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Nina Balatka

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

A romance set in Prague between a Catholic and a Jew. In this short novel, Trollope moves away from his usual milieu to explore a theme which has universal resonance.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .had never thought of them as people hungry from want of food, or cold from want of clothes. It may be said of him, to his credit, that his love had been too strong for his shame, and that he had made up his mind to marry his cousin Nina in spite of her poverty. When Lotta Luxa had called him a calf she had not inappropriately defined one side of his character. He was a good-looking well-grown young man, not very wise, quickly susceptible to female influences, and gifted with eyes capable of convincing him that Nina Balatka was by far the prettiest woman whom he ever saw. But, in connection with such calf-like propensities, Ziska was endowed with something of his mother's bitterness and of his father's persistency; and the old Zamenoys did not fear but that the fortunes of the family would prosper in the hands of their son. And when it was known to Madame Zamenoy and to her husband Karil that Ziska had set his heart upon having his cousin, they had expressed no displeasure. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I enjoyed this novella thoroughly even though the plot hung together weakly, the characters lacked complexity, and the usual Trollopian humor was absent. Despite these features, it was a compelling tale of the tenaciousness of prejudice. It was also interesting to see Trollope attempt to capture...more

This is the most serious of the Trollope novels I've read. It is completely devoid of any Trollope humor. Still, I quite enjoyed it. Trollope may have been putting his own spin on a Romeo and Juliet story. In this, a poor Christian girl is betrothed to a wealthy Jewish man. Neither of the familie...more

This was the first of several novels that Trollope originally published anonymously. In his autobiography he says that this was done as a sort of experiment, to see to what extent a successful novelist's sales were attributable to his name, as opposed to the merits of new works. I wonder whether...more

Of all the more than 35 Trollope novels, I’ve read, this was the most difficult for me. As s love story between a Christian and a Jew, the anti-semitism, societal pressures, and misunderstandings of the time turn the relationship into a test of trust.

"There has been no girl connected with decent people who has ever so degraded herself"
By sally tarbox on 10 March 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Set in 19th century Prague, this is the tale of a lovely - but poor - Christian girl, and her love for stern, wealthy - but Jewish - Anton Trendellsohn. A mi...more

More or less a satisfying read... almost. Was a little one dimensional. But a good love story almost as good as other Trollope fare.

Nina Balatka is the story of a beautiful young Christian girl in 19th century Prague who is beset with two great troubles. First is her economic situation, having been plunged into poverty after her father’s industry failed him and he became ill unto death. The second, portrayed as the greater tr...more

3.5 stars rounded up
This is one of the three novels Trollope published anonymously. As with the other two, it is set on the continent; in Prague to be precise. It is also uncharacteristically brief. Normally Trollope gives all the main characters a chapter each to introduce them; here he manages...more

One for completists only. A wimp of a heroine, a nasty 'hero', few of the Trollopian asides which make him the delightful read he usually is. Really, don't bother.

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