Dr. Thorne by Anthony Trollope
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have never read anything by Anthony Trollope until now. Of course, I've heard of him alongside names such as Charles Dickens and an earlier generation edified by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.
To say that there are a lot of novels about marriages being dominated by money and status in these popular Victorian (or Regency) novels is to be laughed out of the pub for being a damn rube. I'm almost to the point in my thinking that there is NO other kind of popular novel. Romance? Check. Estates? Check. Awful people doing awful things to innocents and the innocents generally get theirs in the ends? Check.
And this one is no different. So, moving on, let's see what makes this stand out from all the rest.
It has very well-rounded characters, not blown up and made larger than life, but full of wonderful details and turns that make them feel a bit more genuine than Dickens. It's not quite as forcefully idealistic as George Elliot, and it's not as unabashedly critical of the whole system as Austen.
Indeed, the main criticisms Trollope has is about people. And he has no qualms showing the full gamut and range of what we are and what we do. The good and the bad. The shameless and the shameful and the sweet. I like it. :)
I won't say it's all that different from all the rest, but it is enjoyable AS A GENRE. Yes, as a popular genre, it's several inches above most and often on the same level in both quality and entertainment as the other authors I just mentioned.
I honestly had a good time. :) Of course, I actually like Victorian and Regency novels and I've read enough of them to never get hung up on the god-awful ALIENNESS of such a society, but that's where being an SF aficionado comes in handy. I love worldbuilding. OF course, this is our world... but we can be sooooo alien to each other. :)
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