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The Small House at Allington

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

Fifth novel in the Barsetshire series, The Small House at Allington is largely focused on the Small House's inhabitants, Mrs. Dale and her two marriageable daughters, Lily and Bell. The two girls, of course, have suitors: their cousin, Bernard Dale, his friend Adolphus Crosbie, and the local boy, Johnny Eames, whose career in London is to mark him as far more than the "hobbledehoy" that he has earlier been considered. Crosbie is a social climber, and his connection with the dysfunctional de Courcys of Barsetshire give the author a chance for a splendid portrayal of an aristocratic family in decline. As with many of AT's novels, there are subplots as well, and many pictures of rural life standing in contrast to that of London. Some critics have seen in the portrayal of Johnny Eames something of an autobiographical exercise on Trollope's part.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mrs. Dale, Mrs. Boyce, and Mrs. Hearn. And then at last he made his way round to Bell.

"I am so glad," he said, "to congratulate you on your sister's engagement."

"Yes," said Bell; "we knew that you would be glad to hear of her happiness."

"Indeed, I am glad; and thoroughly hope that she may be happy. You all like him, do you not?"

"We like him very much."

"And I am told that he is well off. He is a very fortunate man,—very fortunate,—very fortunate."

"Of course we think so," said Bell. "Not, however, because he is rich."

"No; not because he is rich. But because, being worthy of such happiness, his circumstances should enable him to marry, and to enjoy it."

"Yes, exactly," said Bell. "That is just it." Then she sat down, and in sitting down put an end to the conversation. "That is just it," she had said. But as soon as the words were spoken she declared to herself that it was not so, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Although the heroine Lily Dale, who cannot see the flowers beneath her feet, deserves the biggest trout-slap of all time, this is a wonderfully warm and charming novel, that I thoroughly recommend to anyone who loves 19th c novels, and to anyone who hasn't yet tried one.

The 5th Barchester novel. Lovely (but too good to be true?) Lily Dale, vacuous Augustus Crosbie (the "swell"), hobbledehoy Jonnie Eames. It just stops, with very few threads resolved, and most of the characters unfulfilled, if not actually unhappy. Is such an ending clever or frustrating?

Pass me the sick pail. This was wall-to-wall sentimental romance dressed up with lashings of stupidity, indistinguishable characters (not that I cared about one more than the other) and leavened, as it always is in Trollope's novels, with money. Everyone seems to have their life's ambition to mar...more

‘The Small House at Allington’ does not quite the follow the pattern of the previous novels in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series. Author Anthony Trollope always takes care of his characters - most are safely housed by the end of his books, and most have found a way to a financial security of a...more

I read most of this book while on vacation, sitting in a lawn chair or on a sun-warmed rock by a lake shore with friendly ducks waddling around me—and far from social media. But if I'd been posting Goodreads updates during the course of my reading, they would have looked something like this:

Chapt...more

I will begin this review with a bit of dithering about whether or not it deserves 4 or 5 stars. Clearly, it is a 4.5 starred novel in my mind - with that last little bit withheld because there was something just not quite as emotionally satisfying (both with the romances and their finales) as I w...more

This was my favourite of all the Barsetshire books (so far; there's still one more to go) for a number of reasons.

It was just as engaging and witty as I've come to expect Trollope to be and, in this one, he's not quite as condescending about the 'regular folks' (basically anybody who isn't indepe...more

Ah, me. This is a most lovely series for lovers of English pastoral life and students of human nature. I'm almost done with "The Last Chronicle of Barset" (the sixth and final of the series), just haven't had time to put in a review of this one, the fifth, yet.

This book was the first in the seri...more

The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope is a gem. Of course, it helps to already love Trollope. I confess I've gotten out of the habit of reading the 19th century and it took a while for me to recapture that rhythm-so different than the contemporary works I have been reading--but once I...more

Speeding through Trollope is never wise: all of his books are long, drawn-out performances, where the various threads he weaves throughout eventually come together in the end—the characters of different social stations and statuses; the bickering families, neighbors, and parish members; and also...more

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