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The Kellys And The O'Kellys by Anthony…

The Kellys And The O'Kellys (1848)

by Anthony Trollope

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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253967,374 (3.61)2 / 53



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This early Trollope novel concerns two romances – that of Francis O’Kelly, Lord Ballindine, and Fanny Wyndham, and of Lord Ballindine’s tenant, Martin Kelly, and Anastasia “Anty” Lynch. At the instigation of her guardian, Lord Cashel, Fanny has broken off her engagement with Frank. Fanny is hurt that Frank seems to show more interest in race horses than in herself, not realizing that his apparent neglect is at least partly due to her guardian’s interference. It’s not smooth sailing for Martin and Anty, either. Anty’s father’s will gave her an equal share with her brother in their father’s estate. Barry Lynch will stop at nothing to get his hands on his sister’s inheritance.

Trollope is already exploring themes that he will develop better in his Barsetshire and Palliser novels. This isn’t the place to start with Trollope, but it’s interesting to compare this with his later and better works to trace his development as an author. ( )
  cbl_tn | Mar 31, 2019 |
I read this early Trollope novel with a group read led by Liz, always a rewarding experience. This is set in Ireland - different than I'm used to reading from Trollope, where I'm used to an English setting. There's a bit more mixing between the social spheres here. I also felt the characters were a little more one-sided than in Trollope's later novels.

This novel revolves around two women, Fanny and Anty, who inherit large fortunes and therefore become the target of marriage. There is manipulation and threat from those who stand to benefit if they don't marry or marry differently than they would prefer.

I liked this, and it's interesting to see the early seeds of Trollope's later excellence, but I wouldn't say it is quite present yet. Enjoyable, certainly, but most likely to be enjoyed by those with a good grounding in Trollope already. ( )
  japaul22 | Mar 19, 2019 |
At last I have finished. It is a lesser novel, but a lesser novel by a great author is usually worth the effort and this was. The setting and the timing, the west of Ireland (Mayo, Clare) a scant year before the famine took hold made it an uncomfortable read at time. The portrait of the anglo gentry is generally unflattering--their self-absorption and callousness evident, although Trollope, being fair has good men and women among them. Nor was he insensitive to the plight of the ordinary Irish--O'Connelll is tried sentenced to prison during the course of the story. The story concerns itself with two romances within the Kelly clan--one branch converted to Protestant and now titled, the other not, but doing well enough. Both young men are decent fellows and know each other slightly. Both the sought after women are heiresses, and in both stories, the young man must prove he loves the woman for herself not just her money. In both stories there are unscrupulous family members who scheme to get that money for themselves. I suppose, now that I think about it, Trollope was making the point that there was little difference between the players than the accents and the amounts of money at stake. And Trollope himself makes it clear he has no religious prejudice. The best character in the book is the Protestant minister, George Armstrong who briskly enters the novel in the second half at a fox hunt and proceeds to save the day. Trollope chose to render the Irish speech through fanciful spelling that was off-putting, but he wasn't alone in the attempt even though the speech patterns themselves would have sufficed. I stuck with the novel because it was Trollope and the portrait of Ireland at that time was great for me, but it was awkward -- and, I understand, an early effort. As such, not bad! *** ( )
  sibyx | Mar 5, 2019 |
Comedy-melodrama written early in Trollope's career, and set in the Ireland of early 1844 (i.e., just before the Great Hunger). The plot revolves around two separate cases where men are eyeing marriage to heiresses, in spite of competition (a lord that wants, in effect, a bailout of his scapegrace son, and a greedy elder brother). Pretty much what you'd expect from the plot, with a lot of tears, and emotional words, but what saves this is the setting, which evokes the Ireland of just before, as I say, the Great Hunger, and just before the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy was to start to lose its power. The way Trollope transliterates Irish English might be "stage Irishmen" to some, though many of the phrases he uses are the authentic thing (and were still in use in 20th century Ireland). The grasping nature of (some) Irish peasants is also true to life, based on what has been told to me by my family. A very readable early work, though not for everyone. ( )
  EricCostello | Aug 13, 2018 |
At first you think this is going to be book about the Repealers' trial of 1844, but as soon as you have read the explanatory notes and worked out what the Repeal movement was all about, Trollope largely abandons the poor repealers and settles down to the love lives of Martin Kelly, a Catholic farmer, and Lord Ballandine, Martin's Protestant landlord (and the O'Kelly of the title). Martin is courting Anastasia Lynch, who is older than him and has unexpectedly inherited some money from her father on his death. This makes Anastasia's brother Barry furious (he expected to inherit everything) and she escapes from his abuse to move in with Martin's mother and sisters. The plot line concerning Barry's evil and unscrupulous scheming is fairly entertaining, but Anastasia herself is a strangely insubstantial character. She is at times a) petrified of her brother believing whatever he tells her, b) wise enough to keep hold of her inheritance, c) loving to her brother and concerned for his salvation, d) determined to leave him all her money after he scares her (almost literally) to death. I did not feel that her character was consistent and fully drawn. Martin's mother, on the other hand, was excellent and very believable.

Lord Ballandine does not see his fiancee (Fanny) at all until the final chapters as her guardian keeps them apart. While Fanny is fairly well fleshed out, I found Frank also to be a bit shadowy and inconsistent. The plot by her guardian to have his dissolute son court Fanny was one of the most successful parts of the story for me. The two strands (Martin and Frank) were only loosely connected and the switches between the two parts of the story were somewhat abrupt - I tended to forget what had happened in the other half by the time we returned to it. ( )
  pgchuis | Nov 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Trollope wrote so many novels and other works that they tend to crowd each other out. Most readers get to The Way We Live Now and fill in with whatever the BBC is producing. But the numerous superannuated editions of his novels to be found in the world are a delight to read and well worth the internet search. One of my favourites is his second novel, published when he was 33, The Kellys and the O'Kellys. Is it one of his best? I'll tell you in 20 years when I've finished all the others.

What is remarkable about The Kellys and the O'Kellys is precisely how Trollopian it is -- how smart and wise the young author was when he took up his subject and deployed his skills to explore it. Every time I read the novel, I am astonished at Trollope's grasp of social relationships, the intricacies of human character, and the competing demands of desire and conscience. We expect that in the later novels -- Phineas Finn, for instance, which was published when Trollope was 54 -- but what is clear from The Kellys is that his gift was not developed, it was largely inherent. ... Trollope's talent, as his subsequent series (the Barchester and Palliser novels) demonstrate, was that he could grasp whole social systems. With its varied settings, its political chapters and its carefully delineated class distinctions, The Kellys and the O'Kellys constitutes a blueprint for his artistic future.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Skilton, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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During the first two months of the year 1844, the greatest possible excitement existed in Dublin respecting the State Trials, in which Mr O'Connell, his son, the Editors of three different repeal newspapers, Tom Steele, the Rev. Mr Tierney - a priest who had taken a somewhat prominent part in the Repeal Movement - and Mr Ray, the Secretary of the Repeal Association, were indicted for conspiracy.
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Written by renouned English novelist, Anthony Trollope, The Kellys and the O'Kellys is one of four of Trolopes four novels about Ireland. Written in 1848, this novel is a humorous comparison of the romantic pursuits of the landed gentry (Francis O'Kelly, Lord Ballindine) and his Catholic tenant (Martin Kelly).… (more)

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