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Ralph the Heir

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

As usual, Trollope creates a nice variety of characters of different English classes, sentiments and positions. The primary themes are the inheritance of property, extravagance or reason in the spending of assets, the mating of young people, and the electoral practices of the time. The election chapters are based on Trollope's own experiences when he ran for Parliament.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .A girl with money had been offered to him, and a girl, too, who was very pretty and very pleasant. But then, to marry the daughter of a breeches-maker!

And why not? He had been teaching himself all his life to despise conventionalities. He had ridiculed degrees. He had laughed at the rank and standing of a barrister. "The rank is but the guinea stamp—the man's the gowd for a' that." How often had he declared to himself and others that that should be his motto through life. And might not he be as much a man, and would not his metal be as pure, with Polly Neefit for his wife as though he were to marry a duchess? As for love, he thought he could love Polly dearly. He knew that he had done some wrong in regard to poor Clary; but he by no means knew how much wrong he had done. A single word of love,—which had been so very much to her in her innocence,—had been so little to him who was not innocent. If he could allow himself to choose out of all the . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Apparently Trollope thought this was his worst novel. He said that he thought it almost "justified that dictum that a novelist after fifty should not write love-stories." Hmm. Well, I never did think authors were the best assessors of their own work. I thoroughly enjoyed it myself. Politics, love, a

I don't think I agree with Trollope's assessment of this as one of his worst novels, but it's definitely not in the top ranks. On the plus side, there's some interest in the political plot (which echoes Trollope's own experience of running unsuccessfully for Parliament), and there are several good c

There is, as the title suggests, Ralph the Heir. There is also Ralph who is Not the Heir, son of Squire Gregory who is Newton of Newton. To round out this group is Pastor Gregory, Ralph the Heir's brother, who is second in line and so is unlikely to become the heir, but could become the heir should

Entailed estates often figure in the plots of nineteenth century novels. (Who can forget the entail of the Bennetts' home on the loathsome Collins?) They crop up in several of Trollope's novels.

Here, Gregory Newton's estate is entailed upon his nephew, the Ralph of the title. Mr. Newton has an illeg

Not my favorite Trollope by a long shot, but I gradually got pulled in. I found it confusing that two characters have the same name: Ralph Newton. One is the nephew of the Squire of Newton Priory and his heir, and one is the Squire's illegitimate son and because of the entail can not inherit. Trollo

Delighted to find a third-tier Trollope that I liked very much. Ralph the Heir is hopeless--in debt, shallow, careless of women's tender feelings, opportunistic, etc. His cousin, the bastard Ralph-the-non-heir, is a first-class guy, however, whose dad regrets the youthful lapses that made his belove

Published in 1871, this is one of Trollope's later works and show his cynicism towards Victorian mores to be in full flower as he skewers British inheritance laws, the methods for getting elected to Parliament, and the British class system.

It's the story of two Ralph Newtons. One is a handsome dandy

I absolutely loved this novel about a very hesitant young man. If Wodehouse's character Bertie Wooster were three-dimensional instead of the two-dimensional one Wodehouse intended him to be, he would be Ralph.
Trollope virtually disowned this book. He said he thought it was very bad. I think it's one

I certainly hope that Sir Thomas may yet write his Life of Bacon!

Moggs the Hero

Moggs, Purity and the Rights of Labour — this motto was painted on the board above the entrance of the inn where Ontario Moggs sets up his residence for the election period in the borough of Percycross. While the novel revolves around Ralph Newton, the title character, whose fancy shi

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