Louis Trevelyan seems the most fortunate of mid-Victorian gentlemen: young, rich, well-educated, handsome, and with a beautiful wife. But his life is ruined by ungrounded jealousy. In the later mad scenes, in which the unlucky hero has been utterly consumed by an obsession with his wife's imaginary infidelity, Trollope's writing reaches a Shakespearian pitch unmatched anywhere else in his vast fictional output. In the sub-plot dealing with the marriages of his English and American heroines, Trollope engages head-on the issue of women's rights. And in the person of Miss Jemima Stanbury, the virtuous dragon of Exeter Cathedral Close, Trollope created one of his most notable comic characters.
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