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Mr. Scarborough's Family

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

MR. SCARBOROUGH, wealthy owner of Tretton Park in Staffordshire, is dying. His eldest son and heir Mountjoy has gambled away his inheritance to avaricious money-lenders who hold post-obits to the entire value of the estate.Then Mr. Scarborough declares Mountjoy illegitimate. He claims that he only married his wife shortly before the birth of his second son Augustus, thus making him the real heir. Is this the truth ? - or a ploy to save the estate falling into the hands of some rather shady money lenders ?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .'ve asked them over and over again, and something was said about this autumn, when we had come back from Pimperingen."

"Why did you not tell me?"

"Bother! I did tell you. This kind of thing always turns up at last. She's a very good kind of a woman, and the daughter is all that she ought to be."

"Of course she'll be flirting with Anderson." Anderson was one of the two mounted attachés.

"Anderson will know how to look after himself," said Sir Magnus. "At any rate they must come. They have never troubled us before, and we ought to put up with them once."

"But, my dear, what is all this about her brother?"

"She won't bring her brother with her."

"How can you be sure of that?" said the anxious lady.

"He is dying, and can't be moved."

"But that son of his—Mountjoy. It's altogether a most distressing story. He turns out to be nobody after all, and now he has disappeared,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I do so love reading Anthony Trollope. There is something about his prose that strikes my reading ear just perfectly. The cadence is suits me. There are other authors of course who also suit me though they might be quite different, but when I read even the opening sentences of a Trollope novel, any

Even middling Trollope is still very good. This book has many of Trollope's staples: a weak hero, a heroine who is simply too perfect, a disapproving parent who tries to shut away the girl from her lover, some fox hunting, and the most genial narrator in all of literature.

The central plot involves t

This was Trollope's second-to-last novel and it was published in serial form in the months before and after his death. I find that fascinating because it means that he was working on the novel in 1882, which is of course later in the Victorian period and quite a lot later than many of his most well

This is my 21st Trollope and he continues to delight me. To quote Nathaniel Hawthorne:

"Have you ever read the novels of Anthony Trollope? They precisely suit my taste; solid, substantial, written on strength of beef and through inspiration of ale, and just as real as if some giant had hewn a great

One of Trollope’s later novels, if not his last major work, Mr. Scarborough’s Family is a cynical tale of one man cheating the system and as such has a gleeful appeal. The titular character is dying and the law of entail says that when he does, his entire estate will go to his eldest son, an inveter

Imagine a kind of King Lear story in which the main difference is that the King is, far from being an innocent, more devious than the most devious of lawyers. Instead of seeing which of his two sons (Mountjoy and Augustus) loves him best, he plays games, making his eldest out to have been a bastard

Interesting but not his best

I enjoyed the completely unique idea of the plot: a man purposely trying to get around an entail. But I feel that the ending was unsatisfactory. Too many of the characters were left hanging with no resolution.

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