Lady Anna Paperback
Edited by Stephen Orgel
Part of the Oxford World's Classics series
When it appeared in 1874, Lady Anna met with little success, and positively outraged the conservative - 'This is the sort of thing the reading public will never stand...a man must be embittered by some violent present exasperation who can like such disruptions of social order as this.' (Saturday Review) - although Trollope himself considered it 'the best novel I ever wrote!
Very much! Quite far away above all others!!!' This tightly constructed and passionate study of enforced marriage in the world of Radical politics and social inequality, records the lifelong attempt of Countess Lovel to justify her claim to her title, and her daughter Anna's legitimacy, after her husband announces that he already has a wife.
However, mother and daughter are driven apart when Anna defies her mother's wish that she marry her cousin, heir to her father's title, and falls in love with journeyman tailor and young Radical Daniel Thwaite.
The outcome is never in doubt, but Trollope's ambivalence on the question is profound, and the novel both intense and powerful.
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- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 560 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 30/10/2008
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780199537716
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Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by pgchuis
Oh dear, this was dreadful. It pains me to give a Trollope novel 2 stars, but, had it not been a Trollope novel, I don't think I could have brought myself to finish it. Lady Anna's father, the wicked Earl Lovel, dies and her mother fights (as she has been doing for years) to prove the legitimacy of her marriage to him (and hence the legitimacy of Anna's birth and right to inherit the fortune). In the run up to the final court case Anna's mother and the new Earl's family hatch a plan to marry Anna to the Earl so they can share the fortune and avert the litigation. Unfortunately Anna has become engaged to Daniel, the son of the tailor who has supported her and her mother, both financially and with friendship and a home, through 20 years of poverty and disgrace.Unique amongst all the Trollope novels I have read, there were no sub-plots, no humorous minor characters to provide contrast and relief. It read as if Trollope had devised the plot as an interesting commentary on class and created characters to give the various voices. None of the characters came alive for me: Anna's mother was described as loving, but commits not a single loving act throughout the novel. Daniel is a "radical", but has no other characteristics apart from a tendency to be a bully. The young earl had no personality whatsoever. Anna's mother acts in an entirely bizarre manner at the end, like a character from some sort of melodrama.There was endless, unrelenting repetition, not just chapter to chapter, but even from paragraph to paragraph. The length of the text could have been cut by 75% without losing any of the plot.Very disappointing.