Having read Barchester Towers and nearly fallen off my chair with boredom I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this. “But,” I thought to myself, “the Victorians were right about Dickens, the Brontes, Tennyson et al they surely couldn’t be soo wrong about Trollope. I will try again.”
And so I chose this book to try again with and I am very glad I did. It is much more incisive, pacy and intriguing read than Barchester Towers. He writes his characters with insight and distaste but a certain amount of compassion too that stops you from utterly hating them and wanting them to fail.
He paints a picture of various levels of society focusing not on the urban poor and rich as Dickens did but including the rural gentry and lower classes along with poking fun at the upper classes of the City. And he provides an interesting view of speculation and investment that is not far different from our own times.
It’s not a classic. It is fun and there’s a good old love story too. None of the characters is 2 dimensional and their inner lives are also exposed. It’s not Dickens, but it is a good read.