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An Old Man's Love

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

This was Trollope's last completed novel, and he may have acquired his sympathy for older lovers with age! A not-so-very-old man, Mr. Whittlestaff, dearly loves Mary Lawrie, the girl he provides a home for after her father's death. He wishes to marry her, and she reluctantly accepts him, but warns him of her deep regard for a young man she had known years earlier. That Mr. Gordon had not exactly engaged her, but had gone off to seek his fortune and had not communicated with Mary ever since. Shortly after Mary accepts Mr. Whittlestaff, Gordon shows up. Trollope works out a final arrangement which resolves the quandary, but not with comfort.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .John Gordon had come to her on the eve of his going, and had told her that he was about to start for some distant land. There had been loud words between him and her step-mother, and Mrs Lawrie had told him that he was a pauper, and was doing no good about the house; and Mary had heard the words spoken. She asked him whither he was going, but he did not reply. "Your mother is right. I am at any rate doing no good here," he had said, but had not answered her question further. Then Mary had given him her hand, and had whispered, "Good-bye." "If I return," he added, "the first place I will come to shall be Norwich." Then without further farewell ceremony he had gone. From that day to this she had had his form before her eyes; but now, if she accepted Mr Whittlestaff, it must be banished. No one, at any rate, knew of her wound. She must tell him,—should she be moved at last to accept him. It might be that he would reject her after such telling. If so, it would be well.. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Henry James said that Trollope's greatest and undeniable merit was his utter understanding of the ordinary. He succeded in feeling any little thing in everyday life not only in seeing it. He felt them simply and directly in their sadness and in their gaiety, in their appeal and in their comical a...more

Vey short and easy to read. Usual Trollope investigation into character and motives. Very simple story but a key to understanding the Victorian mind. Enjoyable.
Second reading 2019. Maybe more enjoyable because it was read aloud. There is more in it than I noticed reading it 5 years ago. Well wort...more

This was Trollope's final novel and published posthumously. I think he had lost none of his power as an author. This story involves two men who both love one woman. The men love with all their heart - it is not simple desire nor is it male ego. She loves one of them, but has promised to marry the...more

Soppy and unlikely love story of a rich old man (of 50!) and an indigent but nicely brought-up young woman of 25 whose long-lost suitor comes back into her life the day of her engagement to the old man.

Shall she choose money over love? Shall she justify her choice because she doesn't want to hur...more

Trollope is one of my favorite writers, so it's hard to give one of his books only three stars, but I can go no higher, and even considered two stars.

An Old Man's Love is Trollope's last novel, published posthumously. It has a thin plot, little action, and a very limited cast of characters. The...more

It is strange how much I felt for every of the three protagonists (+ Mrs Baggett was great as well).
We learned enough about them to really care about their fate. All of them acted understandable and in the end I wanted all of them to be happy, what just wasnt possible.

The whole novel was well wri...more

Due largely to the Yahoo! Trollope reading group over the last six years, I have by now read most of the 47 novels by Anthony Trollope. Few writers of fiction are so consistently good. Every time I think I have read enough of his work, and then start on a new one, I become newly enamored of his w...more

This one is way too similar in theme to The Vicar of Bullhampton (published first), which I read very recently. It's still a good story, and I felt myself grow very attached to Mr. Whittlestaff. I was about ready to cry for him by the end - probably owing to my having found myself in a situation...more

Libro e storia leggermente clautrofobica.
In alcuni momenti ho avuto la sensazione di assistere ad una rappresentazione teatrale fatta di pochi ed essenziali personaggi che alternandosi sul palco sviscerano al pubblico i loro pensieri più intimi e scandagliano i loro timori esistenziali.
Le locatio...more

My attention was grabbed in the first chapter and kept through the final sentence. This book is much shorter than any in the Barsetshire Chronicles or Palliser books, but it contains all the same elements, including main story and side plot - the only difference being the faster pace.

It didn't e...more

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