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Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope
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Castle Richmond (1860)

by Anthony Trollope

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» See also 34 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I think I agress with the summary I read, the plot and characters are not ery successful but the stories of the Irish famine really make it work. The main plot is fairly rudimentary and most of the main characters are completely one-dimensional. The plot makes is slow way to the conclusion that isn't too hard to guess. But the scences of the famine are compelling and perhaps the strongest portion of the novel.
  amyem58 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Lady Clara Desmond (aged 16) falls for Owen Fitzgerald, a man to whom her widowed mother is also attracted. The match is forbidden as Owen is felt not to be sufficiently wealthy/grand for her. Owen takes this badly and leads a "wild" bachelor life. Clara gets to know his cousin Herbert and becomes engaged to him. but the Herbert loses everything and Clara's mother thinks again of Owen for her.

In places this is pretty depressing (blackmail, the Irish potato famine and so on), but thankfully the blackmail plot is thwarted before too long. I would be interested to know what is thought more generally about Trollope's various comments on the famine; its causes and the efforts made to keep the people alive. Clara's mother was an excellent baddie, as were the Molletts. I kept looking out for matches for Emmeline and Mary, but these never came.At one point I feared that Clara would keep switching between the two men who loved her, but I thought Trollope's description of the decision she made was convincing. Owen was a rather melodramatic character, in whom I did not really believe.

The final plot twists were also rather melodramatic, but satisfying. ( )
  pgchuis | Oct 14, 2015 |
I really enjoyed this book. The edition I read had an introduction by Algar Thorold (whoever he was) claiming that the characterization was weak and the plot mechanical, and that the saving grace of the book was its descriptions of the Irish famine and of one character, Aby Mollett. I have to disagree. I did not see the way the plot was going, and I thought Lady Clara Desmond, as we ll as many of the other main characters, were interesting and well-rounded. ( )
  NinieB | Aug 27, 2013 |
Rollicking read with Trollope's usual mastery of clear narrative, elegant plotting and likeable characters. Characters remain a tad 2-dimensional: the energetic passionate Owen, the innocent but determined maiden Clara, the scheming but not wicked mother etc. Some odd notes are perhaps also insights into the Victorian worldview: the earldom title being such an issue and even a burden to the holder if not accompanied by wealth, "poor" being a very relative term (for the Herbert family it means having to leave the castle and live in St John's Wood; for Owen it's running a pack of hounds and a good horse, but lacking a castle; for the Countess it's lacking a carriage but sending her son to Eton and Oxford; for the peasants it's dying an agonising death in rags. And that's the central problem. Brave or foolhardy of Trollope to set his story in the centre of the Irish Famine and many details are accurate ( the "yellow meal", the workhouse system) but his attempts to justify the actions of both God and Government make squirming reading. Or are they meant to be Swiftian irony ? - they come across as well-meant naiveté, and the book would have worked better without them. The pictures he paints of the suffering are strong in themselves, setting the essentially trivial affairs of the better-off in a strange light. In fact the main story could easily have been set in Barsetshire; nothing particularly Irish about this game of titles and courtships and chimerical skeletons in the family cupboard. The Famine and Trollope's repeated apologia fail to engage us while provoking a "Who gives a damn?" about the main story . ( )
1 vote vguy | Jun 3, 2012 |
Set in 1846-1847 in southern Ireland at beginning of the Irish famine, Castle Richmond has a rather complicated plot and takes a while to get going, but once all the characters are presented the novel develops a narrative dynamic that held this reader's interest. Trollope's work in Ireland from 1841 to 1859 gave him firsthand knowledge of the area he described. The story features the competition of two Protestant cousins of English origin, Owen Fitzgerald and Herbert Fitzgerald, for the hand of Clara Desmond, the noble but impoverished daughter of the widowed Countess of Desmond, providing the novel's principal dramatic interest. Castle Richmond is the first of several novels by Trollope in which bigamy plays an important role.

The Irish famine and efforts by authorities to mitigate its effects are the subject of many scenes and the object of abundant commentary throughout. The famine also occasions more explicit religious commentary than is typical in novels by Trollope; indeed, Trollope is more present here as an authorial voice than is the case in most of his fiction. ( )
  jensenmk82 | Jul 12, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hastings, MaxIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skilton, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I wonder whether the novel-reading world - that part of it, at least, which may honour my pages - will be offended if I lay the plot of this story in Ireland!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486247600, Paperback)

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Castle Richmond is set in southwestern Ireland at beginning of the Irish famine. Castle Richmond is situated on the banks of the Blackwater River in County Cork. Trollope's work in Ireland from 1841 to 1859 had given him an extensive knowledge of the island, and Richard Mullen has written that all the principal strands of his life were formed in Ireland. The complicated plot features the competition of two Protestant cousins of English origin, Owen Fitzgerald and Herbert Fitzgerald, for the hand of Clara Desmond, the noble but impoverished daughter of the widowed Countess of Desmond, providing the novel's principal dramatic interest.… (more)

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