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He Knew He Was Right

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

He Knew He Was Right is a novel written by Anthony Trollope which describes the failure of a marriage caused by the unreasonable jealousy of a husband exacerbated by the stubbornness of a willful wife. As is common with Trollope’s works, there are also several substantial subplots. Trollope considered this work to be a failure; he viewed the main character as unsympathetic, and the secondary characters and plots much more lively and interesting. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Even Lady Milborough, with all her horror as to the Colonel, could not tell him that the Colonel was amenable to any punishment. He was advised that he must take his wife away and live at Naples because of this man,—that he must banish himself entirely if he chose to repossess himself of his wife and child;—and yet nothing could be done to the unprincipled rascal by whom all his wrongs and sufferings were occasioned! Thinking it very possible that Colonel Osborne would follow his wife, he had a watch set upon the Colonel. He had found a retired policeman,—a most discreet man, as he was assured,—who, for a consideration, undertook the management of interesting jobs of this kind. The man was one Bozzle, who had not lived without a certain reputation in the police courts. In these days of his madness, therefore, he took Mr. Bozzle into his pay; and after a while he got a letter from Bozzle with the Exeter post-mark. Colonel Osborne had left London wi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

One of my favorite things about Anthony Trollope's novels is his talent for penetrating psychological portraits, and He Knew He Was Right is one of Trollope's best in this respect. Here, he examines Louis Trevelyan, a man who unjustly accuses his wife Emily of infidelity, and his descent from jealou

This is a terrific novel! Okay, having said that though, I have to admit that the primary tale of the disintegration of the Trevelyan's marriage through the increasing madness of Louis Trevelyan because of his belief that his wife was cheating on him did become a bit tiresome after a while. I was mu

This is a great story from the first page to the last!

Louis Trevelyan is the first character introduced and his story is the main theme throughout. Trevelyan, at 24 years old is a very handsome, intelligent man with secure investments. In his travels to the Mandarin Islands, Louis falls in love with

In the marriage ceremony, the woman promises "to love, honor and obey." When asked to be obedient, Emily Trevelyan agrees to obey in all things except the one thing which has been demanded. Such is the point around which this plot revolves. It makes the novel more full of drama than most of his I ha

Some say this is Trollope's greatest novel. The story is about a couple who struggle for control in what is obviously not a very strong marriage. When the innocent wife refused to say she had an affair with another man as her husband demanded, he broke up their home and slowly went mad because he kn

Long, but brilliantly insightful into the nature of mental illness and obsession. The family law issues it covers are still relevant today.

But in the midst of all this, it has some delightful and very funny subplots, particularly involving Miss Stanbury and Mr Gibson.

He Knew He Was Right is very long but always compelling and never dull. As always, Trollope gets the balance between humour and drama just right.

Okay, it's partly my anachronistic reading as a twenty-first century feminist, but it's also the strain of being over eight hundred pages long when it only could support around two-thirds that length: I loved this book at the halfway mark, and kind of resented it by the end.

Initially this struck me,

Louis Trevelyan has everything he could wish for. He has money, a respected place in society and a wife, Emily, he deeply loves and who loves him too. He becomes obsessed with Emily's friendship with Colonel Osborne. The Colonel is an older man with a reputation. Osborne is very aware of the problem

I've read some 20 of Trollope's novels, but this is the first one I've read twice. For me this is one of Trollope's best, if not the best--a study of pathological jealousy with lots of fun, mainly thwarted love affairs that come right, thrown in. I cared a lot about many of the characters, and enjoy

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