Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ralph the Heir by Anthony Trollope, l love this book

I posted about the first sentences of this book in March and here is my review of the book, now that I finished reading it.


I love this book. Trollope creates realistic people and not just perfect heroes and purely dastardly villains. There are two Ralphs in this novel, Ralph Not the Heir is the illegitimate son of Squire Gregory. He lives with his father who wants to leave his estate to him, but the law requires a legitimate heir. Thus, Ralph the Heir, the Squire’s nephew, will inherit the estate and title. This man has flaws and yet is charming and has a tender heart. His spend thrift ways cause him to be in dire need of money and to propose to Polly, the daughter of a well to do tradesman. This marriage idea shocks everyone who hears of it. Polly is simply not in his social class since he is a gentleman. Trollope explores here the idea of marrying for love, or to improve social standing or save an estate from ruin by marrying money. Polly is a heroine as she absolutely refuses to marry the heir. She feels she would not be comfortable as the lady of the estate and she knows her dear papa would never fit in there. In another story line, Sir Thomas Underwood has two daughters and a niece of marriageable age, so romance is in the air, plus he is called to stand for a seat in Parliament. Electioneering then in 1870s England turned out to be quite corrupt, which comforted me as I look at the current elections in the USA and our own political fighting. I am reviewing the copy I bought, which is the Folio Society edition, printed in London in 1996 with a foreword by John Letts. The book is a hardcover with a robin's egg blue cover and slipcase and includes numerous black and white drawings by Shirley Bellwood which added a lot to my pleasure as I read the book.
 

6 comments:

shortybear said...

good review

Jennifer said...

I've been meaning to read some Anthony Trollope. Maybe this would be a good one to start with.

Linda said...

Such a great review, Terra! It sounds so good. Thank you so much for sharing.

laurie said...

this does sound good!!

LyzzyBee said...

I'm so looking forward to reading some standalone Trollopes once I've got to the end of Barchester. This sounds very good.

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

Thanks to your comment at FHC I was aware of the author and able to pick up one of Trollope's novels for my tbr stack! Glad you've shared the plot of this one - very interesting. Reminds me of one of George MacDonald's The Baron's Apprentice.