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Mr Scarborough's Family

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The son of a barrister, Trollope was fascinated by the workings of the legal system. This novel, his last major work, is dominated by the figure of John Scarborough, a wealthy squire who contrives from his deathbed to defeat the law of entail. Seeking to bequeath his estate to the worthier of his two sons, he subjects them to a testing examination and, in the process, baff ...more
Paperback, 636 pages
Published April 27th 1989 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1883)
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Duffy Pratt
Even middling Trollope is still very good. This book has many of Trollope's staples: a weak hero, a heroine who is simply too perfect, a disapproving parent who tries to shut away the girl from her lover, some fox hunting, and the most genial narrator in all of literature.

The central plot involves the law of entail. An entailed property is one that must go to the eldest surviving member of the family, almost always male. Thus, the holder of the property only has the use of it and its income duri
Mary Ronan Drew
Mr Scarborough's Family is another novel written late in Anthony Trollope's life and published posthumously in 1883. The plot is one familiar to Trollope readers, the questionable marriage and its effects on the lives of the children of that marriage.

As he lies dying, Mr Scarborough gives to his lawyer, the honest and upright Mr Grey, papers which show that he did not marry his wife until after his son, Mountjoy, was born. This means Mountjoy is not eligible to inherit the estate, which entailed
This is my 21st Trollope and he continues to delight me. To quote Nathaniel Hawthorne:

"Have you ever read the novels of Anthony Trollope? They precisely suit my taste; solid, substantial, written on strength of beef and through inspiration of ale, and just as real as if some giant had hewn a great lump out of the earth and put it under a glass case, with all its inhabitants going about their daily business, and not suspecting that they were made a show of."

This is one of Trollope's great comic
Very good Victorian novel, with funny, frightening, stiff, some charming and some appalling characters. Great treatment of "moral ambiguity", the scourge of addiction (to gambling especially), utter amorality and legal twists, how to manage and negotiate conventional mores, authority and morals. Dickens has met his match in Trollope's story telling. The antisemitism portrayed is disturbing to contemporary readers; the money lending Jews are given as part of the general lack of moral compass foun ...more
Imagine a kind of King Lear story in which the main difference is that the King is, far from being an innocent, more devious than the most devious of lawyers. Instead of seeing which of his two sons (Mountjoy and Augustus) loves him best, he plays games, making his eldest out to have been a bastard and leaving his estate (via the terms of an entail) to the youngest; and, when discovering that his younger son was too presumptuous, coming forth with ironclad evidence to prove that the other was th ...more
Mr. Scarborough's estate is entailed; the estate will pass to the elder of his two sons, the profligate Mountjoy, who is certain to gamble it away as quickly as he can. But Scarborough, determined to control his property even upon his death, is prepared to show that he married his sons' mother after Mountjoy's birth, making Mountjoy illegitimate and leaving his second son, Augustus, as the true heir.

Needless to say, this delights Augustus, but Augustus, greedy for the estate, is unable to concea
One of Trollope's last novels, published posthumously. Like all Trollope's works, it provides wonderful descriptions of contemporary society, particularly the workings of the law and of marriage. Trollope provides a frighteningly accurate picture of a problem gambler, a man addicted to cards who,when the book finishes, is probably going to lose everything he has in Monte Carlo. Trollope also provides various examples of the different ways marriages were created in the late nineteenth century, fa ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Makes the insipid Downton Abbey hard to watch (though I still do).
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Exploring Anthony...: Mr. Scarborough's Family 1 1 Dec 17, 2013 09:51AM  
  • The Wrong Box
  • The Lunatic at Large
  • To Let: The Forsyte Saga
  • History of the Thirteen
  • The Wanderer: or, Female Difficulties
  • The Nether World
  • The Lifted Veil / Brother Jacob (Oxford World's Classics)
  • The Egoist
  • The Law and the Lady
  • Hester
  • Eminent Victorians
  • Augustus Carp, Esq. By Himself Being The Autobiography Of A Really Good Man
  • The Damnation of Theron Ware: Or Illumination
  • The Doctor's Wife
  • The House With the Green Shutters
  • This Real Night
  • Consuelo
  • Monsieur Proust's Library
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 about Anthony Trollope...
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