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The Eustace Diamonds

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

Lizzie Greystock, a fortune-hunter who ensnares the sickly, dissipated Sir Florian Eustace, is soon left a very wealthy widow and mother. While clever and beautiful, Lizzie has several character flaws; the greatest of these is an almost pathological delight in lying, even when it cannot benefit her. Before he dies, the disillusioned Sir Florian discovers all this, but does not think to change the generous terms of his will. The diamonds of the book’s title are a necklace, a Eustace family heirloom that Sir Florian gave to Lizzie to wear. Lizzie attempts to hold onto them, much to the irritation of the longtime family lawyer, Mr Camperdown. The Eustaces find themselves in an awkward position. On the one hand, the diamonds are a valuable heirloom to which Lizzie may not have a legal claim, but on the other, they do not want to antagonize the mother of the heir to the family estate (Lizzie having only a life interest).Meanwhile, after a respectable period of mourning, Lizzie searches for another husband, and “the plot thickens”. (Summary from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mrs. Hittaway was alluding here to the report which had reached her as to Lizzie's debt to Harter and Benjamin when she married Sir Florian; but Lord Fawn of course thought of the diamond necklace.

"Yes;" said he, "I have heard all about them. Who told you?"

"I have known it ever so long. Sir Florian never got over it." Lord Fawn was again in the dark, but he did not choose to commit himself by asking further questions. "And then her treatment of Lady Linlithgow, who was her only friend before she married, was something quite unnatural. Ask the dean's people what they think of her. I believe even they would tell you."

"Frank Greystock desired to marry her himself."

"Yes,—for her money, perhaps;—because he has not got a farthing in the world. Dear Frederic, I only wish to put you on your guard. Of course this is very unpleasant, and I shouldn't do it if I didn't think it my duty. I believe she is artful and very false. She . . . Read More

Community Reviews

My Annual Trollope is late, but none the less appreciated for all that!

THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS is the story of an unscrupulous, clever but uneducated young woman, Lizzie Eustace, who having arranged to marry a wealthy but ailing man, embarks upon her widowhood with four thousand pounds a year, a castl

4.5 stars A sparkling Trollope novel, but 647 pages were not really needed to tell the tale of Lizzie Eustace (née Greystock) and her various dupes and associates.

This novel starts off with a bang - and a rather delicious description of the lovely Lizzie, whose feminine wiles bag a rich husband (wh

Another Trollope triumph. Witty, fun, with wonderfully nasty characters.

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