In the fourth of the ‘Palliser’ stories, Trollope follows Phineas Finn’s return to the dangerous world of Westminster politics. When his political rival is murdered, Phineas is thrown under suspicion and eventually finds himself standing trial at the Old Bailey. The situation is complicated by the presence of two women in his life: his old flame Lady Laura, whose estranged husband is determined to destroy Phineas’s reputation, and the wealthy and enigmatic widow, Madame Max.
In the fourth audiobook in Anthony Trollope's series known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, the values of a Victorian gentleman, the young clergyman Mark Robarts, are put to the test. Though he lives a comfortable life, has a doting wife, children and a patroness in Lady Lufton, his ambitions stretch beyond the little village of Framley. Through a combination of naivety and social climbing, Robarts is compromised and brought to the brink of financial and social ruin by the disreputable politician, Sowerby.
The Small House at Allington introduces Trollope's charming heroine, Lily Dale, to the Barsetshire scene. Lily is the niece of Squire Dale, an embittered old bachelor living in the main house on his property at Allington. He has loaned an adjacent small house rent free to his widowed sister-in-law and her daughters, Lily and Bell. But the relations between the two houses are strained, affecting the romantic entanglements of the girls.
The fifth novel in the Chronicles of Barsetshire, The Small House at Allington, concerns the lives of the two Dale girls, Lily and Bell, who live at the Small House. While Bell is in love with the local doctor James Crofts, Lily is pursued by two men: the worldly, rich and handsome Adolphus Crosbie and the poor but honest Johnny Eames. With each determined to gain her hand in marriage, who will she choose?
Kept in the Dark is a probing psychological portrait of the near destruction of a marriage - a novel that combines keen insights with vigorous emotional strength. Jealousy, guilt, excessive pride, and compulsion all sweep across its surface.
Anthony Trollope is known primarily for his epic novels like Barchester Towers. However, he also wrote a number of smaller "gems". This is one of the best. Alice Dugdale is a plain but intelligent girl who sees the love of her life pushed by society to marry the beautiful, but somewhat vacuous, rich girl in town. Alice's reaction to this situation makes a wonderful and insightful story.
Mark Robarts, a young vicar, is newly arrived in the village of Framley. With ambitions to further his career, he seeks connections in the county's high society. He is soon preyed upon by a local member of parliament to guarantee a substantial loan, which Mark, in a moment of weakness, agrees to, even though he knows the man is a notorious debtor; it brings Mark to the brink of ruin.
A man of conscience, duty and tradition, an immature, impressionable girl of supreme virtue and perhaps the greatest cad in English Literature are the chief protagonists of this tale. Tragedy falls upon the House of Humblethwaite. Sir Harry Hotspur's son dies at 21 years of age. There is no other male heir save a second cousin, a scapegrace seemingly beyond redemption.