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Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

Can You Forgive Her?

by Anthony Trollope

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Palliser Novels (1)

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1,736424,078 (4.03)2 / 294

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This book should have been about 300 pages long, not 800 . ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
I perhaps didn't wait long enough after finishing Phineas Finn before starting Can You Forgive Her?, so I was maybe "Trolloped Out", because it took me quite a while to get into this book. I limped along each evening, falling asleep after 10 or 15 pages for the first 150 to 200 pages, until it finally picked up for me.

I continue to be amazed at Trollope's enlightened attitude toward his female characters, his awareness of the rights they give up by marrying, his willingness to recognize their intellect.

I did note that I was very interested in Lady Glencora's story, which figures prominently in this book. She appears as a minor character in Phineas Finn, and had I been more aware of her back story, I might have enjoyed her more.

Good quote:

"I do not know that she was at all points a lady, but had Fate so willed it she would have been a thorough gentleman." ( )
1 vote arubabookwoman | Apr 19, 2017 |
It is hardly fair to review this as so far I have red only a few pages --a not very sympathetic portrait of the heroine's father (a minor example of the old useless bureaucrats the Whigs were trying to remove) and Lady Macleod, a relative both of the heroine and of her high-born kinfolk who cared little about her (though they had gotten her father his nominal job). I bought this copy so I would have a more portable one -- I inherited a larger pb version from my father. ( )
  antiquary | Apr 8, 2017 |
Oh noes! I loved this book, my first Trollope, and his works are like 900 pages each and overfilled with 1830's type language and he's not too fond of women. What's a reader to do? Can I forgive him? ( )
1 vote froxgirl | Apr 27, 2016 |
Excellent book about middle to upper class England in the 1860s. Some are rich, some are titled, others are younger sons and thus penniless, still others have worked for their money and become wealthy through industry or farming (can the earned rich and the inherited rich mix?). Some are in the House of Commons, others want to be (or don't want to be!). So many are living beyond their means, trying to keep up with their wealthy relatives.

And there is Alice Vavasor, getting old to be single. She has two prospects in marriage: her cousin George, who by primogeniture is the heir of their grandfather. Or, Mr John Grey of Nethercoats near Ely. Who will it be?

Can George forgive Alice?
Can John Grey forgive Alice?
Can her father forgive Alice?
Can Alice forgive her cousin/friend Kate?
Can Alice forgive her relative Lady Midlothian?
Can Mr Cheesacre forgive Mrs Greenow?
Can Plantagent Palliser forgive his wife, Lady Glencora?
Can the reader forgive any of them?

And the ladies aren't the only ones behaving badly.

*Mr Grey lives near Ely, and catches the train there. I have taken the train to and from Ely. When this book was written and when it takes place, my 3rdgreat grandfather was still living in Welches Dam outside Ely. He could see the cathedral every day. Also, having been an agricultural laborer his entire life, he did not live in a home like Nethercoats. Welches Dam is best known for an 1849 cholera outbreak, due to poor living condition. ( )
1 vote Dreesie | Apr 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Birch, DinahIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skilton, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wall, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, TimothyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Whether or no, she, whom you are to forgive, if you can, did or did not belong to the Upper Ten Thousand of this our English world, I am not prepared to say with any strength of affirmation.
She wanted the little daily assurance of her supremacy in the man's feelings, the constant touch of love, half accidental half contrived, the passing glance of the eye telling perhaps of some little joke understood only between them two rather than of love, the softness of an occasional kiss given here and there when chance might bring them together, some half-pretended interest in her little doings, a nod, a wink, a shake of the head, or even a pout. It should have been given to her to feed upon such food as this daily, and then she would have forgotten Burgo Fitzgerald.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140430865, Paperback)

The first novel in Anthony Trollope's "Palliser" series, "Can You Forgive Her?" traces the fortunes of three very different women in an exploration of whether social obligations and personal happiness can ever coincide. This "Penguin Classics" edition is edited with an introduction by Stephen Wall. Alice Vavasor cannot decide whether to marry her ambitious but violent cousin George or the upright and gentlemanly John Grey - and finds herself accepting and rejecting each of them in turn. Increasingly confused about her own feelings and unable to forgive herself for such vacillation, her situation is contrasted with that of her friend Lady Glencora - forced to marry the rising politician Plantagenet Palliser in order to prevent the worthless Burgo Fitzgerald from wasting her vast fortune. In asking his readers to pardon Alice for her transgression of the Victorian moral code, Trollope created a telling and wide-ranging account of the social world of his day. In his introduction, Stephen Wall examines Trollope's skill in depicting the strengths and weaknesses of his characters, their behaviour and inner lives. This edition also includes notes and a bibliography. Anthony Trollope (1815-82) had an unhappy childhood characterised by a stark contrast between his family's high social standing and their comparative poverty. He wrote his earliest novels while working as a Post Office inspector, but did not meet with success until the publication of the first of his 'Barsetshire novels', "The Warden" (1855). As well as writing over forty novels, including such popular works as "Can You Forgive Her?" (1865), "Phineas Finn" (1869), "He Knew He Was Right" (1869) and "The Way We Live Now" (1875) Trollope is credited with introducing the postbox to England. If you enjoyed "Can You Forgive Her?", you might enjoy Henry James' "The Ambassadors", also available in "Penguin Classics".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:15 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

CAN YOU FORGIVE HER? is the first of the six Palliser novels. In this volume Trollope examines parliamentary election and marriage, politics and privacy. He dissects the Victorian upper class. Issues and people shed their pretenses under his patient, ironic probe. But it is on women and their predicament that Trollope particularly focuses. "What should a woman do with her life?" asks Alice Vavasor. And each woman, being different and unique, has her own answer, from the uncomfortably married Lady Glencora to the coquettish Mrs. Greenow, to Alice's clear-headed cousin Kate.… (more)

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