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The story follows two contrasting women and their courtships. Lizzie Greystock and Lucy Morris are both hampered in their love affairs by their lack of money. Lizzie’s trickery and deceit, however, contrast with Lucy’s constancy.
Lizzie Greystock, determined to marry into wealth, snares the ailing Sir Florian Eustace and quickly becomes a widow. Despite the brevity of their marriage, Lizzie inherits according to the generous terms of Sir Florian’s will, which include the Eustace diamonds. When the Eustace family solicitor, Mr. Camperdown, begins to question her legal claim to the family heirloom, Lizzie weaves a tangled web of deception and crime to gain possession of the diamonds. Enlisting the aid of her cousin, Frank, much to the dismay of Frank’s fiancée, Lizzie seeks to avoid legal prosecution while pursuing one love affair after another.
In this third novel of the Palliser series and the one least focused on the politics of the time, Trollope was understood to be commenting on the malaise in Victorian England that allowed a character like Lizzie, who marries for money, steals the family diamonds, and behaves despicably throughout, to rise unscathed in society.
Trollope's The Eustace Diamonds blends elements of mystery, politics, and romance in a memorable work.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Deborah on 12-07-15
Slow and repetitive, not Trollope's usual
I worked hard to finish this very meager story that Trollope stretched into a novel. I found myself longing for Dickens to take over so some of the working class and the poor could have their say. Almost all the characters were shallow, scheming, lying, and selfish - no one I cared about. The only interesting aspect, in a depressing way, was Trollope's unvarnished portrayal of marriage among the upper classes and those aspiring to reach them and, most of all, conniving to secure enough money to lead a comfortable, genteel life without doing a lick of work. I hope the next Palliser novel is more balanced. This was a slow, depressing slog! Simon Vance was wonderful as always. I could even stand this book because Vance was the narrator.
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