Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Castle Richmond” as Want to Read:
Castle Richmond
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Castle Richmond

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  485 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Two gentlemen seek Clara Desmond's hand, and each has a claim to Castle Richmond. Another story of love and law from Trollope, this time set in Ireland during the famine of the 1840's.
Paperback, 442 pages
Published November 3rd 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1860)
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 Castle Richmond, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Castle Richmond

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Castle Richmond, one of Trollope’s standalone novels, is the story of two families―the Fitzgeralds of Castle Richmond of the title and the Desmonds of Desmond Court, set in the backdrop of the Irish famine. The story opens with Owen Fizgerald, a cousin of the Castle Richmond Fitzgeralds, falling in love with young Clara Desmond, then only sixteen. She accepts his love but has to give him up, for her family, particularly her mother, sees Owen as an unsuitable match since Clara herself is penniles ...more
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.


"Castle Richmond" was written in 1861, long after Trollope had left Ireland. The characterization is weak, and the plot, although the author himself thought well of it, mechanical.

The value of the story is rather documentary than literary. It contains several graphic scenes descriptive of the great Irish famine. Trollope observed carefully, and on the whole impartially, though his powers of discrimination were not quite fine enough to make
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I read my Trollope from the volume Complete Works of Anthony Trollope. This one had a short introduction, which told me not to expect much in the way of characterization or story.
The best, indeed the only piece of real characterization in the book is the delineation of Abe Mollett. This unscrupulous blackmailer is put before us with real art, with something of the loving preoccupation of the hunter for his quarry. Trollope loved a rogue, and in his long portrait gallery there are several really
Alice Yoder
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A contemporary of Charles Dickens, this book by Anthony Trollope is a much more enjoyable read than any Dickens I've read. I highly recommend it.

Two cousins -- Owen and Herbert -- in love with Clara. Poor Clara in a horrible situation, brought on by her own mother, the Countess of Desmond. Throw in the Irish potato famine and bigamy (no, it doesn't include those mentioned above) and let the fun ensue!
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Published in 1860, Anthony Trollope’s novel Castle Richmond is set in Ireland in the year 1846, when the disastrous potato famine is at its worst. Castle Richmond, in Cork, is the ancestral home of the Fitzgerald family, including Lord and Lady Thomas Fitzgerald, their son Herbert, and their two daughters. Nearby at Desmond Court live the noble but impecunious and haughty Lady Desmond and her two children, Patrick and Clara. Nearby at Hap House lives Owen Fitzgerald, a cousin of Herbert and the ...more
First sentence: I wonder whether the novel-reading world — that part of it, at least, which may honour my pages — will be offended if I lay the plot of this story in Ireland! That there is a strong feeling against things Irish it is impossible to deny. Irish servants need not apply; Irish acquaintances are treated with limited confidence; Irish cousins are regarded as being decidedly dangerous; and Irish stories are not popular with the booksellers.

Premise/plot: Castle Richmond is set in Ireland
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This is pretty good, almost a 4 star. Set during the potato famine in Ireland, this is a character study by Trollope attached to an engaging tale with a happy ending , which I require these days. At my age I am not wasting time on unhappy endings.
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lady Clara Desmond (aged 16) falls for Owen Fitzgerald, a man to whom her widowed mother is also attracted. The match is forbidden as Owen is felt not to be sufficiently wealthy/grand for her. Owen takes this badly and leads a "wild" bachelor life. Clara gets to know his cousin Herbert and becomes engaged to him, but then Herbert loses everything and Clara's mother thinks again of Owen for her.

In places this is pretty depressing (blackmail, the Irish potato famine and so on), but thankfully the
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't my favorite Trollope, but it's still better than almost anybody else.

The backdrop is quite grim--the Irish potato famine--and it's one of those stories where you know what the main character needs to do and spend the whole book just wondering why she doesn't do it. But it's a good read nonetheless, and has a strong, independent heroine.
May 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
CASTLE RICHMOND. (1860). Anthony Trollope. **.
I am a big fan of Trollope’s novels. Unfortunately, this one didn’t make the cut. After several stabs at coming up with a synopsis, I gave up. What I can offer instead is a plot summary from the Anthony Trollope website: “Sit Thomas Fitzgerald, a wealthy landowner living at Castle Richmond, County Cork, married Mary Wainwright, whose former husband was believed to have died in Paris. There were three children, Herbert, Emmeline, and Mary. Nearby live
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another delightful Trollope. I really loved the trek into Ireland and what he did with portraying the great potato famine. In my Trollope reading so far I haven't seen him yet get into so much detail about the sordid reality of things--there was some pretty gruesome description of the sufferings of the starving Irish peasants. Not so much to give one nightmares, but definitely enough for a true look and some decent empathetic feelings. I would have to do some research to see how this was receive ...more
Monty Milne
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It starts off rather conventionally: young aristocrats, stately homes, conventional love story with conventional difficulties in the way....pleasant enough if you like that kind of thing, and though it's been done many times before, Trollope does it as well as most. But after the first couple of chapters you start to realise this novel is far more than that. The narrative is driven by a Mysterious Secret, and whether that secret is hidden or partially exposed, it causes chaos and upheaval.

Two t
Nov 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trollope
It would seem to be an unpromising subject for a novel to discuss the loves of English nobility in Ireland during the potato famine of the 1840s. Yet, despite a little unevenness at times, Anthony Trollope carries it off rather well. While he does not dwell at great detail on the famine, he shows us enough to realize that he was not wearing rose-colored glasses.

The main subject is Lady Clara Desmond who is loved by two cousins named Fitzgerald. One is the wealthy heir of Castle Richmond, the fut
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of love and poverty set in the time of the Potato famine of Ireland in the late 1800s. Clara is the poor daughter of a countess and is the object of the affections of two cousins, Herbert Fitzgerald, heir to the title castle, and Owen, the poor bachelor. Owen proposes to Clara and considers throughout the book as rightfully engaged to her. Clara's mother, the Countess of Desmond thinks it not a good match, due to Owen's lack of title and money, and also the fact that she herself is in lo ...more
Rowland Bismark
Sir Thomas Fitzgerald, a wealthy landowner living at Castle Richmond, County Cork, married Mary Wainwright, whose former husband was believed to have died in Paris. There were three children, Herbert, Emmeline and Mary. Nearby lived the Countess of Desmond, with her daughter Clara and her young son Patrick. Owen Fitzgerald, a relative of Sir Thomas, and his heir after Herbert, lived at Hap House not far away. Owen was in love with Lady Clara and considered himself engaged to her, but the Countes ...more
Philip Lane
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I would have included this on my favourite shelf if it were not for some plotting weaknesses. The characterisation is superb, once again Trollope makes his main characters totally believable, Clara, Herbert, Owen and in particular Countess Desmond. Their handling of affairs of the heart and marriage made complex by a disputed inheritance is intricate, delicate and delightful. What I found missing was a convincing explanation or preparation for the inheritance issues. I would have liked the novel ...more
Christina Dudley
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
Ooh, I really liked this one--the lives and loves of a few (middle- and upper-class) families in Ireland during the famine. Trollope's female ingenue characters may be only a little better than Dickens', but Trollope's more experienced women, especially those that border on being his villainesses, are wonderfully drawn. The Countess of Desmond is no exception, poor widowed mother pushing the ancient age of 40, who still dreams of love. Mildred-Pierce-like, she finds herself competing against her ...more
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is Trollope in his prime. There are landed gentry, scandal, impetuous young men, and the potato famine! The famine is a backdrop to this story, and it's a little irritating how supportive Trollope is about those in charge of dealing with this catastrophe, but he's a lot less Irish hating than most English writers of the time so I try to cut him some slack.
The story on top of this is good. Richest family in town falls from grace, there's black mail, intrigue, bigamy. Our heroine, Lady Clara
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Two comments about Trollope that I have received from others:

1. That reading Trollope as a Victorian reader would be like reading a really good gossip column today -- hilarious and snarky and full of biting social commentary.

2. That Castle Richmond itself is a romance that even a 21st century reader can love.

I adore Trollope, possibly because I live enough in the 19th century that I understand the references and the social commentary. He makes me laugh (even his travelogue of Australia and New Z
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of few "famine" books dealing--however obliquely--with the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-49. I always tend to read the author's context into their work, and this was no exception, considering Trollope's career and personal interests (you'll have to see which character I'm talking about!). The story seemed pretty standard, but what was interesting was they way he melded his social commentary into the book.

I felt as though Trollope had re-written a social commentary around a previously written a
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Read this book for the local Library Book Club. It had been recommended after we read Hard Times by Charles Dickens this past winter. Anthony Trollope was a contemporary of Dickens, so was interested to see how he compared to his peer. They both wrote in the serial form, and therefore there is a lot of repetition of key plot details throughout their books. At first I was enjoying Castle Richmond as it had traces of Jane Austen (another contemporary) and Downton Abbey. However, Trollope decided w ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It would have been a better book without the famine element, but it has 5 stars because the best of Trollope should have 10. It's much less self-consciously 'Irish' than his other Irish novels - much less of the 'ooh, don't they talk funny' stuff. The characterisation is as good as it gets - the rival clerics, the wonderfully bad Molletts, poor Sir Thomas, and the desperate Countess, one of the saddest women he wrote. This isn't just for Trollope completists - it's well worth reading in its own ...more
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ireland
I really enjoyed this book. The edition I read had an introduction by Algar Thorold (whoever he was) claiming that the characterization was weak and the plot mechanical, and that the saving grace of the book was its descriptions of the Irish famine and of one character, Aby Mollett. I have to disagree. I did not see the way the plot was going, and I thought Lady Clara Desmond, as we ll as many of the other main characters, were interesting and well-rounded.
Mar 22, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trollope
Trollope's first two novels were set in Ireland, which he knew from his career in the post office. Those first two novels were not commercially successful. After he found success with the first Barchester novels, Trollope wrote this, his third novel set in Ireland.

It's not Trollope at his best, but I would nevertheless recommend it for its moving depictions of Ireland during the famine.
Only 2% in, just getting to know the characters and setting.
Wouldn't consider this his best, the end seems rushed and a little dissappointing. Trollope merely touched on the potato famine, felt he could have used this more.
Dec 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland, classic, 1001
Moves along reasonably well despite the much-ado-about-nothing plot and thinly sketched characters, and Trollope definitely succeeded in his aim to bring out a more vivid portrait of famine in Ireland. That said, it's easy to see why this one isn't considered to be one of his best.
Gabrielle Rosenberger
This book was quite interesting, but I would have loved if Owen and Lady Clara were together if it wouldn't have been for Lady Desmond it would have been so.... But guess that this is how it was supposed to be...
Mary Ronan Drew
Nov 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
One of Trollope's Irish novels, which are not his very best work. I read this with my on-line Trollope group. The characters aren't the most realistic and the plot is drawn out a bit. The background of the Irish potato famine caused a lot of controversy when the book was published in 1860.
Sep 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trollope lovers who nonetheless hated Barchester Towers (which sucks)
One of Trollope's more compact and energetic works. Don't be fooled by its billing as an Irish famine novel, though: this is about human motivation, middle-class institutions (surprise surprise), and Trollope's relentless campaign against too-quick, too-certain, and over-harsh judgment.
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ireland in the time of the potato famine. Very wry style of commentary and a fairly good plot. I read it on my Nook, easy to carry around..
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Born in Exile
  • The Monastery
  • Albigenses
  • Ormond
  • Virgin Soil
  • The Real Charlotte
  • Marius the Epicurean
  • By the Open Sea
  • The Stechlin
  • The Hand of Ethelberta
  • The Marble Faun
  • The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
  • Amelia
  • The Temptation of St. Antony
  • The Man of Feeling
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...