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Ayala's Angel

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

Lucy and Ayala Dormer are left penniless by the death of their parents. Ayala is taken in by their rich aunt Lady Tringle and Lucy by their poor uncle Mr Dosett. The girls find it hard to get used to their new surroundings. Lucy becomes engaged to one of her father’s artist friends but they are too poor to marry. Three different men fall in love with Ayala but none live up to her ideal of the perfect man. Will Lucy be able to marry her sweetheart and will Ayala find her ‘Angel of Light’?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .There were many candidates for Glenbogie on this occasion. Among others there was Mr. Frank Houston, whose candidature was not pressed by himself,—as could not well have been done,—but was enforced by Gertrude on his behalf. It was now July. Gertrude and Mr. Houston had seen something of each other in Rome, as may be remembered, and since then had seen a good deal of each other in town. Gertrude was perfectly well aware that Mr. Houston was impecunious; but Augusta had been allowed to have an impecunious lover, and Tom to throw himself at the feet of an impecunious love. Gertrude felt herself to be entitled to her £120,000; did not for a moment doubt but that she would get it. Why shouldn't she give it to any young man she liked as long as he belonged to decent people? Mr. Houston wasn't a Member of Parliament,—but then he was young and good-looking. Mr. Houston wasn't son to a lord, but he was brother to a county squire, and came of a family much . . . Read More

Community Reviews

What a wonderful book! For over 600 pages, Trollope tells the tale of a number of well-heeled marriages. Put like that, it sounds dire; add to that, that the rear cover gives away the plot. It is the finest tribute to the writing that I was entranced from beginning to end. The themes are not worl...more

It had been a while but Trollope never disappoints. He grabs you, tells you everything about everything and continues to do so retroactively as necessary as the chapters move along so that you settle in with an omniscient guide who is perfectly willing to comment on the actions, words and motivat...more

Maybe there will be a longer review soon.

Reason for the rating.... I really like reading Anthony Trollope. And I really liked reading this book, too. it wasn't quite as good as some of the other novels of his I read, it was more just focused on the 'love' story and didn't have quite as much of t...more

Old-fashioned (1870s-80s) upper crust lifestyle, and kind of sappy romantic intrigues between a rather large number of couples, including two lovely but poor orphaned sisters. What troubles they have after the family decides how to take care of them. I do love Trollope's writing nevertheless. He...more

What Is One of This World’s Things Least Interesting to Read About?

I am quite sure that everyone will have a different Number 1 on their list of things they quickly tire reading about, and maybe there will even be varying ideas as to the second-least interesting thing to read about. However, I am...more

Ayala's Angel is of my favorite Trollope novels, which says something. Part of the appeal of this book is the primary love story between Ayala Dormer, an impecunious orphan of about 18, and Colonel Jonathan Stubbs, the red-haired, homely, but attractive gentleman who loves her.

Ayala is attracted...more

The title caught my eye because I'd never heard of it--turns out with good reason. One of the last of Trollope's 47 novels, he wrote it in less than 4 months, and it shows. It reads like he sat down and wrote without a plan. At that point he'd become so popular it probably didn't matter. I recomm...more

I have read enough of Trollope to realize that the travails of getting married constitutes one of his grand themes. In Ayala's Angel, we have no fewer than four couples who are trying to overcome the insuperable barrier of so and so many pounds per annum. (It seems that no gentleman got anything...more

Ayala's Angel by Anthony Trollope is delightful. Although he was older when he wrote this book (his 80th book!), the story and characters are sweet. Ayala and her sister Lucy are orphaned and taken off to their aunts and uncles. Ayala goes at first to the wealthy family and Lucy to the poorer one...more

Although Trollope's later novels generally paint a darker world than his earlier ones, Ayala's Angel is an exception. The novel is filled with the romances of lots of characters. None of the romances turn out miserably and most of them turn out to be quite happy. Thoroughly delightful.

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