David's Reviews > Cousin Henry

Cousin Henry by Anthony Trollope
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May 01, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: trollope
Read in January, 1989

Indefer Jones, childless, is torn between his love of primogeniture (which suggests that he leave his property to his nephew Henry) and his love for his niece, Isabelle, Henry's cousin. Ideally, this dilemma could be resolved by the marriage of Henry and Isabelle, but Henry's escutcheon is blotted, not horribly so, but too much so for Isabelle.

After wavering several times on his will, Indefer dies. Henry finds Indefer's final will, which leaves everything to Isabelle. Too greedy to reveal it, but not dishonest enough to destroy it, Henry returns it to where Indefer had left it, where it lies hidden so that Indefer's penultimate will, with Henry as legatee, is thought to be the final one.

But as happens to the protagonist in "The Cask of Amontillado," Henry's knowledge of the location of the true last will leads him into dark psychological realms.

Of course, questions about a will lead invariably to lawyers, and as I have said more than once in my reviews here, Trollope's lawyers are always enjoyable.

Trollope set this novel in Wales, where his post office duties had taken him years earlier. Aside from the names of people and places, though, it might as well be England.
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