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The Eustace Diamonds (Oxford World's…

The Eustace Diamonds (Oxford World's Classics) (edition 2011)

by Anthony Trollope, Helen Small (editor, introduction, notes)

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Title:The Eustace Diamonds (Oxford World's Classics)
Authors:Anthony Trollope
Other authors:Helen Small (editor, introduction, notes)
Info:OUP Oxford (2011), Edition: New, Kindle Edition, 670 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012 Read or re-read, Fiction, Kindle Fiction
Tags:fiction, kindle, British literature, classics, British fiction, England, mid 19th century, politics, Victorian society, Parliament, Pallisers, series(3), adventuress, theft, mystery, detection, peripherally about the Pallisers, e-book optimized, hyperlinked explanatory notes, E&PV

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The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope



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Young Lizzie Greystock has a taste for diamonds and other precious stones. Her brief marriage to Sir Florian Eustace leaves her with a title, an infant heir, and a diamond necklace valued at 10,000 pounds. The Eustace family lawyer, Mr. Camperdown, insists that the diamonds are part of the Eustace estate and must be returned. Lizzie claims that her husband gave the diamonds to her with no strings attached. She enlists her young lawyer cousin, Frank Greystock, to help her fend off Mr. Camperdown. The pretty young widow has a lifetime settlement from her late husband's estate. It's not an enormous amount of money, but it's enough to attract suitors like Lord Fawn and the somewhat disreputable Lord George de Bruce Carruthers. It may even be enough to tempt cousin Frank away from his beloved but penniless Lucy Morris. Trollope lets readers in on a secret that Lizzie's suitors only suspect. Lizzie is a shameless liar.

This will never be among my favorite Trollope novels. Unlike in some of his earlier novels, there is little humor to lighten the tone. Lizzie brings out the worst in her companions. In contrast, Lucy Morris brings out the best in others. There just isn't enough of Lucy in the novel. The first half of the novel hinges primarily on inheritance law that can no longer be assumed to be common knowledge. Things become much more interesting in the second half of the novel after a theft occurs.

I've always maintained that there are worse things than being single. The subplot of Lucinda Roanoke and her engagement to Sir Griffin Tewett could be Exhibit A for this argument. With money running out, Lucinda is forced to accept the first man who asks her to marry him, even though she finds him repulsive.

Even the friendships in the book are based on money. Although the Fawns and Lucy genuinely like each other, Lucy is still an employee in their household. Lizzie's friendship with Mrs. Carbuncle is measured out in pounds and shillings. I'm reminded of the old saying “money can't buy happiness”. If that's the point Trollope intended to make with this novel, he succeeded. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Feb 15, 2015 |
Much too long a book for so little to happen in it. ( )
  digitalmaven | Jul 20, 2014 |
I reread The Eustace Diamonds for the first time in about a dozen years last week. I can't give it five stars because of the casual anti-Semitism in it, which is just plain disgusting to the modern reader. That said, otherwise it is a really fun read.

While the book is part of Trollope's Palliser series of novels, the central characters in the series play only minor roles in this book, so it can easily be read as a standalone novel.

The main character is Lizzie Greylock Eustace, and what a character she is! Lizzie is fair of face and black of heart. Lizzie is a liar--and she's one of those liars who tells her lies so well that she begins to believe them herself. She's beautiful and she uses her beauty to manipulate other people--usually successfully. Even people who know that Lizzie's stories can't be true fall under her spell.

Lizzie marries a very wealthy man. He dies shortly after they wed. After his death, Lizzie has in her possession a beautiful diamond necklace, which she claims her deceased husband gave her. The Eustace family lawyer is convinced that the necklace is an heirloom, i.e., family property which must be handed down from generation to generation and which therefore can never become Lizzie's personal property. He therefore attempts to regain custody of the diamonds. Lizzie refuses to surrender them and insists that her husband gave them to her as a gift

Afraid that the lawyer will have the necklace seized if she leaves it at home, Lizzie carries it with her in a special strong box. The box is stolen. Was it really stolen? Or did Lizzie arrange the theft so she can keep the necklace? ( )
  Jonri | Jun 3, 2014 |
Anthony Trollope’s books are usually pretty light hearted marriage plots where situations like class or annual income interfere with true love. But The Eustace Diamonds was different in a refreshing way. In addition to the typical conundrum of two people without any income falling in love, there is the added intrigue of politics and … gasp, a stolen diamond necklace. And not just any necklace, but a family heirloom valued at 10,000 pounds. The mystery of the stolen necklace definitely added a bit of spice to the story, making it much more of page turner than the typical Victorian novel. As part of Trollope’s Palliser series, there are some familiar characters from earlier books, such as Lady Glencora and Madame Max Goesler, but they are very minor characters in this story. Although it was more of a side plot to the overall novel, I really enjoyed the conflict in Parliament over the change from the old Shilling money system to the current use of decimal system. So interesting to see the similarities of getting a bill passed in England and the United States – lots of back room deals as well as the necessity of a small fortune to win an election. Enjoyable book – definitely one of my favorite Trollope’s! Extra bonus – beautifully narrated by the ever wonderful Simon Vance. ( )
  jmoncton | Apr 19, 2014 |
I first listened 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gill, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riley, KennethIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnIntroductionsecondary 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)

Donated by Sarah Forster (GAP student 2000-2001) (ABB55539).

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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