Castle Richmond
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Castle Richmond

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  237 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Two gentlemen seek Clara Desmond's hand, and each has a claim to Castle Richmond. Another story of love and law from Trollope, this time set in Ireland during the famine of the 1840's.
Paperback, 442 pages
Published November 3rd 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1860)
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Jim
It would seem to be an unpromising subject for a novel to discuss the loves of English nobility in Ireland during the potato famine of the 1840s. Yet, despite a little unevenness at times, Anthony Trollope carries it off rather well. While he does not dwell at great detail on the famine, he shows us enough to realize that he was not wearing rose-colored glasses.

The main subject is Lady Clara Desmond who is loved by two cousins named Fitzgerald. One is the wealthy heir of Castle Richmond, the fut...more
Philip Lane
I would have included this on my favourite shelf if it were not for some plotting weaknesses. The characterisation is superb, once again Trollope makes his main characters totally believable, Clara, Herbert, Owen and in particular Countess Desmond. Their handling of affairs of the heart and marriage made complex by a disputed inheritance is intricate, delicate and delightful. What I found missing was a convincing explanation or preparation for the inheritance issues. I would have liked the novel...more
Tony
CASTLE RICHMOND. (1860). Anthony Trollope. **.
I am a big fan of Trollope’s novels. Unfortunately, this one didn’t make the cut. After several stabs at coming up with a synopsis, I gave up. What I can offer instead is a plot summary from the Anthony Trollope website: “Sit Thomas Fitzgerald, a wealthy landowner living at Castle Richmond, County Cork, married Mary Wainwright, whose former husband was believed to have died in Paris. There were three children, Herbert, Emmeline, and Mary. Nearby live...more
Rowland Bismark
Sir Thomas Fitzgerald, a wealthy landowner living at Castle Richmond, County Cork, married Mary Wainwright, whose former husband was believed to have died in Paris. There were three children, Herbert, Emmeline and Mary. Nearby lived the Countess of Desmond, with her daughter Clara and her young son Patrick. Owen Fitzgerald, a relative of Sir Thomas, and his heir after Herbert, lived at Hap House not far away. Owen was in love with Lady Clara and considered himself engaged to her, but the Countes...more
K.
Another delightful Trollope. I really loved the trek into Ireland and what he did with portraying the great potato famine. In my Trollope reading so far I haven't seen him yet get into so much detail about the sordid reality of things--there was some pretty gruesome description of the sufferings of the starving Irish peasants. Not so much to give one nightmares, but definitely enough for a true look and some decent empathetic feelings. I would have to do some research to see how this was receive...more
Christina Dudley
Ooh, I really liked this one--the lives and loves of a few (middle- and upper-class) families in Ireland during the famine. Trollope's female ingenue characters may be only a little better than Dickens', but Trollope's more experienced women, especially those that border on being his villainesses, are wonderfully drawn. The Countess of Desmond is no exception, poor widowed mother pushing the ancient age of 40, who still dreams of love. Mildred-Pierce-like, she finds herself competing against her...more
Rachel
This is Trollope in his prime. There are landed gentry, scandal, impetuous young men, and the potato famine! The famine is a backdrop to this story, and it's a little irritating how supportive Trollope is about those in charge of dealing with this catastrophe, but he's a lot less Irish hating than most English writers of the time so I try to cut him some slack.
The story on top of this is good. Richest family in town falls from grace, there's black mail, intrigue, bigamy. Our heroine, Lady Clara...more
Christie
Two comments about Trollope that I have received from others:

1. That reading Trollope as a Victorian reader would be like reading a really good gossip column today -- hilarious and snarky and full of biting social commentary.

2. That Castle Richmond itself is a romance that even a 21st century reader can love.

I adore Trollope, possibly because I live enough in the 19th century that I understand the references and the social commentary. He makes me laugh (even his travelogue of Australia and New Z...more
Jan
Read this book for the local Library Book Club. It had been recommended after we read Hard Times by Charles Dickens this past winter. Anthony Trollope was a contemporary of Dickens, so was interested to see how he compared to his peer. They both wrote in the serial form, and therefore there is a lot of repetition of key plot details throughout their books. At first I was enjoying Castle Richmond as it had traces of Jane Austen (another contemporary) and Downton Abbey. However, Trollope decided w...more
Trevor
One of few "famine" books dealing--however obliquely--with the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-49. I always tend to read the author's context into their work, and this was no exception, considering Trollope's career and personal interests (you'll have to see which character I'm talking about!). The story seemed pretty standard, but what was interesting was they way he melded his social commentary into the book.

I felt as though Trollope had re-written a social commentary around a previously written a...more
Lucy
It would have been a better book without the famine element, but it has 5 stars because the best of Trollope should have 10. It's much less self-consciously 'Irish' than his other Irish novels - much less of the 'ooh, don't they talk funny' stuff. The characterisation is as good as it gets - the rival clerics, the wonderfully bad Molletts, poor Sir Thomas, and the desperate Countess, one of the saddest women he wrote. This isn't just for Trollope completists - it's well worth reading in its own...more
Ninie
I really enjoyed this book. The edition I read had an introduction by Algar Thorold (whoever he was) claiming that the characterization was weak and the plot mechanical, and that the saving grace of the book was its descriptions of the Irish famine and of one character, Aby Mollett. I have to disagree. I did not see the way the plot was going, and I thought Lady Clara Desmond, as we ll as many of the other main characters, were interesting and well-rounded.
David
Trollope's first two novels were set in Ireland, which he knew from his career in the post office. Those first two novels were not commercially successful. After he found success with the first Barchester novels, Trollope wrote this, his third novel set in Ireland.

It's not Trollope at his best, but I would nevertheless recommend it for its moving depictions of Ireland during the famine.
Mary Ronan Drew
One of Trollope's Irish novels, which are not his very best work. I read this with my on-line Trollope group. The characters aren't the most realistic and the plot is drawn out a bit. The background of the Irish potato famine caused a lot of controversy when the book was published in 1860.
Anna
Sep 25, 2007 Anna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trollope lovers who nonetheless hated Barchester Towers (which sucks)
One of Trollope's more compact and energetic works. Don't be fooled by its billing as an Irish famine novel, though: this is about human motivation, middle-class institutions (surprise surprise), and Trollope's relentless campaign against too-quick, too-certain, and over-harsh judgment.
Jessica
Moves along reasonably well despite the much-ado-about-nothing plot and thinly sketched characters, and Trollope definitely succeeded in his aim to bring out a more vivid portrait of famine in Ireland. That said, it's easy to see why this one isn't considered to be one of his best.
Deanne
Only 2% in, just getting to know the characters and setting.
Wouldn't consider this his best, the end seems rushed and a little dissappointing. Trollope merely touched on the potato famine, felt he could have used this more.
Lisa
Dec 30, 2011 Lisa marked it as wishlist-1001books
A Trollope I haven't read, and it's said not to be very good...
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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...more
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The Way We Live Now Barchester Towers (Barchester Chronicles #2) The Warden Phineas Finn (Palliser, #2) Can You Forgive Her? (Palliser, #1)

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