Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ralph The Heir” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Ralph The Heir
Anthony Trollope
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ralph The Heir

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  239 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
This novel is published under the auspices of the Trollope Society.
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published December 31st 1996 by Ashgate Publishing (first published July 1871)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ralph The Heir, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ralph The Heir

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Elizabeth (Alaska)
There is, as the title suggests, Ralph the Heir. There is also Ralph who is Not the Heir, son of Squire Gregory who is Newton of Newton. To round out this group is Pastor Gregory, Ralph the Heir's brother, who is second in line and so is unlikely to become the heir, but could become the heir should something happen to Ralph the Heir. While I'm on names, let's not forget one of the main characters is a Mr. Neefit, a breeches-maker, and a minor character is Mr. Spicer, the mustard maker.

As with ma
Jun 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who seek accuracy in descriptions of human relations.
Shelves: novels, trollope
I absolutely loved this novel about a very hesitant young man. If Wodehouse's character Bertie Wooster were three-dimensional instead of the two-dimensional one Wodehouse intended him to be, he would be Ralph.
Trollope virtually disowned this book. He said he thought it was very bad. I think it's one of the most sympathetic portraits of a pampered fool ever written.
I read this in a facsimile edition published by Dover Books. It had the old nineteenth century engravings, which, typically, didn't g
Austen to Zafón
Jan 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
Apparently Trollope thought this was his worst novel. He said that he thought it almost "justified that dictum that a novelist after fifty should not write love-stories." Hmm. Well, I never did think authors were the best assessors of their own work. I thoroughly enjoyed it myself. Politics, love, and a great wit on the author's part made this a story I could hardly wait to get back to. It was originally serialized in a magazine, so it has that breathless pace that many of Dickens's novels did, ...more
I don't think I agree with Trollope's assessment of this as one of his worst novels, but it's definitely not in the top ranks. On the plus side, there's some interest in the political plot (which echoes Trollope's own experience of running unsuccessfully for Parliament), and there are several good character studies; on the minus side, the plot threads never seem to hang together well, and the love stories are frankly uninteresting.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ricardo Moedano
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Moggs the Hero

Moggs, Purity and the Rights of Labour — this motto was painted on the board above the entrance of the inn where Ontario Moggs sets up his residence for the election period in the borough of Percycross. While the novel revolves around Ralph Newton, the title character, whose fancy shifts quite promptly from one lass to another in consonance with that of Phineas Finn, the background story of Ontario's political career and pursuit of Polly Neefit enchanted me too; nay, the whole roma
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1871, this is one of Trollope's later works and show his cynicism towards Victorian mores to be in full flower as he skewers British inheritance laws, the methods for getting elected to Parliament, and the British class system.

It's the story of two Ralph Newtons. One is a handsome dandy about town living off the prospects of his coming inheritance and the other a hard-working , worthy fellow, but unfortunately born on the wrong side of the blanket and, thus, ineligible to inherit.

Alyssa Nelson
This was tough reading right after Tess of the D’Urbervilles — it’s not the same kind of story, but it has the same slow feel and it was so long! With that said, however, it’s a decent story that I don’t at all regret spending time on, though I do think I might have gotten more out of it if I had something fun to read in between my last one and this one. Basically, this story explores the concepts behind inheritance, property, illegitimacy, and marriage, among others. Some concepts that I didn’t ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I see that Trollope didn't rate this book. That says something about his critical powers! I am a huge fan of his novels, and this is the most enjoyable ever. OK, the plot is fairly trivial, and the key issue of illegitimacy remote nowadays, but the characterization! One or two of the women are a bit thin, but Sir Thomas and the eponymous Ralph are beaetifully drawn. There is so much to spare even for a minor character like Mr Pabsby, with his 'soft, greasy voice - a voice made up of pretence, po ...more
Apr 01, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trollope
Entailed estates often figure in the plots of nineteenth century novels. (Who can forget the entail of the Bennetts' home on the loathsome Collins?) They crop up in several of Trollope's novels.

Here, Gregory Newton's estate is entailed upon his nephew, the Ralph of the title. Mr. Newton has an illegitimate son -- also named Ralph, I guess to keep readers on their toes -- whom he loves. For the benefit of those who never studied the Law of Property or haven't read many English novels, had Newton'
Not my favorite Trollope by a long shot, but I gradually got pulled in. I found it confusing that two characters have the same name: Ralph Newton. One is the nephew of the Squire of Newton Priory and his heir, and one is the Squire's illegitimate son and because of the entail can not inherit. Trollope does a good job of making it clear which Ralph he's talking about - as long as I was paying attention and didn't let my mind wander.

Learned two new words, although I'm not optimistic about working
Catherine Siemann
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorians
Trollope thought this was his worst novel, but I can't agree. (The character of Lily Dale, towards the end of the Barsetshire novels, frustrates me beyond belief, and thus any part of a book with her in it becomes his worst even if this rest of the book is terrific.) Sir Thomas Underwood is a marvellous character, as is Ontario Moggs, and the Percycross election is pretty fabulous. The love plots are somewhat by the numbers, but contain a number of young women who know their own minds and have a ...more
Sep 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trollope lovers
I was a little dismayed to read, after starting this book, that Trollope considered it his worst! But so far, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I'm starting to see character traits popping up again that I recognize from other books (surely there's more to describe about a young, working-class girl than that she's passionate about dancing?), but this is yet another wonderful exploration of the stubborn, loving, funny, idiosyncratic nature of human beings.
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a fun read ... a bit lugubrious at times, but it lived up to the quality of characterizations Trollope was so famous for creating!
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trollope lovers, good book lovers
Another wonderful Trollope. I've said it before, but the feeling has never yet lessened: how did Trollope manage to write about "normal, everyday life" and make it so good to read about?

The one thing that could fascinate, or infuriate, the modern reader about this book is the inheritance laws as they were then (in fact, until 1959!!!). I'll not bother to go into detail for time's sake as well as spoiler issues, but it was a really interesting set-up they had there.

The themes etc. may not be on
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good Trollope—not top-tier Trollope, thanks to a slight wooliness in its main characters, but the second half of the book does a wonderful job of sneaking around your expectations re: which lessons each character might learn.
Rebecca Lewitt
Interesting but a little repetitive

I enjoyed this book and the subject matter and heroes and heroines were certainly different than usual though quite likeable. Certainly worth the read, though he does wax a little too long in the middle, belaboring his point too much.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Newly beloved author

The more I read Trollope, the more I love him. He's witty, but has such a keen eye for real characters. Great read for brit lit fans.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread-ing
My first read of this book I remember only liking it, (3 stars) but with a reread I found it amazing. The more I reread Trollope's books, the more I think that is the way for me to truly appreciate his brilliance. Characters behave in ways that are unpredictable, yet completely in character. The "hero" of the book is a handsome, energetic young man who's behaviour is usually anything but heroic, yet to the end I felt sympathy for him. The female characters are all interesting and unique. No ster ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of Ralph (the heir) who almost sells his inheritance to his uncle so that his uncle's illegitimate son (also) Ralph can inherit the estate. Also of the Underwood family; Sir Thomas (Ralph's former guardian) who stands for parliament and his daughters and niece, who provide the romantic interests.

Well-constructed with storylines which weave in and out effortlessly, once you have got past the first few chapters in which everyone seems to be called either Ralph or Gregory. I enjoyed the M
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
In reading quite a bit of Trollope, I would rank this as somewhat in the middle. A decent story of love, suitors, societal rankings, and inheritances that appear so much in a Trollope novel. No spoilers - here the main character is a procrastinator and spender above his means, who hedges various marital chances against money, for lack of a better description.
In classic Trollopian fashion there is great dialogue and most works out in the end, with a perhaps a disappointment.
If you like Trollope
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 24th Trollope. Yes, the plots can be formulaic. Yes, you can tell which young man will wind up with which young lady right from the start. This one is darker than most. The pairings of the three main couples doesn't have the exhuberance of the mating of Frank Gresham and Mary Thorne in Doctor Thorne . There is a bit more cold-eyed practicality in the match-ups by all concerned.

There is also a chilling assessment of Sir Thomas Underwood's inability to start, much less complete, what he deems
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's easy to understand why Trollope himself was not pleased with this book: the storylines are disjointed, the title character unlikable and the women less spirited than the usual Trollopian heroines. The election chapters are fun to read (Trollope writing about his own experiences when he stood for Parliament?), but don't make up for some heavy going in the remaining chapters. This book can only be recommended for the true Trollope afficionado (I'm one of them), but the others beware.
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge Anthony Trollope book, but this one was less engaging than some others I have read. Maybe I am too old to have a lot of patience with keeping straight two Gregorys and three Ralphs in the same family. There was a lot of "Ralph the Heir", "Ralph who was not the heir" (illegitimate cousin), "Ralph who was now the heir", and so forth. I am always at home in his books and look forward to the next one. It grieves me not to give it five stars.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't get enough of Trollope. He writes such lovely stories, and this was full of twists and turns; I certainly didn't know how it was all going to play out. I enjoyed the happy ending given to all the characters.
Kalista Avery Nickole
rated it it was ok
Nov 20, 2017
rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2014
rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2008
Robert burke
rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Exploring Anthony...: Ralph the Heir 2 9 Apr 20, 2014 10:24AM  
  • Trollope
  • Phoebe Junior (Chronicles of Carlingford, #6)
  • The Pirate
  • Deerbrook
  • The History of Henry Esmond, Esq.
  • The Power House (Sir Edward Leithen, #1)
  • Tales of Mystery & the Macabre
  • Miss Bunting
  • A Murky Business
  • Sketches by Boz
  • The Celestial Railroad and Other Stories
  • Off On A Comet
  • Charles Dickens
  • The Semi-Attached Couple and the Semi-Detached House
  • Esther Waters
  • Une Page d'amour (Les Rougon-Macquart, #8)
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...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“The night was bright with stars, but there was no moon in the heavens, and the gloom of the ivy-coloured church tower was complete. But all the outlines of the place were so well known to him that he could trace them all in the dim light.” 2 likes
“They who know the agonies of an ambitious, indolent, doubting, self-accusing man,—of a man who has a skeleton in his cupboard as to which he can ask for sympathy from no one,—will understand what feelings were at work within the bosom of Sir Thomas when his Percycross friends left him alone in his chamber.” 1 likes
More quotes…