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Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope
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Doctor Thorne (1858)

by Anthony Trollope

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Barsetshire Chronicles (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,656547,298 (4.1)6 / 339
This book is intended for general; all Trollope fans, students of Victorian literature.
  1. 40
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (atimco)
    atimco: 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 (atimco)
    atimco: 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 54 (next | show all)
I have never read anything by Anthony Trollope until now. Of course, I've heard of him alongside names such as Charles Dickens and an earlier generation edified by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.

To say that there are a lot of novels about marriages being dominated by money and status in these popular Victorian (or Regency) novels is to be laughed out of the pub for being a damn rube. I'm almost to the point in my thinking that there is NO other kind of popular novel. Romance? Check. Estates? Check. Awful people doing awful things to innocents and the innocents generally get theirs in the ends? Check.

And this one is no different. So, moving on, let's see what makes this stand out from all the rest.

It has very well-rounded characters, not blown up and made larger than life, but full of wonderful details and turns that make them feel a bit more genuine than Dickens. It's not quite as forcefully idealistic as George Elliot, and it's not as unabashedly critical of the whole system as Austen.

Indeed, the main criticisms Trollope has is about people. And he has no qualms showing the full gamut and range of what we are and what we do. The good and the bad. The shameless and the shameful and the sweet. I like it. :)

I won't say it's all that different from all the rest, but it is enjoyable AS A GENRE. Yes, as a popular genre, it's several inches above most and often on the same level in both quality and entertainment as the other authors I just mentioned.

I honestly had a good time. :) Of course, I actually like Victorian and Regency novels and I've read enough of them to never get hung up on the god-awful ALIENNESS of such a society, but that's where being an SF aficionado comes in handy. I love worldbuilding. OF course, this is our world... but we can be sooooo alien to each other. :)
( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
After [b:Barchester Towers|125321|Barchester Towers (Chronicles of Barsetshire #2)|Anthony Trollope|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1387980968s/125321.jpg|3299857], I was really looking forward to reading this and hoping for a lot more of the same. But despite being part of the same series, this book focuses on a completely different group of people in a different locale of Barsetshire, and the Proudies, Grantlys, and the town of Barchester do not make a substantial reappearance. I was very disappointed. However, I've been told all of them come back in books later on in the series, so I won't despair just yet.

This book takes awhile to get off the ground and seems a little drawn-out in places, but once the story gets going it's an enjoyable read. Plus, Trollope has a wonderful sense of the absurd and the human pride that can lead to it, as in the argument between Dr. Filgrave and Lady Scatcherd.

Since I've brought up Dr. Filgrave, I'll note here that some of the names here are delightful. My favorites so far are probably Dr. Filgrave and the attorney Sir Haphazard. Slow & Bideawhile for a law firm is pretty good too.

A few favorite quotes:

“When one is impatient, five minutes as is the duration of all time, and a quarter of an hour is eternity.” This is also applicable when one is apprehensive.

“He had but one fault: he was not a marrying man…If other clergymen all around should declare against wives and families, what was to become of the country? What was to be done in the rural districts? The religious observances, as regards women, of a Brigham Young were hardly so bad as this!” I literally laughed out loud, then set the Kindle down and laughed even harder.
( )
  Jennifer708 | Mar 23, 2020 |
After [b:Barchester Towers|125321|Barchester Towers (Chronicles of Barsetshire #2)|Anthony Trollope|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1387980968s/125321.jpg|3299857], I was really looking forward to reading this and hoping for a lot more of the same. But despite being part of the same series, this book focuses on a completely different group of people in a different locale of Barsetshire, and the Proudies, Grantlys, and the town of Barchester do not make a substantial reappearance. I was very disappointed. However, I've been told all of them come back in books later on in the series, so I won't despair just yet.

This book takes awhile to get off the ground and seems a little drawn-out in places, but once the story gets going it's an enjoyable read. Plus, Trollope has a wonderful sense of the absurd and the human pride that can lead to it, as in the argument between Dr. Filgrave and Lady Scatcherd.

Since I've brought up Dr. Filgrave, I'll note here that some of the names here are delightful. My favorites so far are probably Dr. Filgrave and the attorney Sir Haphazard. Slow & Bideawhile for a law firm is pretty good too.

A few favorite quotes:

“When one is impatient, five minutes as is the duration of all time, and a quarter of an hour is eternity.” This is also applicable when one is apprehensive.

“He had but one fault: he was not a marrying man…If other clergymen all around should declare against wives and families, what was to become of the country? What was to be done in the rural districts? The religious observances, as regards women, of a Brigham Young were hardly so bad as this!” I literally laughed out loud, then set the Kindle down and laughed even harder.
( )
  Jennifer708 | Mar 23, 2020 |
To set the stage: Mary Thorne, at the age of twelve, comes to live with her uncle, Doctor Thorne. She is sent to him when Dr Thorne's sister (Mary's mother) runs away to Australia and Mary's father (Dr. Thorne's brother) is murdered by Roger Scatcherd, Mary's mother's brother. Did you get all that? To complicate things, Dr. Thorne is also the financial advisor to Mary's mother's brother, Roger. Essentially Mary has two uncles. But this is a big secret for most of the book.
On with the plot - As Mary grows up she attracts the attention of Frank Gresham but unfortunately for Frank, Mary is not marriage material. She doesn't come from money so his family opposes a proposal. His mother prefers Martha Dunstable as a suitable wife. The only problem is Miss Dunstable and Frank become great friends and mutually agree romance is not in the cards. As an aside, their friendship is wonderful. As Roger Scatcherd's financial advisor, Dr. Thorne knows how much money Roger leaves to his son after drinking himself to death. When Roger's son is nearing the same fate, Dr. Thorne has to spill the genealogy beans in order to make sure Mary is in the will and gets her fair share of Roger's original inheritance. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jun 23, 2019 |
About 200 pages in, a parliamentary candidate is dismissed by the book's hero as a "muff" because it is discovered that he would "vote for an extension of the franchise, and the admission of the Jews into Parliament."

So, on the one hand I will probably keep reading these as they're delightful Victorian romances. But on the other hand, fuck you Anthony Trollope, you dirty Jew-hating asshat. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Trollope, AnthonyAuthorprimary 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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