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Lady Anna

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

This tightly constructed and passionate study of enforced marriage in the world of Radical politics and social inequality, records the lifelong attempt of Countess Lovel to justify her claim to her title, and her daughter Anna's legitimacy, after her husband announces that he already has a wife. However, mother and daughter are driven apart when Anna defies her mother's wish that she marry her cousin, heir to her father's title, and falls in love with journeyman tailor and young Radical Daniel Thwaite. The outcome is never in doubt, but Trollope's ambivalence on the question is profound, and the novel both intense and powerful.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I never saw him?"

"He wishes to win you because he has heard what you are, and because he knows that by doing so he can set things right which for many years have been wrong."

"It is because he would get all this money."

"You would both get it. He desires nothing unfair. Whatever he takes from you, so much he will give. And it is not only for this generation. Is it nothing to you that the chiefs of your own family who shall come after you shall be able to hold their heads up among other British peers? Would you not wish that your own son should come to be Earl Lovel, with wealth sufficient to support the dignity?"

"I don't think it would make him happy, mamma."

"There is something more in this, Anna, than I can understand. You used not to be so. When we talked of these things in past years you used not to be indifferent."

"I was not asked then to—to—marry a man I did not care for."

"There is some. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I really enjoyed this engaging page-turner read! I love Trollope's writing so much and planning on reading more of his works. The novel addresses number of themes and points, such as gender, class, marriage, filial obedience, gratitude, friendship, ambition, and faithfulness. I highly recommend i...more

Dopo aver letto e apprezzato i tre romanzi che compongono la trilogia di Barchester, mi sono avvicinato a questo Lady Anna, il romanzo che egli riteneva il migliore.
Il tema principale di questa opera è la differenza di rango tra le persone. Il contrasto fra il sarto, un gentiluomo che aspira all...more

Lady Anna

This is yet another novel by Anthony Trollope about a young woman of marrying age who is pressured to marry for wealth, while yearning for the love of a simpler man. Truth be told this is middling Trollope. There are about 20 of his books that are better than this. On the other hand, the...more

It seems I always enjoy Trollope novels more on re-reading. This is not my favourite, but there are so many levels of looking at human interactions I stayed intrigued and fascinated throughout.

May be my favorite Trollope ever!

This is not my favourite Trollope. It is unusual, and at times a little slow. But it ends very strongly and has great complexity of character and theme. I ended it (as I invariably do when reading Trollope) very glad I had read it.

Al nostro secondo incontro non posso che confermare quanto Trollope fosse un ottimo scrittore nonché un grande intrattenitore. I suoi intrecci hanno una costante nell'aspetto giudiziario, forse nell'immaginario collettivo possono risultare ostici e spaventare il lettore ma non c'è niente di più l...more

2.5 stars
Oh dear Mr Trollope; what did you do with this one. I loved the Palliser and Barsetshire novels, but, well let me explain.
The plot is typical Trollope. Young woman marries dashing and handsome Earl against the advice of her family and becomes pregnant. The Earl turns out to be evil and l...more

‘Lady Anna’ was published in 1874 after, quite remarkably, Trollope wrote it from start to finish on a voyage to Australia.

He said:

“‘Lady Anna’ is the best thing I ever wrote! Very much! Quite far away above all others!”

I’m not sure that I agree with him, but I do understand why he thought that i...more

“But the Love of Which We Poets Sing Is Not the Love of Outer World.

It is more ecstatic, but far less serviceable. It is the picture of that which exists, but grand with imaginary attributes, as are the portraits of ladies painted by artists who have thought rather of their art than of their mode...more

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