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on 28 March 2017
The quintessential Trollope novel. Very long and nothing much happens. 90 chapters of close character analysis, with bursts of dialogue to drive the plot forwards. But how brilliantly does our Anthony do it! Such gorgeous English drives you on. And what a plot....the relationship between a young wife and an older man, the effect of her friendship on her jealous husband, the effect on her, and the effect on gossiping friends and relations. And beneath it all, how Trollope pokes fun at Victorian morality and at the appalling subjugation of women, even upper class educated women. A MUST READ if you are interested in the Victorians, or if you just want a novel that will hold your interest for a long time....and I do mean a long time!
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on 10 January 2014
Well written, good story, lots of characters to follow & to love & hate, it's not all depressing stuff, there is a fair bit of comedy too. This is the second time I've read it, the first was about 10 years ago. I had spent the last 7 going into bookshops trying to get hold of a copy but they seem to have someting against Trollope. I got a Kindle for Christmas and my problem was solved in a couple of minutes, delivery obviously wasn't an issue.
I would DEFINITELY pay more for a text because of the added value:
1) It goes back to the Text Trollope approved of, not some biased turn of the century's editors fiddled with version.
2) the notes in the back explain words that now have a different meaning. E.g. (It might be from another Trollope book I have read, but it is typical of notes in Trollope books) -Spud- this was a potato as far as I knew, but a character was prodding the ground with it, who knew the Victorian land owner used to have a pointy ended stick to test soil condition with that ia also called a spud. The paragraph would have been impossible to understand without the help of the notes.
3) the introduction is helpful for all sorts of reasons, for example explaining context, reminding you the date divorce (although a limited form maybe) became possible without being super rich, and lot's of other things.
I will re-read it in another few years, my life perspective throws up new aspects I missed before and will again I'm sure.
Well worth the extra cost.
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on 20 November 2008
Having read (and greatly enjoyed) all Barsetshire- and Palliser-novels, I turned to 'He knew he was right' with high hopes, and I am glad to say I was not disappointed. Trollope has written 'lighter', more optimistic novels but he demonstrates here that he can handle darker themes just as well.

The main plot concerns the marriage between Louis Trevelyan and Emily Rowley. He is a wealthy gentleman without near relatives, she is the eldest daugther of Sir Marmaduke Rowley, the (rather impoverished) governor of the Mandarin Islands. When Louis and Emily marry everything seems perfect bliss but before long troubles begin. Emily strikes up a friendship with a certain Colonel Osborne and, although he is a friend of her father and many years her senior, Louis objects and makes increasing demands upon Emily to stop seeing Colonel Osborne. But Emily argues that, since Colonel Osborne is to her nothing more than a friend, she fails to see why she should stop seeing him (although - to be fair - Colonel Osborne from his side rather enjoys the attentions of so young a lady).

One thing leads to another and Louis takes ever more desperate steps, slowly but surely isolating him from all his friends and relatives. In a way he knows he is wrong in suspecting Emily, but at the same time he is unable to make amends. Once he has set his course he cannot turn back.

As this marriage is breaking up, several others are on the make: Emily's sister Nora rejects the proposal of Mr. Glascock (the future Lord Peterborough, and as such extremely wealthy) because she has fallen in love with the virtually penniless Hugh Stanbury, while Stanbury's sister Dorothy is courted by the Reverend Gibson who in fact has a previous attachment to another girl...

In a word, there's plenty of love-trouble in the novel, and although for most characters everything works out for the best in the end (it usually does in a Trollope-novel, doesn't it?) it definitely does not for Louis and Emily. I found their relationship a wonderful study in the importance (and difficulty) of communication between man and wife, and Louis Trevelyan himself is impressively depicted (in all his misery, for sure).

As I said at the beginning, not a very uplifting novel, but a very good one nonetheless!
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on 16 October 2015
Very readable, lot of Victorian social history if you are aware of it because Trollope was writing of contemporary life. Interesting characters and good psychologically interesting main theme. Shows first stirrings towards equality for women. Spoiled by very rapid ending, all the themes neatly tied up in one chapter and sentimental end to main story and you finish reading disappointed.
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on 29 April 2015
The central tale of tragic obsessive jealousy is less interesting than the wide account of the lives of young and old in England in the 1860,s, the
Limits on a woman's freedom, the restless search for a position in the world for women who were not allowed to work, but could only achieve significance through marriage. Love and money were always the twin motives .
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on 13 January 2018
Splendid Trollope as always.
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on 3 February 2017
Beware, despite the cover illustration this is not a kindle version of the Oxford paperback, it seems sourced from Gutenberg, still, for 99p I can't be bothered complaining.
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on 16 January 2015
I loved this book! Trollope crafts his characters so well. I found myself getting frustrated and wanted to give some of them a good shake until I reminded myself it was just a novel. As fresh and funny now as when it was first written.
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on 4 March 2015
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on 18 January 2014
Trollope at his best. Worth to read 900 pages which are never boring. Very good writing, unforgetable characters, a good story.
It was all done on the XIX century.
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