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The Claverings

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  288 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Since its first appearance in 1867, this novel has been acclaimed as one of Trollope's most successful protrayals of mid-Victorian life. The Claverings is filled with contemporary detail and shows, as Trollope often does, the weakness of men and the emotional strength of women.
Paperback, 412 pages
Published March 17th 1977 by Dover Publications (first published 1867)
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Is there a Victorian novelist who handles love triangles as well as Trollope, with the exception perhaps of Henry James?

The Claverings is Trollope at his finest. With his usual skill, he presents us with characters who are all flawed and therefore human, led by greed, power, rank, status, and sheer narcissism; at the same time, however, Trollope is a skillful writer, able to dig deep into the psychological makeup of his characters to provide compelling reasons for their actions, and also elicit
Stephen P
Aug 04, 2015 Stephen P rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stephen by: Proustitute

When 7 years old I found myself a latch-key kid in a bad neighborhood in New York. Three deadbolt locks and inside a chain lock. It was driven over and again by my mother who had to work and couldn’t be there, to double and triple check the locks. The habit etched and ingrained repeated itself by itself. Lasting through college, grad. school, years of working, surviving, it didn’t fail. A clock always wound. Why it slipped this time I have no excuse nor understanding.

Back in the library, the las
If you are a lover of 19th century British literature, then The Claverings by Anthony Trollope is almost certainly bound to be a delight to you. If you have not yet read any of Anthony Trollope (whose Barchester as well as his Palliser series have been made into BBC mini-series), this as good a place as any to begin.

Harry Clavering is a likable young man who is the son of a rector, a graduate of university, and is more adept at charm and conversation than hard, dull work. He is in love with Juli
There are few authors who reward their readers as much as Anthony Trollope does. I have read approximately half of his 47 novels and find myself wanting to read all of his work, or at least as much as I can lay my hands on.

The Claverings has become one of my favorites. The story of a somewhat feckless young man who begins being in love with a lovely young woman. There is one problem: The young woman wants to marry money, and Harry Clavering, the son of a middling countryside rector, is not likel
First: this is a long Victorian novel, with all the properties attendant on long Victorian novels: it moves slowly, has lots of addresses to the reader explaining the thoughts and the motivations of the characters (just so you don't get confused). If you can't deal with that, don't read it.

This could be the first novel of the modern antihero. It moves almost entirely by human weakness: the characters are defined by their faults. Most of the faults are venial and familiar enough: they're weaknes
This is one of the less known Trollope titles but one you won't want to miss. It starts off with two star crossed young lovers (shock!) who must part in order that the girl can marry an older, richer, titled man. That union soon ends in tears and the young man, Harry Clavering, being one of those types who can't be alone, has already found a young woman to assuage his loneliness and has engaged himself to her.

When Harry learns that his first love, Lady Ongar, has been made a widow though with a
Just read my first Anthony Trollope novel and I am ready for more. He brings us the hero, Henry Clavering, a young man growing up on the cusp of economic change in England. Julia Brabazon, the heroine, faces the few tradtional choices. Her profession, as a penniless offspring of nobility, is to marry money. She does so, spurning the penniless Henry Clavering in the process. By the end of the book all is resolved but Julia does not have Henry and Henry has withdrawn from his limited effort to ent ...more
4 1/2 stars. For the first few hundred pages, I thought this might be the best Trollope ever. Unfortunately, by the end, the pace had slowed considerably.
The most notable part of The Claverings is the similarity of its theme to The Age of Innocence, written some 60 years later. Presumably Edith Wharton knew of The Claverings. In both, a proper young gentleman is engaged or married to a paragon of virtue and correctness, but is unexpectedly tempted by the reappearance of a beautiful and sophist
English poet/novelist H.S. Davies wrote that the best of Trollope is found in his two series (Barsetshire and Palliser) and two other novels: The first is The Way We Live Now (1873) and the second is The Claverings (1867).

I had a hard time appreciating Harry Clavering, a double-minded man when it came to love and marriage. As I watched him waffle on his engagement to Girl #2 when Girl #1 became a widow, I wished for a hero with more backbone. (Septimus Harding, Dr. Thorne and Plantagenet Pallise
David Blinn
In the introduction to the edition I read, Trollope's oeuvre is compared to a painter who only ever paints pictures of a donkey between led to two bales of hay and being unable to choose between the two. The protagonist (or "hero" as Trollope occasionally identifies him), Harry Clavering, deserves this comparison to a donkey in my opinion. He suffers from the worst of Hamlet's indecision, and indeed when he is forced to make a choice, someone else mostly does so for him, and the decision comes a ...more
Julia refuses to marry Harry, because he is poor, and accepts the dissolute Lord Ongar instead. He makes her life a misery and causes unfounded rumours to be spread about her, before dying and leaving her a rich widow. Julia is left isolated and rekindles her friendship with Harry, who has become engaged to Florence, a fact he omits to mention to Julia...

As ever in Trollope, the hero is very weak and imperfect and the women strong and brave. Florence should have dumped Harry while she had the ch
This relatively short (at 500 pages) Trollope novel was a bait and switch for me. It starts off being about a young man who decides not to go into the clergy (which is his father's "business") and instead to become a civil engineer. I expected a story about the conflict between the old England and industrialization, but Trollope drops this almost immediately and the plot becomes a relatively straightforward love triangle. What salvages it from convention is, as always, Trollope's extraordinary s ...more
Dara Salley
I picked up this book at random at a bookstore. It is one of Trollope’s less known novels. Characteristic of serialized novels, the story is presented in short-bite sized pieces. It’s like a more intelligent version of a weekday soap opera. The story centers on Harry Clavering, a young man searching for a vocation and place in life, and generating drama around him. The choice of vocation is the focus of this novel. Harry tries to use his intelligence to secure a position that will provide income ...more
Never having read Trollope before this book was quite a delight. Harry Clavering must decide between the beautiful, and now wealthy, widow Julia who "jilted" him for a peer and the bright, but middle-class, Florence to whom he has become engaged in the interim. It is a long book, serialized and so not cautious about overwriting, but even so the relationship between Harry and Florence could have been expanded upon - Harry's indecision is understandable because of the fine characterization of Juli ...more
On a little Trollope kick, because I can.

Great book. Like in "Castle Richmond," the characters were harder to love (or even like) than many other Trollope offerings. The main characters are either a little too easy to look down upon and/or even despise, or they aren't developed enough to fall in love with. For instance, I would have loved to love Theodore & Cecilia Burton more...but there wasn't enough of them. What there was, was truly delightful. In fact, in Theodore, I discovered a new k
Linda Pressman
Since I'm currently making my way through all the Trollope books, I have a lot to compare the Claverings too and I think it stands up well in the overall scheme of Trollopes world.

Trollope writes a masterly book about small plots - this one is about Harry Clavering and his choice between two loves - and then Trollope proceeds to dissect and dissect (or his characters do) the situations and characteristics of the other characters until the reader is sure that no stone has been left unturned. Thi
Anthony Trollope hasn't let me down yet. I loved this!

The novel opens in the gardens of Clavering Park where we meet Julia Brabazon and Harry Clavering. They love each other but Julia has chosen to jilt Harry because between them they do not have any money. She has engaged herself to Lord Ongar to whom she was introduced by Sir Hugh Clavering, the eleventh baronet, her sister Hermione's husband. Lord Ongar has sixty thousand pounds a year whereas Harry Clavering is only the son of a rector. Alth
Christina Dudley
Rounding up from 3.5 stars. A young man finds himself abandoned by his first love because she chooses to marry for money and rank. He finds comfort, naturally, but after engaging himself to Florence Burton, he finds his first love suddenly widowed and available. In our day and age, this would be a short story: Harry would dump the second girl because he thinks he still loves Girl #1, and everyone would say--whew--good thing he figured it out before marrying Florence! But in Trollope's day, every ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Miele Rodas
When in need of comfort, one need look no further than Trollope, of course, so I also had another go at The Claverings (1864) in which Harry Clavering wavers between two lovers--one rich and lovely, the other poor and virtuous--and weathers the storm successfully despite dipping pretty low at times. Oh, and he's rewarded with fortune, too, in the end, of course. Told in such terms, this kind of plot seems awfully silly, but with Trollope, it's all in the psychological detail--the description of ...more
Angela Sorby
Trollope at his best, although that, in my opinion, is Trollope most of the time!
Nick Park
Nice novel by Trollope. After reading a book about war, suicide & carnage I like to turn to Trollope. It's like sitting beside a river - nice & pleasant, but nothing much happens.

At one point a character makes a bit of a fuss about how life has changed with the increase of letter writing since the invention of 'the penny post' - this could be one of the first instances of product placement in literature. Trollope was a high official in the Post Office (he actually invented the pillar box
Excellent book. Just a romance, it is not. So much more. As the book covers says it is about "a young man of ability and charm, who finds himself divided btwn 2 women, 2 careers, and 2 social classes." Here is an excerpt that I as a bridge player especially appreciates:

But when she saw cards thrown away as he had held in his hand, she encountered that sort of suffering which a good player feels when he sits behind the chair of one who plays up to his adversary's trump, and makes no tricks of hi
What an absolute delight this novel is. Characterisation is so deep, and totally consistent. Far too many fine characters to enumerate, but among the best were the hapless Boodles and the tragic Hermy. Minor players both, but that doesn't hold Trollope back. I love the way that he is unsparing of weakness - the 'hero' is nothing of the sort after the author has showed us his every thought. But through all the rigorous analysis of behaviour, what shines through is that Trollope loved people. And ...more
I admit that I got halfway through this book and skimmed the rest of it, because the Comic Foreign Villains were just too much for me to tolerate, most of the female characters were rather wet, and the vacillations of the hero (or rather, anti-hero, because his flaws kept tending to outweigh his virtues) were starting to give me heartburn. Not one of Trollope's best, in my opinion.
This is my favorite work by Trollope - in fact, one of my favorite novels, I think. His heroine, Lady Julia, while repentant, is also a strong character in her own right. She may not win in the end, but she makes her exit on her own terms, as she has operated through the whole book. Ignore the protagonist - it's Lady Julia who has the most fascinating journey in this book.
A typical Trollope plot: Boy loves girl, girl marries someone else, boy becomes engaged to someone else, first girl (now a widow) returns and tries to renew matters with boy. What should boy do? Michael Sadleir thinks The Claverings is very good Trollope; I think it is so-so Trollope.
Whenever I read Trollope, I inevitably end up muttering, "My! How he knew the human heart!" While some of the scenes are a bit too melodramatic for modern sensibilities, the timelessness of his themes never fail to captivate me.
Bob Mitchell
I have enjoyed several of Trollope's novels. At their best they offer what seem to me to be perfectly realized characters and a vivid portrayal of Victorian life. Having said that, this seems like one of his lesser efforts.
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Exploring Anthony...: The Claverings 1 3 Dec 17, 2013 10:16AM  
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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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“As for reading, I doubt whether she did much better by the sea-side than she had done in the town. Men and women say that they will read, and think so—those, I mean, who have acquired no habit of reading—believing the work to be, of all works, the easiest. It may be work, they think, but of all works it must be the easiest of achievement. Given the absolute faculty of reading, the task of going through the pages of a book must be, of all tasks, the most certainly within the grasp of the man or woman who attempts it. Alas! no; if the habit be not there, of all tasks it is the most difficult.” 4 likes
“But women can bear anything better than desertion. Cruelty is bad, but neglect is worse than cruelty, and desertion worse even than neglect.” 2 likes
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