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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

Nearly 800 pages of mid and high society people deceiving each other, engaging in mercenary behavior, and writing hilariously snarky letters back and forth to each other. Needless to say, I loved this and can't wait to read more Trollope. Surprisingly modern and somewhat cynical about human natur...more

Probably should take off a star for repetitiveness, occasional windiness and bagginess, but Lizzie Eustace is an indelible character and this is one of the best marriages of a mystery and a novel of manners in fiction. Plus Trollope's dialogue is so startlingly direct and modern there's not the s...more

From BBC Radio 4 - Classical Serial:
Anthony Trollope's enthralling novel about beautiful but deceitful widow Lizzie Eustace.

This is the third book of the Palliser series where the characters of Plantagenet Palliser, his wife Lady Glencora and their uncle the ailing Duke of Omnium are in the backg...more

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...more

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

Wow, how to start this review on Trollope's The Eustace Diamonds (Palliser 3), this series is centered on political life and there are little bits of it in here but for the most part, it is hardly political. In book 1, "Can You Forgive Her?", this story has politics to a lesser extent than book 2...more

I’ve now completed The Eustace Diamonds, the third in Anthony Trollope’s Palliser series of political novels; another milestone passed; another three to go! I enjoyed Can you Forgive Her? and Phineas Finn, the Irish Member though not nearly as much as the story of Lizzie Eustace and a legacy whic...more

The third novel in The Palliser series and an enjoyable read in it's own right. It is the greedy and manipulative Lizzie Eustace who holds the plot together. This is also a lengthy character driven novel. To my mind Trollope's female characters are always well presented, faults, foibles and all....more

Delicious.

Trollope said to Thackery: 'I’ll see your Becky Sharp, and raise you £10,000.’

As in the £10,000 necklace--the Eustace Diamonds--that drive Lizzie Graystock and the plot of this funny and sad and insightful novel.

I have read too many Trollope sweet young girls, and enjoyed his witty, str...more

Funny, after finishing the first 2 chapters I was thinking Lizzie Eustace was very like Becky Sharp. I rolled that around in my mind for a bit until the next time I had a chance to pick up the book. What do I read at the beginning of chapter three but that Trollope assures us that she won't be ex...more

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