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Can You Forgive Her?


Can You Forgive Her?


The first of the Palliser novels is a rewarding satire of the upper reaches of 19th-century society.

Anthony Trollope's “Can You Forgive Her?” satirizes Victorian ambition and moral bankruptcy as he examines the antics of characters caught in a storm of religious controversy, political and social power struggles, and romantic and sexual entanglements.

What is most remarkable is the way the satire on the mores and double-dealings of society still seems contemporary.

You don’t get more Victorian than this: dastardly rakes, unscrupulous money lenders, diffident husbands, chivalrous men, ditzy heiresses and opinionated new women, all brought together amidst the dingy streets of Victorian London, the popular resorts of Europe and several country estates.

Trollope does a splendid job of bringing together the stories of three very different women, all of whom must decide which paths they will take in the face of competing male affections and familial disapproval.

How does one come to a decision about the future, and which is more important – personal happiness, the happiness of others, or doing the right thing in the eyes of society?

Each woman must make up her own mind, and learn to be content with the path she has chosen.

As such, “Can You Forgive Her?” is a rich feast of remarkable characters, all brilliantly drawn with a pen that can bring shock and sorrow just as well as it can laughter and joy.

ANTHONY TROLLOPE (1815-1882) was a British novelist and journalist, one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. He wrote insightful novels on political, social, and gender issues, and on other topical matters. Among his masterworks are the Palliser novels, The Warden, Barchester Towers, Can You Forgive Her, and The Way We Live Now.


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