Item description for Doctor Thorne (Barsetshire Novels) by Anthony Trollope...
Doctor Thorne (1858) by Anthony Trollope is one of the charming series of loosely connected novels set in Barsetshire. This is the third book to appear in the series, but may be read as a standalone work, and enjoyed on its own merits.
While the good Dr. Thomas Thorne is at the heart of the novel, it is the romantic story of his niece Mary Thorne and Frank Gresham -- a story with the playful sensibility of Jane Austen and the heartwarming cheer of Dickens.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.8" Width: 5.9" Height: 1.3" Weight: 1.65 lbs.
Release Date May 15, 2007
Publisher Norilana Books
ISBN 1934169757 ISBN13 9781934169759
Availability 89 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 29, 2017 01:42.
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More About Anthony Trollope
John Bowen is Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature at the University of York.
Anthony Trollope lived in London. Anthony Trollope was born in 1815 and died in 1882.
Anthony Trollope has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Doctor Thorne (Barsetshire Novels)?
Trollope literature Aug 29, 2008
I've enjoyed the Phineas series and am enjoying this one, also. I liked the cover of the book. Though, if I had a preference it would be for a book with the notes inbedded to illuminate some words or phrases that I was not familiar with.
"There is no road to wealth so easy and respectable as that of matrimony." Mar 1, 2008
(3.5 stars) The third in the Chronicles of Barsetshire, Dr. Thorne is not a satire like the mild satire of The Warden or the more pointed ecclesiastical satire of The Warden. Instead, this novel is pure melodrama, the story of Mary Thorne, a girl of uncertain parentage. Mary, often in the company of the Gresham sisters, with whom she has been schooled, is attracted to their brother Frank.
The Greshams, of a high social level, own a dilapidated estate, and their increasing debts have left them owing many wealthy landowners and lenders. Their only hope is that Frank, who will inherit the estate, marry a wealthy woman who will solve their cash-flow problems by trading her wealth for his family's status. Frank, however, is in love with Mary.
As Mary is increasingly ostracized because of her lack of high birth, she and Frank become increasingly in love. Despite other attempts to introduce Frank to wealthy, older women who might marry him and solve the estate's financial problems, he remains true to Mary. When Sir Roger Scratcherd, in poor health, decides to redo his will to honor the oldest child of his absent sister Mary, the scene is set for a change of fortunes.
Though the earlier Barsetshire novels are highly satiric, casting wry glances at the church and its behavior, this novel is more rooted in day to day activities, accurately depicting the class divisions in England at the time and emphasizing their absurdities. These divisions are so ingrained in society that there is little hope for any change and even less for any recognition that they might be morally wrong. Mary Thorne is the perfect little lady, despite her lack of family "background," and she shows those more "elevated" than she that she is more a lady than they are. The novel follows standard plot lines, and there is little doubt, throughout, that the romantic complications will be resolved as the reader hopes. The good and honest characters of low birth are rewarded, and the snobs and their heirs are brought low.
Though Trollope is as good as always with his dialogue and his pointed observations, this novel lacks the punch of his earlier satires. The action and melodrama are predictable, and the ending is completely expected. Adding to the complexity of life in Barchester, this novel provides some new characters for this community (and series), and suggests new complications for future novels of the Barset Chronicles. n Mary Whipple
Framley Parsonage The Way We Live Now (Barnes & Noble Classics) The Anthony Trollope Collection (The Barchester Chronicles / He Knew He Was Right / The Way We Live Now)
Love above riches, though the riches follow, too Nov 13, 2007
Making money and a good marriage: the bulwarks of solid middle-class society, and the theme of Trollope's third Barchester novel. The good Dr. Thorne has raised his brother's illegitimate daughter Mary, and she and Frank Gresham fall in love. Unfortunately for Frank his once well-off family is now in desperate straits, and he is implored to "marry money" - which pretty much rules Mary out. He goes off to seek his fortune with the rich Miss Dunstable, but cannot be untrue to Mary, and in a very humorous chapter, Miss Dunstable calls him out.
Unknown to everyone except the reader and Dr. Thorne, however, Mary will inherit a great fortune if events go a certain way, and, of course, they do. The reader is, therefore, cheated out of the "surprise" waiting Mary at the end, but the scenes preceding this of Frank going through the motions of pleasing his family while he and Mary remain faithful to each other is worth that disappointment. The chapter in which Dr. Thorne stands up to Lady Arabella (Frank's mother) and defends Mary after she's been banished from the Gresham home after being seen as an obstacle to Frank's marrying money, is a highlight of the novel. Just as good, of course, is the scene near the end where Mary defends herself against Lady Arabella. Trollope didn't think much of this novel; in fact, he couldn't understand why it was so popular with the public, but he's been about the only one to feel that way. Perhaps not as good as BARCHESTER TOWERS, it's still one of Trollope's most enjoyable works.
Taking an idiom literally Jun 6, 2007
When we ask someone if they are engaged, we are asking if they have made with their partner an explicit and reciprocal promise to enter marriage. When Mary Thorne is asked the question, she takes it literally and means something wholly different.
Mary Thorne is the niece and adopted daughter of the eponymous main character of the novel, Doctor Thorne. (If you'll permit an aside before proceeding, Trollope begins the novel by addressing the question of who is in fact the main character of his novel. He doesn't answer this question, rather he leaves the final verdict up to the reader.) Though a member of an ancient Barsetshire family, Doctor Thorne's material fortunes have fallen and he cannot hope to arrange a marriage of wealth for his niece. However, this hardly matters since the doctor wishes his niece happiness, not wealth, and when prospects of wealth do come her way, he is rather perplexed as to what he should do.
Another important character, young Mr. Frank Gresham, is in a similar situation, though in his case his fortunes are falling rather than already fallen. As Doctor Thorne does for his niece, Frank cares for his happiness rather than his wealth. Alas, Frank's family has decided he must marry money. He objects and declares his love for Ms. Mary Thorne. She reciprocates Frank's feelings for her but in the face of his family's opposition, and their accusations of impropriety on her part, she cannot accept his proposal.
And yet Mary declares herself engaged even when she's renounced her beloved. Her heart is engaged to his and she cannot move it. He may do as he pleases, he may follow the wishes of his family and marry another. It doesn't matter, her heart will be nonetheless engaged to his with no prospect of turning to another.
It is this precise use of words and this detailed development of a plot turning on the quite literal nuances of an idiom which make Anthony Trollope's books a joy to read. This chapter of Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire, his "Comédie Humaine", is as satisfying as the previous two, and I warmly recommend it.
Vincent Poirier, Dublin
best novel of a great author Jan 6, 2007
OK, I'm a Trollope fan, and I sometimes wonder why these novels about social interactions 150 years ago interest me so much when I know I would have suffocated in such a rigid society.
First of all, Trollope describes human behaviour in a way I can understand better than any other novelist. I suffer from mild asperger syndrome, and am often baffled by peoples' behaviour in real life. I think I get some relief from this frustration by watching Trollope's characters while the author makes their motives clear and enables me to feel real compassion for them.
His novels reflect his belief that English gentlemen had found something close to the ideal system of values, and they explore the effects of someone violating those values, or of difficulties arising as they try to fit special circumstances into them.
In some of his other novels, he has been accused of antisemitism, and by modern standards there is some truth to this. I do not believe it was his intention to attack Jews, but in his efforts to plausibly create characters who did not behave like English gentlemen, he used the examples he saw of people who were raised in different cultures, but were to be found in London society. This issue does not arise in Dr. Thorne, partly because it is set in the country.
Dr. Thorne contains one scene that (to me) perfectly exemplifies his virtues. Dr. Thorne asks the heroine if she would like to be rich. She mentions a trivial luxury she would buy if she were. He offers to buy it for her. I will not spoil your enjoyment of her reply, but it moved me deeply.
I'm sure Trollope had no idea that this novel also illustrates why Britain later lost her world empire. It was written in 1858, twelve years before the Franco-Prussian war demonstrated that Germany was the rising power that must challenge England, thanks to the Prussian education system's emphasis on technical skills, but after Prussia had achieved a higher rate of economic growth than England.
A very successful railway engineer-businessman (a Bill Gates?) is drinking himself to death, and Dr. Thorne asks why.
'Oh my God! Have you not unbounded wealth? Can you not do anything you wish? anything you choose?'
'No' and the sick man shrieked with an energy that made him audible all throughout the house. 'I can do nothing that I would choose to do; be nothing that I would wish to be! What can I do? What can I be? What gratification can I have except the brandy bottle? If I go among gentlemen, can I talk to them? If they have anything to say about a railway, they will ask me a question: if they speak to me beyond that I must be dumb.'
It is not clear to me that Trollope recognized that this describes a limitation in the English gentlemen, let alone that this limitation would ultimately doom the empire. The US is definitely treating Bill Gates better than this.