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Ralph The Heir
Anthony Trollope
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Ralph The Heir

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  15 reviews
This novel is published under the auspices of the Trollope Society.
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published December 31st 1996 by Ashgate Publishing (first published 1871)
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Elizabeth (Alaska)
There is, as the title suggests, Ralph the Heir. There is also Ralph who is Not the Heir, son of Squire Gregory who is Newton of Newton. To round out this group is Pastor Gregory, Ralph the Heir's brother, who is second in line and so is unlikely to become the heir, but could become the heir should something happen to Ralph the Heir. While I'm on names, let's not forget one of the main characters is a Mr. Neefit, a breeches-maker, and a minor character is Mr. Spicer, the mustard maker.

As with ma
Feb 24, 2008 Frederick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who seek accuracy in descriptions of human relations.
Shelves: novels, trollope
I absolutely loved this novel about a very hesitant young man. If Wodehouse's character Bertie Wooster were three-dimensional instead of the two-dimensional one Wodehouse intended him to be, he would be Ralph.
Trollope virtually disowned this book. He said he thought it was very bad. I think it's one of the most sympathetic portraits of a pampered fool ever written.
I read this in a facsimile edition published by Dover Books. It had the old nineteenth century engravings, which, typically, didn't g
Austen to Zafón
Apparently Trollope thought this was his worst novel. He said that he thought it almost "justified that dictum that a novelist after fifty should not write love-stories." Hmm. Well, I never did think authors were the best assessors of their own work. I thoroughly enjoyed it myself. Politics, love, and a great wit on the author's part made this a story I could hardly wait to get back to. It was originally serialized in a magazine, so it has that breathless pace that many of Dickens's novels did, ...more
I don't think I agree with Trollope's assessment of this as one of his worst novels, but it's definitely not in the top ranks. On the plus side, there's some interest in the political plot (which echoes Trollope's own experience of running unsuccessfully for Parliament), and there are several good character studies; on the minus side, the plot threads never seem to hang together well, and the love stories are frankly uninteresting.
I see that Trollope didn't rate this book. That says something about his critical powers! I am a huge fan of his novels, and this is the most enjoyable ever. OK, the plot is fairly trivial, and the key issue of illegitimacy remote nowadays, but the characterization! One or two of the women are a bit thin, but Sir Thomas and the eponymous Ralph are beaetifully drawn. There is so much to spare even for a minor character like Mr Pabsby, with his 'soft, greasy voice - a voice made up of pretence, po ...more
Entailed estates often figure in the plots of nineteenth century novels. (Who can forget the entail of the Bennetts' home on the loathsome Collins?) They crop up in several of Trollope's novels.

Here, Gregory Newton's estate is entailed upon his nephew, the Ralph of the title. Mr. Newton has an illegitimate son -- also named Ralph, I guess to keep readers on their toes -- whom he loves. For the benefit of those who never studied the Law of Property or haven't read many English novels, had Newton'
Not my favorite Trollope by a long shot, but I gradually got pulled in. I found it confusing that two characters have the same name: Ralph Newton. One is the nephew of the Squire of Newton Priory and his heir, and one is the Squire's illegitimate son and because of the entail can not inherit. Trollope does a good job of making it clear which Ralph he's talking about - as long as I was paying attention and didn't let my mind wander.

Learned two new words, although I'm not optimistic about working
Catherine Siemann
Trollope thought this was his worst novel, but I can't agree. (The character of Lily Dale, towards the end of the Barsetshire novels, frustrates me beyond belief, and thus any part of a book with her in it becomes his worst even if this rest of the book is terrific.) Sir Thomas Underwood is a marvellous character, as is Ontario Moggs, and the Percycross election is pretty fabulous. The love plots are somewhat by the numbers, but contain a number of young women who know their own minds and have a ...more
Sep 13, 2008 Arwen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trollope lovers
I was a little dismayed to read, after starting this book, that Trollope considered it his worst! But so far, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I'm starting to see character traits popping up again that I recognize from other books (surely there's more to describe about a young, working-class girl than that she's passionate about dancing?), but this is yet another wonderful exploration of the stubborn, loving, funny, idiosyncratic nature of human beings.
John Carollo
It was a fun read ... a bit lugubrious at times, but it lived up to the quality of characterizations Trollope was so famous for creating!
Feb 07, 2012 K. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trollope lovers, good book lovers
Another wonderful Trollope. I've said it before, but the feeling has never yet lessened: how did Trollope manage to write about "normal, everyday life" and make it so good to read about?

The one thing that could fascinate, or infuriate, the modern reader about this book is the inheritance laws as they were then (in fact, until 1959!!!). I'll not bother to go into detail for time's sake as well as spoiler issues, but it was a really interesting set-up they had there.

The themes etc. may not be on
In reading quite a bit of Trollope, I would rank this as somewhat in the middle. A decent story of love, suitors, societal rankings, and inheritances that appear so much in a Trollope novel. No spoilers - here the main character is a procrastinator and spender above his means, who hedges various marital chances against money, for lack of a better description.
In classic Trollopian fashion there is great dialogue and most works out in the end, with a perhaps a disappointment.
If you like Trollope
My 24th Trollope. Yes, the plots can be formulaic. Yes, you can tell which young man will wind up with which young lady right from the start. This one is darker than most. The pairings of the three main couples doesn't have the exhuberance of the mating of Frank Gresham and Mary Thorne in Doctor Thorne . There is a bit more cold-eyed practicality in the match-ups by all concerned.

There is also a chilling assessment of Sir Thomas Underwood's inability to start, much less complete, what he deems
It's easy to understand why Trollope himself was not pleased with this book: the storylines are disjointed, the title character unlikable and the women less spirited than the usual Trollopian heroines. The election chapters are fun to read (Trollope writing about his own experiences when he stood for Parliament?), but don't make up for some heavy going in the remaining chapters. This book can only be recommended for the true Trollope afficionado (I'm one of them), but the others beware.
I am a huge Anthony Trollope book, but this one was less engaging than some others I have read. Maybe I am too old to have a lot of patience with keeping straight two Gregorys and three Ralphs in the same family. There was a lot of "Ralph the Heir", "Ralph who was not the heir" (illegitimate cousin), "Ralph who was now the heir", and so forth. I am always at home in his books and look forward to the next one. It grieves me not to give it five stars.
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Anthony Trollope became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of Trollope's best-loved works, known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire; he also wrote penetrating novels on political, social, and gender issues and conflicts of his day.

Trollope has always been a popular novelist. Noted fans ha
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