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The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope
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The Bertrams (1859)

by Anthony Trollope

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Trollope has a knack for making characters that you almost want to sympathize with and almost do but not quite. George Bertram is too stubborn to take his uncle's money but you want to applaud him for standing on his principles. His uncle wants to care about him and in some odd way does but has no idea how to do it except through his money. And does George deserve the beautiful but perhaps too proud as well Carolyn? Meanwhile, the lesser light of Arthur Wilkinson continues to give in and give in to cruel fate until his thoroughly unpleasant mother finally gets taken down a peg and he can marry the girl of his dreams. I enoyed listening to this (the reader is American but has a nice voice and doesn't pretend accents) and am continuing to enjoy my voyage through Trollope.
  amyem58 | May 20, 2016 |
George Bertram decides to become a barrister, since his rich uncle has made it clear that George will not be his heir. George's friend, Arthur (a minister), decides not to ask Adela to marry him because he believes he cannot afford it. George travels to Jerusalem to meet his father, the unreliable and selfish Sir Lionel and there meets and becomes engaged to Caroline, but their romance is broken off.

I delayed reading this novel because I thought it was set in Jerusalem, but in fact only a few of the chapters are set there (with a later section describing a trip to Egypt). Some of the observations about what the church has done to Jerusalem were very interesting and George's spiritual experience on Mount of Olives was quite moving, but there were many passages describing the local populations in terms which are wholly unacceptable today. In general in Trollope I have found references (usually to Jews) which grate, but this novel took things to a whole other level and made me understand that the Victorians did clearly believe that cleanliness is next to godliness - I think Trollope managed to describe almost every non-Christian character as dirty at some point.

That aside, I found this story very enjoyable. Adela was a delight. George and Caroline got what they deserved and then for a moment it looked as if Trollope was going to bless them with a second chance, but the very ending shows that he was not quite able completely to forgive Caroline for marrying without intending to love, which seems to be the unforgivable sin for Trollope. Miss Todd and Sir Lionel provided some comic relief, although I didn't really enjoy the chapter describing the trip home from Egypt - Mrs Cox and Mrs Price didn't seem to fit into the novel at all. I'm glad Mrs Wilkinson was humbled. ( )
  pgchuis | Oct 31, 2015 |
Still loyal to the old postman,enjoyed this, a lesser known item. Has a naive almost clockwork simplicity framed in conventions of Victorian morality, bit like the appeal of Petrushka or a comic book. Includes hilarious pictures of early Victorian tourists in the Middle East. Apart from the threat of jihadists, little has changed. Plot is convoluted, but somehow Trollope manages to keep everything crystal-clear even some of it rather improbable - those cousins who have never met, etc - but hugely enjoyable for all that. ( )
  vguy | Apr 23, 2015 |
Trollope seemed fixed on the idea that a woman of proper feelings can only love once. In this novel pride and misunderstanding keep lovers apart and lead to tragedy before they are united as older, wiser people.
  ritaer | Dec 29, 2011 |
Some of this is set in Jerusalem. ( )
  annesadleir | Jan 15, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harvey, GeoffreyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is the age of humanity - as far, at least, as England is concerned.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 019282645X, Paperback)

Set in the Middle East, but informed by the ramifications of of the repeal of the Corn Laws and the rise of Tractarianism, The Bertrams is a tale of doomed love and a remarkable blend of psychological insight, trenchant satire, and deft social comedy. Published in the same year as Darwin's Origin of Species its story of the contrasting careers of three Oxford graduates echoes the idea of the survival of the fittest. This fully annotated edition of the novel Trollope hoped would secure him a reputation as a serious author uses the original 1859 text. This book is intended for trollope fans; students and teachers of nineteenth-century literature and history, general.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Postponing the banking career his uncle is foisting on him, George Bertram journeys to the Middle East, where he reunites with his distant father, and plunges into a wayward romance.

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