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The Small House at Allington (Chronicles of Barsetshire #5)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  1,721 ratings  ·  126 reviews
The Small House at Allington is the fifth book in Anthony Trollope's Barchester series. As with all of Trollope, it is beautifully written and draws the reader into its many interwoven tales.

Former Prime Minister John Major declared this particular novel to be his favourite book of all time, and in doing so, he was joining the good company of the countless Trollope fans wh

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Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1864)
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Sherwood Smith
One of the most maddening books I've ever read.

I thoroughly enjoy Trollope . . . except when he's on his hobby-horse about women who dared to love the wrong fellow being forever afterward spoiled goods, and who should not taint another good man.

The heroine of this book is one of the most annoying EVER as she rides this hobbyhorse to death. And if Trollope hadn't been such a good writer, I never would have finished the thing.

So . . . A for Trollope's usual vivid writing and scene setting, and F f...more
K.
Ah, me. This is a most lovely series for lovers of English pastoral life and students of human nature. I'm almost done with "The Last Chronicle of Barset" (the sixth and final of the series), just haven't had time to put in a review of this one, the fifth, yet.

This book was the first in the series in which I found myself wondering a couple of times if I liked it as well as the rest. I found the character of Lily Dale maddening at times. I completely sympathized with her creator, who, after comp...more
Hilary
Although the heroine Lily Dale, who cannot see the flowers beneath her feet, deserves the biggest trout-slap of all time, this is a wonderfully warm and charming novel, that I thoroughly recommend to anyone who loves 19th c novels, and to anyone who hasn't yet tried one.
Justin Evans
Yet another in the long line of novels where I prefer the down to earth, solid, dependable woman to the charming, flirty, romantic woman; if Trollope's autobiography is to be believed, he agrees with me: Bell, not Lily! C'mon people! Bell's the one who recognizes that "everything that is, is wrong." Adorno in a Victorian novel? She might be my dream girl.
Otherwise, this is the second best of the Barchester novels so far. If it hadn't been written as the generic multi-volume monster, it might ev...more
Rick Boyer
"The Small House at Allington" is the fifth volume of the six-part "Chronicles of Barsetshire," and, in my opinion, it may just be the best book of the whole series. In this novel, Trollope presents us with several characters who are both likable and noble in some ways... and also flawed and reprehensible in other ways. In other words, these characters are very much human... and the book examines how the consequences of selfishness, shortsightedness, pride, and immaturity can follow us for a lif...more
Sunday
Anyone who doesn't like Anthony Trollope, and even more specifically "Small House at Allington", can stuff themselves into a rocket and shoot themselves into a horrific black hole where the Devil and his legions wait to greet you.

Anthony Trollope is the master of characterization, above all. You know his characters so thoroughly, it's a little bit like reading a literary version of The Ring. There they are, in your living room, crawling out of your book with all of this pond scum. Anthony Trollo...more
Jen
I loved this book. Can't believe I had never heard of Trollope before.

It took me a long time to put my finger on what it was that drew me in so much about his stories, and in the end I think one scholar put it best when they said that Trollope views his characters very neutrally. He paints their qualities and their faults with the same brush, and while he might say "Oh, Johnny!" at them, his narrator doesn't judge them without also pointing out other possible outcomes. And Trollope himself didn'...more
Roy Kenagy
Finished Small House tonight. Undoubtedly my favorite of the Bartsetshire novels so far (#5) - one more left to read. The characters are unusually human, with delightful foibles. And in a refreshing departure from the previous volumes, the three main characters, John Eames, Adolphus Crosbie, and Lily Dale, do not experience happily-ever-after resolutions tied up neatly at the end. Instead they get their just deserts. The de rigueur prize for marital bliss is awarded to my nomination for best sup...more
Megan
I was hoping for another happy ending, but I still loved the story. Oh wait, Lily Dale annoyed me and so did John Eames. Adolphus Crosbie got what he deserved.
Antonio Nunez
Trollope has been one of the better discoveries of my middle age. So far I've read the standalone "The Way We Live Now" as well as the first five novels of the Barchester Chronicles. Of these I can't make up my mind between "Barchester Towers" and "The Small House at Allington". I think they are both excellent in their plotting, characters, dialogues and witty asides. I was unimpressed by "Doctor Thorne" (although the characters are capital) and did enjoy "The Warden" more than I'd expected from...more
Kirsti
"A sermon is not to tell you what you are, but what you'd like to be, and a novel should tell you not what you are to get, but what you'd like to get." --Lily Dale

This was a fun book for a long winter. (Before this, I tried to read East of Eden, but I don't think there will ever be a long enough winter for me to finish that one.)

I hadn't realized that this is not only part of the Barsetshire series, but it's also the first in the Palliser series. I've read a couple of books in each of these seri...more
Lawrence
The Small House at Allington is a marvelous and quite serious book. It is structurally interesting and protrays characters who change in well-described radical ways. As to structure, the novel is two stories told one after the other and not simultaneously. In this respect, the first half of the book is taken up with the complexities of Mr. Crosbie's "relationship" to Lily Dale and the second half to the single-minded relationship of John Eames to Lily Dale. Essentially, Mr. Crosbie's story ends...more
Brendan Hodge
Trollope's writing continues deft in this fifth of the Barchester novels, but though the prose is enjoyable as always I found the book less so than the others because it introduces by far his most frustrating main character, Lily Dale. For the latter half of the book one simply wanted to shake the main character, and although this novel includes satisfying resolutions for characters from prior novels, and some enjoyable side characters, by the end it was hard for me to get past my frustrations w...more
Janet Gardner
Trollope is one of those classic writers I never read (in part because he wrote bloody doorstops of novels--47 of them, not a one of them fewer than 500 pages!--and I’m a slow reader). But a year or so ago a lovely old gentleman I met on a plane was smiling over his copy of Barchester Towers and told me he was just discovering Trollope and finding him “utterly charming.” So I picked this one up at the library book sale, and indeed, it was charming--in that rambling, slow-moving, dancing-endlessl...more
Jessica
The Small House at Allington did much to restore my faith in Trollope, which I admit was wavering a bit after Doctor Thorne and not quite steady even after Framley Parsonage. It is a brilliant book, though like most brilliant things, not always entirely comfortable.

It has the largest cast of characters yet, including a number of memorable characters. As Trollope writes of the hero, "that part in the drama will be cut up, as it were, into fragments. Whatever of the magnificent may be produced wi...more
Al
I never thought I would see the day that I rated anything by Trollope less than four stars, but this is the day. This book (SMA) has all Trollope's usual strengths--human interest, period mood, excellent character analysis, smooth style, and more. Unfortunately, SMA also has two shortcomings I've not noticed in Trollope's other work. While Trollope's plots are never complex, the plot in SMA is unusually thin, particularly in the early going.
Second, at least for me, the Lily Dale character --...more
Shawna
I actually listened to this one, so I guess that's cheating... But anyways, I really liked it. I'm not sure if I would have liked it as much if I'd read it in book form. It was a leisurely read for sure. I liked the story; there was a good amount of justice (which was great), and it was a pretty wholesome read. I mean, it was written in the 1800's, so maybe that's a given. I do think that one of the characters was a little unrealistic in her character traits. I don't want to spoil anything, so r...more
Christy
The Small House at Allington was the third Trollope novel I read, after Barchester Towers and The Warden. The genre of Small House was different than these books, but the tone was the same.
The character development was excellent in every character except the heroine, Lily Dale. I can't help hoping the ending was a cliffhanger. As usual, Trollope delights us with a range of lively characters. My personal favorite was Lord de Guest, a jovial old earl. He had the best quote in the book: "The man...more
Janice
This reads like a reworking of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility," with overlapping characters, plot points, and themes. Trollope makes some important changes though, that don't work, in my opinion, mostly because they imply that Trollope does not share some values that Austen's story embodies for me.





**Spoilers below, for both ""Sense and Sensibility" and "Small House"*****




One change that was interesting, but not necessarily enjoyable, was increased attention paid to the Willoughby character....more
Melissa
The summary of this novel, which I read first, gave away a surprising amount of the story. In all honesty I think Trollope’s novels are less about the plot than they are about the social interaction and moral development of the characters, so it didn’t really bother me.

"Engaged to the ambitious and self-serving Adolphus Crosbie, Lily Dale is devastated when he jilts her for the aristocratic Lady Alexandrina. Although crushed by his faithlessness, Lily still believes she is bound to her unworthy...more
Ricardo Moedano
As Trollope himself stated in chapter 59 (that is, one before last): "I feel that I have been in fault in giving such prominence to a hobbledehoy, and that I should have told my story better had I brought Mr Crosbie more conspicuously forward on my canvas". I totally agree. Moreover, what from the outset marred this volume for me, a Trollope zealot, were the incidents at, or concerned with, Burton Crescent and its denizens. So, if ever vouchsafed a ride in a time machine, I shall go back to the...more
Divina
Lilly Dale! What a case. This book is much less predictable (in the area of romance) than the earlier titles in this Trollope series. I've got a crush on John Eames. Lilly you are nuts!
JodiP
I very much enjoyed this addition to the Barchester chronicles. Some of the others in the series have been a bit flat, but these characters were much more alive and engaging. Of course I thought Lily was rather an idiot for continuing to love that shit heel Crosbie, but a I also liked the fact she just doesn't feel into John Eames'arms. Rather she does stay true to herself and belief, however flawed I may beleive them to be.

And who couldn't love Eames and his coming out of his hobbledehood? The...more
Jennifer
Trollope excels at flawed characters. Crosbie -unfaithful, self-serving, and dishonest with himself- was by far the most interesting character in the book (and in the Barsetshire series to date). Lily Dale, jilted but faithful, was a little too sweet and cloying, though she was the heroine. And John Eames was a nice counterpoint to Crosbie, of course, but a little dull. So, a strange book in that I liked reading about the 'villain' more than the heroes!

Unlike the 1st 4 books the series, there a...more
Marianne
I listened to this as an audiobook. Great story, but like many of his books, I found the female main characters not quite believable; they are just too high-minded. This seems to be how "good" female characters were written at this time, though, so I let it pass. Lily Dale's insistence that her jilting has left her a widow as surely as her mother is one strikes me as histrionic. I like her sister Belle better because she comes across as more down-to-earth.

John Eames is a very likeable character...more
Megan
Dales are known for legendary stubbornness, and the two Dale girls at the Small House at Allington are no exception: both will remain firm to the goal of marrying only for love. These personal decisions have some major ramifications for their family.

The quietest part of the story, and the part I enjoyed the most, belongs to Bell, the more logical of the two sisters, who must keep turning down the proposals of her cousin Bernard. Bernard, under the direction of the most stubborn Dale of them all...more
Susan
Loved it! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and found it moved much more quickly for me than the previous books in the Barsetshire series. I've enjoyed them all, but this one seemed much more engaging - I think it was the pacing and movement between all of the story lines, between the Small House and the Dale ladies and the Squire on one hand, and the "racier" and more far-flung adventures of Johnny Eames and Adolphus Crosbie on the other. Although Trollope's charming, funny characters and gentle...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in June 1998.

This was the most popular of Trollope's Barsetshire novels at the time when it was written, though critical opinion would not generally give it so high a position today. The romance between the main characters really caught the public imagination when the novel was published in serial form, though subsequent commentators have seen it as rather sentimentalised.

The book really centres around three people, though Trollope emphasises (as part of the...more
Jonathan
It's fairly well known that this was former British P.M. John Major's fav Trollope novel. It's been less liked by others. Frederic Harrison (author of Studies in Early Victorian Literature), who was an admirer and defender of Trollope at a time when the novelist had fallen out of favour with the public, wrote in 1906: "I confess that I care for the Allington tale the least of the six ... There is really no plot, no story, no conclusion at all. ... Everyone is doomed to disappointment and failure...more
Hazel
I'm afraid I've overdosed on Trollope, because I didn't enjoy this half as much as I should have. I only finished Framley Parsonage a few weeks ago , and in my new Kindle-compulsion I went almost straight into this story of the Dale girls and their neighbours and lovers. Although the tale began well enough, for the first time since I began the Barsetshire Chronicles, Trollope's verbosity became tedious rather than charming. And when he described for the nth time how the villain was suffering aft...more
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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
More about Anthony Trollope...
Barchester Towers (Barchester Chronicles #2) The Way We Live Now The Warden Phineas Finn (Palliser, #2) Can You Forgive Her? (Palliser, #1)

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