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Dr. Thorne (Chronicles of Barsetshire #3)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,928 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
An alternate cover edition for this ISBN can be found here.

'You must give up this mad idea, Frank ... there is but one course left open to you. You MUST marry money'

Doctor Thorne, considered by Trollope to be the best of his works, is a telling examination of the relationship between money and morality.

It recounts the story of the son of a bankrupt landowner, Frank Gres
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 592 pages
Published April 25th 1991 by Penguin Books (first published 1858)
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Petra X
Mar 06, 2016 Petra X rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Update For you lovers of costume dramas, the BBC dramatisation of Dr. Thorne started tonight, March 6th. It will definitely be enjoyable schlock because it's written by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame. Whether or not Fellowes can bring out Trollope's attitudes towards snobbery and convention rather than morality being important, I don't know. The BBC certainly failed with The Ladies' Paradise turning it into a silly romance about a poor pretty girl and skipping entirely Zola's social comme ...more
Oct 31, 2012 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Thorne kept me company during a hurricane. I don't really understand how anyone could possibly not love Anthony Trollope. This 624 page novel went incredibly fast. Trollope is more courteous, more solicitous, gentler and kinder to his readers than any other author I know. I almost thought he might even pour my tea. The story, that of a romance complicated by societal predjudice, has been told by many authors, in many times and places. But the way he tells the tale is just incomparable.
For God sakes, Frank must marry money!!!! Trollope reiterates this necessity over and over again in this third novel in Barchester Chronicles series. This is series of six novels that keep getting longer and longer with each book. At the end of Doctor Thorne and we are left exactly in the middle of this great series which is reputed to be one of Trollope’s finest work.

This volume in the series steers away from much of the church politics and intrigue that are involved in the first two books, Th
Feb 25, 2008 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: trollope
I've read 99 percent of the trollopes, even the obscure ones, and this one is my absolute favorite. It has all the best fantasy romance elements (a wisecracking unmarried heiress who finds true love, a lovely young couple who are kept apart by poverty — until she turns out to secretly be the daughter of a very wealthy person) and more. It's got all the best of Trollope and allows you to indulge your fantasy that maybe someday everything will work out in your own life...
I'm curious to know if any
Dec 09, 2013 Trisha rated it really liked it
It’s hard to know why I am such a Trollope fan since many of his characters – especially the females – are so hard to relate to. Take the insipid and maddeningly passive Mary Thorne, the novel’s heroine, who simply accepts every cruel twist of fate that keeps her from marrying the man she loves even though he loves her in return (but must look elsewhere for a bride since he must marry for money in order to save the family estate.) You’d think a plot like this would be enough for me to abandon th ...more
Jul 15, 2009 Spiros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of "Arrested Development"
Shelves: citylights
The plot is like taking a familiar train ride: one knows where one is going to wind up, and one knows where all the stops are going to be. The pleasure is in watching the scenery (i.e., the characters) go by. Trollope leaves out the Clergy in this one (Mr. Oriel might as well be a gentleman of independant means, for all his rectorship intrudes upon the story), concentrating on the aristocracy, the gentry, and, most entertainingly, on the lawyers. Outside of Dickens, I haven't enjoyed description ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it
Trollope's Dr. Thorne is the third of the Chronicles of Barsetshire. In this novel we leave the pulpit politics of the first two of the chronicles and find ourselves in the countryside where Dr. Thorne, the local doctor, is raising his niece Mary who has a somewhat secret past. Mary is the love of the son of the area's Squire, who finds himself financially embarrassed, and thus hoping his son Frank will marry for money. Indeed, the mantra "you must marry for money" could be the sub-title of this ...more
Wonderful! I am so in love with this series! I said in my "Barchester Towers" review that one of the things I love about Trollope is his ability to create real humans with real feelings and well-rounded personalities. He doesn't really create any black or white characters. They all make good choices and mistakes, do great things at stupid, and we're given to understand their movtives and feelings more than we ever really are in other books.

This book is about Dr. Thorne, a country doctor, but th
Dana Loo
Aug 19, 2015 Dana Loo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un romanzo gradevolissimo, uno stile narrativo molto fluido e personale che ti fa sentire coinvolta nella storia, grazie all'autore che ama intervenire e dire la sua con arguzia ed ironia, mai con irriverenza. Ottima la caratterizzazione dei personaggi...
Carol Apple
Apr 06, 2016 Carol Apple rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title character of Doctor Thorne is a humble country doctor, but the author/narrator tells us: "Those who don't approve of a middle-aged country doctor as a hero, may take the heir of Greshamsbury in his place, and call the book, if it so please them, 'The loves and adventures of Francis Newbold Gresham the younger.'” Dr. Thomas Thorne is descended from an old and respected family and is a distant relation of the Thornes of Ullathorne, a highly respected family in the region. However, his pa ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This is yet another very enjoyable installment of the Barsetshire Chronicles. There are a few minor characters from previous novels: Drs. Fillgrave and Rerechild; and even attorneys from his The Way We Live Now in the firm of Slow and Bideawhile.

Trollope has not the meanness of sarcasm, rather his style is one of tongue-in-cheek.
Frank had become legally of age, legally a man, when he was twenty-one. Nature, it seems, had postponed the ceremony till he was twenty-two. Nature often does postpone
Dillwynia Peter
Apr 19, 2016 Dillwynia Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed the 1st two of the Barchester novels, so I looked forward to this the 3rd. In many ways it is very different from his 1st two: the comic characters are greatly reduced, and the message & themes are much sharper and poignant.
Chiefly we are looking at marriage and how it best improves a couple. If the man marries for money, it is to improve the estate; if that woman is of lower state, it is no bother, so long as she has wealth. Marry for love, and you are doomed for all eternity
I found this book to be thoroughly amusing. The narrator is priceless: it is so consistently partial to all and every character that he becomes rather impartial. Thus, even the most hipocritical characters are given an excuse for their conduct and prejudice so that you can't help but see the world through their own eyes. But what I loved the most was the way the characters would lie to themselves (just like real people do) and believe they were saying something in absolute honesty, although they ...more
Here, the focus shifts away from the city of Barchester and its clergymen, to a more rural setting and a (mostly) new set of characters. The hero, Doctor Thomas Thorne, has a ward, Mary, who is secretly the illegitimate child of his dead brother (no, this isn't a spoiler, Trollope isn't interested in keeping secrets from the reader); Mary is being courted by Frank Gresham, heir to Squire Gresham, who is badly in need of money and needs Frank to marry for the wealth Mary doesn't have.

The plot is
I meant to read this after I finished Barchester Towers! It's coming on ITV soon, so I thought I'd read it before the broadcast - it starts on 6 March, the first of a three-part adaptation!

3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars - an enjoyable but undemanding read and very pleasant if a bit too drawn out - I could see where the plot was going very early in the book.
Tammy Frederici
Mar 05, 2016 Tammy Frederici rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
My first Trollope novel out of a possible 57 choices. Where have I been!? Thank you to my Goodreads friend for introducing me. I throughly enjoyed the detailed character development, drama, humor and all the wonderful daily interactions which make for a great Victorian story. Halfway in, I realized this is book #3 of a series of six! Should I go backwards or onto book #4? The writing style is much like Austen or Eliot, which I also enjoy.
Dec 20, 2015 Elinor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this third of the six Barchester Chronicles, Anthony Trollope once again creates a cast of unforgettable characters. That must be why Julian Fellowes (who scripted Downton Abbey) is working on a three-part television drama based on this particular book. The young man who MUST marry money to save his family estate is in love with a penniless girl -- and such are the strictures of the class society, both young people doubt whether their love can, or should, withstand the pressure. Things are fu ...more
Perry Whitford
Aug 11, 2015 Perry Whitford rated it liked it
Dr. Thorne and his niece are friendly with the Gresham's of Greshambury, but all that is about to change. Despite being the foremost family of commoners in the region, the Gresham's are badly in debt, so son and heir Frank Gresham must marry money to save the estate. When he falls in love with Mary, the Thorne's are summarily dismissed.

Mary doesn't know who her parents were as her uncle decided to keep it from her that she was born a bastard. Frank's family are above her rank in any case, which
Jan 29, 2016 Myles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: la-sir, literary, kindle, c19th
Dr. Thorne is a distant cousin to the Thornes of Ullathorne, minor characters in Barchester Towers, who moved to Greshamsbury years before after his bristling pride and steadfast devotion to his dissipated, and now dead, brother burned all of his bridges in Barchester. He has a small practice and gives all of his affection to his young niece, Mary. His friendship with the old squire leads to Mary growing up with the squire's grandchildren and having all the benefits of a genteel education.

Charmaine Anderson

This is my second Anthony Trollop (The Warden). He has written 57 novels, so they could keep me busy for a very long time. I like his language and writing style and I dearly love old English drama. I do have one objection to his writing, which I will talk about later. This one was published in 1858. After reading several Novels by George Elliot and Vilette by Charlotte Bronte, who were both writing at the same time as Anthony Trollop, I see a common element that must have been popular at the tim
Randolph Carter
Anthony Trollope's third installment in the Barchester Chronicles. A book of birth, wealth, titles, and class distinctions. Trollope skewers all three while making Dr. Thorne and his bastard strong willed niece Mary, and Mrs Dunstable, the only ones to see the absurdity of these Victorian British mores and attempt to rise above them. Even they ultimately succumb to the pressures of peer and society and fall in line.

All the difficulties are ultimately resolved by an unlikely chain of events and f
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
This is a novel that lulls you into a state of complete and blissful immersion in Trollope's fascinating borough of Barsetshire. This is the story of a country doctor, the eponymous Doctor Thorne, and his lovely niece, Mary Thorne, and of their interactions with the landed 'Old World' gentry and the nouveau riche. While this is certainly a novel about romance, it is also a hard and critical social commentary directed at class differences and manners. This novel explores the old adage that "money ...more
Nov 24, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
Dr. Thorne is about one-third too long. The joint story of Doctor Thorne and his niece, Mary Thorne, it gets off to a lively start with an engaging heroine, hits the trials and tribulations of her love life, and then stalls.

Mary Thorne is introduced at the top of the world, teasing her best friend, enjoying wordplay, and being as likeable a heroine as anyone could wish. Her difficulties start when she falls in love with wealthy heir to Gresham, Frank, and, worse, he falls in love with her, causi
The third in the series of six 'Barchester' novels by Anthony Trollope, this is in many ways the most Austen-esque to date. The story of Dr Thorne and his niece Mary picks up the perennial Austen theme, the relationships of love, money and social status.

We meet again several characters from the previous two novels: Dr Thorne is a relation of the Thornes of Ullathorne, whom we met in 'Barchester Towers', and a host of other minor characters from the earlier books are reintroduced as the story pr
Aug 08, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This is the third of Trollope's Barchester series. The plot is intricate without being particularly suspenseful or interesting (issues of inheritance and marriage), but the book redeems itself through great characters and vignettes of society. Knowing that Trollope's non-writing job was primarily in the post office, I particularly relish his discussion of how it might take more than a week for a letter to reach a recipient residing in the same community as the sender. Miss Dunstable, the young-i ...more
Dec 06, 2010 Hazel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Austen/Gaskell/Dickens
A winter cold and a heavy work schedule make it impossible for me to give this book its due right now. Suffice it to say Trollope's characters are as well-rounded as ever, flawed and human. Dr Thorne is the kind of senior colleague I'd have liked for a trainer.

I knew it had to have a happy ending, for this story is more about love than politics or religion, but he wove the tale so well that I was on tenterhooks to make sure they would live happily-ever-after. At the same time, he doesn't pull t
Aug 01, 2008 Cecily rated it it was amazing
The 3rd Barchester novel, based in Greshamsbury, rather than Barchester. The plot is rather too predictable from quite early on. It has another feisty heroine (Mary Thorne), as well as the unconventional Miss Dunstable, contrasted with and the grand and conventional de Courcys. Dr Thorne is explicitly the hero (as stated in one of Trollope's asides to his readers), but although he acts selflessly, he does not always act well, especially re his divided financial loyalties re Squire Gresham and Si ...more
Jeanne Mixon
Apr 06, 2015 Jeanne Mixon rated it it was ok
I thought this book was a complete mess from beginning to end. The characters behave almost randomly. Why is Frank praised for horsewhipping Moffat for calling off a marriage to Augustus that neither one wanted? She wasn't hurt or her reputation damaged or in any way even particularly inconvenienced but everyone talks about what a great thing it was that Frank brutally beat him. I know -- different times and it is an interesting historical/sociological note, but I didn't get it. And keeping the ...more
Derek Davis
Mar 12, 2015 Derek Davis rated it it was amazing
I've read four of Trollope's Barsetshire novels, well out of order. "Dr. Thorne" is chronologically the third and my favorite so far. For one thing, it does not deal with the absurd hierarchical complexities of the Anglican church. For a second, Trollope keeps his poorly executed political commentary to a minimum. Last but best, the heroine and true center of the book, Mary Thorne, is a charming yet tough-as-nails young woman who is willing to (and does) defy anyone and everyone, friend or foe, ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Janice rated it liked it
While Trollope is not the reformer Dickens is, as I read this, the third of the "Barchester" series of novels, it was hard to avoid seeing him as a critic of his times in his own way. There is much discussion in this novel about "blood": noble blood, family blood, illegitimacy, etc. And while overall those with "good" bloodlines tend to be the heroes and heroines, and tend to end up well, I noticed that the most adamant adherents of the value of "blood" tend to be played for comic effect, or end ...more
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Victorians!: Doctor Thorne: Book I 3 15 May 04, 2015 07:31AM  
Exploring Anthony...: Doctor Thorne 2 15 Feb 17, 2014 04:37AM  
  • The History of Henry Esmond, Esq.
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  • Miss Marjoribanks (Chronicles of Carlingford, #5)
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  • Two on a Tower
  • Treasure Island and The Ebb-Tide
  • Poor Miss Finch
  • The Doctor's Wife
  • New Grub Street
  • Miss Bunting
  • Ruth
  • The Egoist
  • The Five Orange Pips and Other Cases
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...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of Barsetshire (6 books)
  • The Warden
  • Barchester Towers (Chronicles of Barsetshire #2)
  • Framley Parsonage (Chronicles of Barsetshire #4)
  • The Small House at Allington (Chronicles of Barsetshire #5)
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset (Chronicles of Barsetshire #6)

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“Conduct! Is conduct everything? One may conduct oneself excellently, and yet break one's heart.” 8 likes
“Of course, Lady Arabella could not suckle the young heir herself. Ladies Arabella never can. They are gifted with the powers of being mothers, but not nursing mothers. Nature gives them bosoms for show, but not for use. So Lady Arabella had a wet-nurse.” 3 likes
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