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Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope

Doctor Thorne (1858)

by Anthony Trollope

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Barsetshire Chronicles (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,335415,805 (4.08)6 / 288
  1. 40
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (wisewoman)
    wisewoman: Trollope has an Austenesque eye for his characters' motivations and inconsistencies, and his Mary Thorne and Austen's Elizabeth Bennett have much in common. Both are persecuted on the basis of low birth and lack of wealth by an older female relative of their love interest. Both novels are thoroughly enjoyable!… (more)
  2. 20
    Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (wisewoman)
    wisewoman: Trollope's Mary Thorne and Gaskell's Molly Gibson have much in common: both their father-figures are country doctors with connections to the local nobility, both fall in love with a man above them in station and wealth, both face undeserved public shame in their social circles, and both are sensible, intelligent heroines.… (more)
  3. 00
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (morryb)
    morryb: Both speak to the struggle of adopting a child and then letting them up later.
  4. 00
    Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens (morryb)
    morryb: Both tell of the struggle of adopting a child and letting go later on.

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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Frank, the heir to Greshamsbury must marry money, but falls in love with Dr Thorne's niece who has neither position or fortune.

Trollope is expert at characterisation, from the sweetly dignified Dr Thorne to Lady Arabella who is desperate for her son to marry well to save the estate and maintain his social position. Her failed attempts to pressurise Thorne into supporting her machinations are wonderfully written. And with Mary Thorne as a discrete heroine, this generous-hearted social satire was as enjoyable as a Jane Austen. ( )
  LARA335 | Mar 27, 2016 |
This Barsetshire novel doesn't involve any of Trollope's previous novels but it does take place in Barsetshire and introduces a variety of interesting characters. Essentially, it is a tale of love, of class, and of family conflicts.

There is Dr. Thorne himself, a country doctor who has adopted his niece Mary. Mary has a sordid history, which Dr. Thorne keeps hidden. Long ago, his brother conceived a child out of wedlock and was killed by the woman's brother, Roger Scatcherd. That was Mary, and Dr. Thorne kept her out his town until she was 10, and then brought her to his house, having told Roger that she had died as an infant. At the time of the story, Mary is a young woman and Frank Gresham, the son of the most important family in the area, has fallen in love with her, much to the dismay of his mother, who is a DeCourcy (a noble family), and his father, who has mortgaged much of his land and indeed sold some, as they feel Frank needs to marry money. Roger Scatcherd, when he got out of jail for killing Dr. Thorne's brother, got into railroad construction and was so successful (making tons of money) that he, despite his low origins, was made a baronet, so he is now Sir Roger -- and a drunkard.

The stage is set for conflict! Dr. Thorne seems to have forgiven Sir Roger for killing his brother, for he is his doctor and "friend," constantly trying to get him to give up drinking, which is on the road to killing him. In fact, Sir Roger makes him the executor of his will and trustee for his son, Louis, until he is 25 (he is 22 or so) who will inherit all his money and property -- eventually. If Louis, who is also a drunkard without the strong constitution of Roger, dies before he is 25, the money will go to his sister's oldest child who, unbeknownst to Roger, is Mary. Dr. Thorne begs him to specify the name of the oldest child, but Roger refuses. At that point the reader knows what is going to happen. Eventually, as Roger is dying, Dr. Thorne tells him that Mary is alive and the oldest child, but Roger only adds a codicil stating that the only person who knows the sister's oldest child is Dr. Thorne.

While all this, and more is happening, the romance between Frank and Mary is heating up and they become engaged, much to the horror of his mother, who is disturbed by Mary's ambiguous birth and rank compared to hers, as a De Courcy, and the family of Gresham, as well as by her lack of money. Frank is encouraged to fall in love with a woman with money, despite the fact that her father was a successful merchant, and the oldest daughter is engaged to a man with money, who ultimately throws her over. Many many complications ensue.

This was a delightful book, made more entertaining by some of the names Trollope gives to people, including a law firm of Slow and Bideawhile! As always, Trollope has deep insight into character and tells a compelling tale. I missed some of the characters from the earlier novels, but I hope some of the characters from this novel will appear in future novels.
1 vote rebeccanyc | Mar 22, 2016 |
Another trashy page turner from Trollope. He and Dr Thorne are wonderful. ( )
  LeighScarletRyan | Mar 9, 2016 |
This was the first one I had a little trouble getting into, but once I hit a certain point, I was completely taken in. This volume was a bit like a Jane Austen story but with some political intrigue included, which I quite enjoyed. Thoroughly excellent. ( )
  JBD1 | Aug 31, 2015 |
This is the third book in The Chronicles of Barsetshire. Church politics takes a back seat in this book, and the story of Doctor Thorne and his niece Mary is at the center. Trollope's take on the expected behavior of the classes and social mores of the time are so well done. He also takes on the effects of over indulging in alcohol. His books are full of wonderful characters, and his great wit shows through the entire story here. Doctor Thorne's niece was born out of wedlock and under unfortunate circumstances. He vows to raise her, and in so doing puts her in close proximity with a family of rank. She grows up practically as part of this family, that is, until the squire's son, Frank, falls in love with her. Forbidden love, and besides, Frank must marry money to save the family from ruin. Will they or won't they? You know from the beginning that everything will turn out ok. Trollope delightfully spills the beans as the story progresses. I love the names that he uses. Dr. Fillgrave (he's not a match for Doctor Thorne), Mr Readypalm, who stays just this side of the line between legal and illegal while campaigning for local elections. There are so many more that just made me smile. This is my favorite of the series so far. ( )
1 vote NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Trollope, Anthonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dentith, SimonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reddick, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rendell, RuthIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symons, JulianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trollope, JoannaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, TimothyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Before the reader is introduced to the modest country medical practitioner who is to be the chief personage of the following tale, it will be well that he should be made acquainted with some particulars as to the locality in which, and the neighbours among whom, our doctor followed his profession.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140433260, Paperback)

Son of a bankrupt landowner, Frank Gresham is intent on marrying his beloved Mary Thorne, despite her illegitimacy and apparent poverty. Frank's ambitious mother and haughty aunt are set against the match, however, and push him to save the family's mortgaged estate by making a good marriage to a wealthy heiress. Only Mary's loving uncle, Dr Thorne, knows the secret of her birth and the fortune she is to inherit that will make her socially acceptable in the eyes of Frank's family - but the high-principled doctor believes she should be accepted on her own terms. A telling examination of the relationship between society, money and morality, "Dr Thorne" (1858) is enduringly popular for Trollope's affectionate depiction of rural English life and his deceptively simple portrayal of human nature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:58 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Thorne's brother seduced the sister of a Greshambury stonemason and was killed by him. Thorne adopts the child of this liaison, but keeps secret the circumstances of her birth. Later, she meets and falls in love with the heir to the Greshambury estate.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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Average: (4.08)
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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