of England. He is upright and principled. In this book Trollope moves outside the Cathedral close. It is the third of the Barsetshire novels. Mary, the doctor's niece, has an odd origin and this underlies the plot. The novel is at times humorous and it is full of interesting characters. Money features a great deal. The vissitudes of Mary's courtship are lovingly detailed with all the wit and satire of the author at his finest.

In essence, it is a social comedy about social snobbery, hypocrisy and self-seeking. Trollope's creation of the de Courcy family and the deplorable Sir Roger Scatcherd is masterly. It is a story which has the playful sensibility of Jane Austen and the heartwarming cheer of Charles Dickens.

Read it.
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on 31 August 2016
This is such a glorious contrast to the world in which we now live ! The story is so old world and with such beautiful manners as no longer exist except in very select circles. The story is slow and the writing of such beautiful prose using many phrases and quotations whch I had not previously known. The appendix to explain was valuable as I might have missed understanding many of the references.
Trollope is a joy to me and all the Barsetshire novels are a wonderful evocation of a style of life long gone from our world .
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on 20 December 2013
A very unpredictable plot. Interesting, certainly. the characters are interesting, the plot good, and the world created absorbing. Some very serious points and moving scenes as well - such as those concerning the evil of alcohol abuse.
SPOILER ALERT: Don't read the rest of this review if you don't want spoilers!
In terms of criticisms: Although Trollope sympathises with Frank and Mary and Miss Dunstable, and criticises Frank's mother and the other characters who want him to marry for money, I found it difficult to sympathise with the right people. It seemed very foolish for Frank and Mary to marry and have nothing to live on! Nor did I really think Dr Thorne sensible in causing needless worry and confusion to all by withholding the information that Mary would inherit Sir Louis Scatcherd's property - it surely only caused his niece (and everyone else!) unnecessary pain, as the Gresham family would surely have been much more amenable to the match and `persecuted' (not that it really seemed like persecution) Mary far less if they had known. I mean, he was counting on dead men's shoes (or whatever the expression), anyway in that he knew and considered in his own mind the difference it would make!
Doctor Thorne
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on 24 March 2016
This is my first Trollope book and after looking at the 1st part of this on TV decided to have a go. Loving it, although Trollope does seem to repeat himself and jump back and forth over the years I can still follow the story without difficulty. If you like a love story of this decade all I can say is give it a go. I am so glad I did. Once I have finished my evenings just will not be the same. Another Trollope, or, watching football on TV with my husband. No contest.!!!
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VINE VOICEon 22 May 2010
I have read many of Trollope's novels, but none better than this one. Like so many of his novels, it is the story of thwarted lovers - Mary Thorne, niece of the eponymous Doctor, who has adopted her and brought her up, and Frank Gresham, son and heir of the local squire. But Frank needs to marry for money, his father having squandered most of the family estate, and Mary is poor. It seems that there is no solution to their problems, the world (especially Frank's ambitious mother, Lady Arabella) is consipiring against them, and it looks as though the lovers may have to go their separate ways. Unless, of course, something dramatic happens to turn their fortunes around.

This novel has all the qualities of Trollope at his best; humour, tension, likeable (and not so likeable) charcters, and the author's acute inisght into human beings, with all their failings. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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on 19 November 2016
This is the weakest of the Barchester novels, but nevertheless a good, relaxing read if you like Victorian fiction.
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on 10 January 2016
I was forced to ready Anthony Trollope at school, not always a good thing. Years later and I am rediscovering the wit and insight of this renowned author. The notes inside this new edition are helpful [if sometimes a bit annoying!] I am now working my way through the series, at long last.
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on 1 November 2017
Very well written, the story unravels slowly as in typical Trollope's style. Many of the characters are remarkable and realistic.
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on 17 October 2015
Rather more that other Trollopes I have read, this takes some getting into and verged onto the booring for the first few chapters. Glad however that I persisted. A love story with Dickension characterisations and Trollope's trademark focus on moral dilemmas.
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on 24 August 2017
Having watched the series on TV I decided to read the book. The TV series made the book more enjoyable.
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