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The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope

The Eustace Diamonds (1873)

by Anthony Trollope

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Palliser Novels (3)

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I first listen to Anthony West's sublime narration while climbing the Alps on a StarTech elliptical, then return home suffused to read what I just heard -- though Lizzy Eustace is but second-hand Becky Sharp, my weakness for liars has no parameters... ( )
3 vote Urthona | Nov 12, 2013 |
My favorite from the Palliser series so far. Lots of similarity with Vanity Fair but not quite as good - mostly due to Lizzy not being as clever as Becky. ( )
  leslie.98 | Oct 4, 2013 |
This novel is notable for one unsympathetic female protagonist, Lizzie Greystock Eustace; one somewhat insipid protagonist, Lucy Morris; and a moving portrait of a woman driven into a nervous breakdown by pressure to marry a man she physically loathes, Lucinda Roanoke. Trollope may often adhere to the letter of Victorian morality in contemning some of his heroines that the modern reader finds unexceptional, but he also excels in understanding the pressures affecting his characters in the artificial structures of upper middle class life.
  ritaer | Aug 4, 2013 |
The characters in this book are not nearly as much pleasure to read about as those in Phineas Finn. And it isn't because Trollope is misogynist. He gives the main character her due as a complicated, worthy anti-hero. But this book really frustrated me because it felt like something that was written in order to be paid by the word. There were many many redundancies and repetitions. The plot moved forward by tiny fractions of the inch. Finally at the end, when the pacing picked up, it was quite marvelous. But getting there was a plod. ( )
  paakre | Apr 27, 2013 |
2011, Blackstone Audiobooks, Read by Simon Vance

Oh, Lizzie Eustace, what a piece of work you are! Described in turn by relatives and acquaintances as “cunning, obstinate, greedy, false, heartless, cruel, ignorant, ungrateful, and vile …” – you get the picture – Lizzie is the wiliest of Trollope’s female creations. Wily enough, in fact, to have attracted the attention of the enormously wealthy Sir Florian Eustace and to have induced him to marry her. Alas, Sir Florian lived only a few months into his marriage, leaving Lizzie an annual income of £4,000 and a Scotch property, Portray Castle. He left her a diamond necklace, too, valued at a staggering £10,000, which Lizzie claims was a gift. But Mr. Camperdown, the Eustace family lawyer, is adamant that “the Eustace diamonds” are a heirloom and cannot be thus gifted. Lizzie’s refusal to part with the jewels causes Mr. Camperdown to vow to pursue the “greedy blood-sucking harpie” to the full extent of the law. And it’s game on!

“She knew well enough that she was endeavouring to steal the Eustace diamonds; but she did not in the least know what power there might be in the law to prevent, or to punish her for the intended theft. She knew well that the thing was not really her own; but there were, as she thought, so many points in her favour, that she felt it to be a cruelty that any one should grudge her the plunder … She would break her heart should she abandon her prey and afterwards find that Mr. Camperdown would have been wholly powerless against her had she held on to it.” (Ch 6)

Finding neither widowhood nor idleness to her taste, Lizzie begins to search for a new husband. Amongst her prospective victims: Frank Greystock, a cousin and a handsome, though broke, barrister; Lord Fawn, a diplomatic undersecretary, who according to Greystock, is an “empty, stiff-necked, self-sufficient prig” (Ch 16); and finally Lord George de Bruce Carruthers, a guest of Lizze’s at Portray Castle, whom she believes might well be the “Corsair of her Byronic dreams.” But as Lizze becomes further embroiled in legal troubles, the gentlemen may well have cause to reconsider their options.

The plot thickens yet further when the diamonds are stolen not once, but twice! First, on a return trip from Portray to London, Lizzie’s hotel room at Carlisle is broken into and the safe in which she keeps the diamonds is stolen. That the diamonds were not in the safe, Lizzie neglects to report to the police. Lord George is suspected of being in league with the thieves, and the gossip is rife – reaching even Lady Glencora (to my utter delight!) and the Duke of Omniem. Shortly thereafter, there is a robbery at Lizzie’s London home. But how can the jewels be reported stolen from London when they were stolen from Carlisle? Oh, the woe!

“Lizzie, in defending herself to herself, felt that, though cruel magistrates and hard-hearted lawyers and pig-headed jurymen might call her little fault by the name of perjury, it could not be real, wicked perjury, because the diamonds had been her own. She had defrauded nobody,—had wished to defraud nobody,—if only the people would have left her alone. It had suited her to give—an incorrect version of facts, because people had troubled themselves about her affairs; and now all this had come upon her!” (Ch 71)

The Palliser novels just keep getting better! As always, I must compliment the sublime Simon Vance for brining Trollope’s best to life. Highly recommended! ( )
10 vote lit_chick | Apr 9, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Riley, KennethIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was admitted by all her friends, and also by her enemies, - who were in truth the more numerous and active body of the two, - that Lizzie Greystock had done very well with herself.
We hear that a man has behaved badly to a girl, when the behaviour of which he has been guilty has resulted simply from want of thought. He has found a certain companionship to be agreeable to him, and he has accepted the pleasure without inquiry. Some vague idea has floated across his brain that the world is wrong in supposing that such friendship cannot exist without marriage, or question of marriage. It is simply friendship. And yet were his friend to tell him that she intended to give herself in marriage elsewhere, he would suffer all the pangs of jealousy, and would imagine himself to be horribly ill-treated! To have such a friend,—a friend whom he cannot or will not make his wife,—is no injury to him. To him it is simply a delight, an excitement in life, a thing to be known to himself only and not talked of to others, a source of pride and inward exultation. It is a joy to think of when he wakes, and a consolation in his little troubles. It dispels the weariness of life, and makes a green spot of holiday within his daily work. It is, indeed, death to her;—but he does not know it.
"To have been always in the right, and yet always on the losing side, always being ruined . . and yet never to lose anything, is pleasant enough. A huge, living, daily increasing grievance that does one no palpable harm, is the happiest possession that a man can have."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141441208, Paperback)

The third novel in Trollope’s Palliser series, The Eustace Diamonds bears all the hallmarks of his later works, blending dark cynicism with humor and a keen perception of human nature. Following the death of her husband, Sir Florian, beautiful Lizzie Eustace mysteriously comes into possession of a hugely expensive diamond necklace. She maintains it was a gift from her husband, but the Eustace lawyers insist she give it up, and while her cousin Frank takes her side, her new lover, Lord Fawn, declares that he will only marry her if the necklace is surrendered. As gossip and scandal intensify, Lizzie’s truthfulness is thrown into doubt, and, in her desire to keep the jewels, she is driven to increasingly desperate acts.

Revised edition of Trollope's third Palliser novel
Updated Introduction explores Trollope's depiction of a society that worships money and highlights his concerns with truth, honesty, and honor
Includes new suggestions for further reading and explanatory notes

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:53 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Classic fiction. Please note this is an MP3 audio edition. The third and least political novel of the Palliser series, The Eustace Diamonds concerns the beautiful pathological liar Lizzie Greystock. Determined to marry into wealth, Lizzie snares the ailing Sir Florian Eustace and quickly becomes a widow. Despite the brevity of their marriage, Lizzie still inherits according to the generous terms of Sir Florian's will, which include the Eustace diamonds. When the Eustace family solicitor, Mr. Camperdown, begins to question her legal claim to the family heirloom, Lizzie begins to weave a tangled web of deception and crime to gain possession of the diamonds. Enlisting the aid of her cousin Frank Greystock, much to the dismay of his fianc e, Lucy Morris, Lizzie seeks to both avoid legal prosecution and have a true love affair, first with Frank, and later with Lord George de Bruce Carruthers. Considered a satire of the acceptance of the corrupting influence of money and greed in Victorian society, Trollope's novel blends elements of mystery, politics, and romance in a memorable and thought-provoking work.… (more)

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Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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