"I have a conscience, my dear, on this matter," said an old gentleman to a young lady, as the two were sitting in the breakfast parlor of a country house which looked down from the cliffs over the sea on the coast of Carmarthenshire. (from the first line)
|Cousin Henry (1879) by Anthony Trollope, is one of the more non-traditional storylines of its time, subverting expectations and dwelling deeper into the psychology of character. And still it contains all the elements for which the author is so well-loved, the ups and downs, tragedy and joy of relationships, rendered with the sensibility of Jane Austen and the quirky humor of Dickens. |
Henry Jones, a vacillating and weak man is faced with the moral dilemma of telling the truth about a lost will in favor of another relative or keeping an inheritance that is not rightfully his.
Trollope worked as a civil servant in the post office until he was 52, at the same time traveling extensively in Britain, the U. S., and Europe. He turned his foreign journeys into travel books and his observations on English life into 47 novels. His books deal with most of the typical themes of Victorian literature: class, money, status, youth and age, marriage and sexual mores, and the crisis in the institutions of the Church of England. Each of the novels is self-contained, but many characters, locales, and situations recur. At the age of 57, he suffered a paralytic stroke while laughing at a family read-aloud session, and died a month later.