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Miss Mackenzie

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  824 ratings  ·  96 reviews
In "Miss Mackenzie" Trollope made a deliberate attempt "to prove that a novel may be produced without any love," but as he candidly admits in his "Autobiography," the attempt "breaks down before the conclusion."

In taking for his heroine an middle-aged spinster, his contemporaries of writing about young girls in love. Instead he depicts Margaret Mackenzie, overwhelmed with
Paperback, World's Classics, 432 pages
Published December 15th 1988 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1865)
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Petra X
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Extremely soppy story that would make a stunning costume drama for the BBC as it has all the right elements - nasty dowager duchesses, scamming suitors, impoverished lovers and people dying, romantically, of consumption. At the end everyone's fortunes are reversed - the poor have money, the snotty get their comeuppance, and those who look like they were in love for pecuniary advantage are proved to have been decent joes and in love for all the right reasons, all along. Everyone who deserves to l ...more
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trollope
I can think of no more amiable writer than Anthony Trollope, whose novels can be read again and again without any diminution of their original power. As a member of the Yahoo! Trollope group, I have read approximately three-quarters of his 47 novels, many of them twice, and at least one of them (The Way We Live Now) three times.

What is there about Trollope's work that makes it so multiply readable? My answer would have to include such factors as his high moral tone (without appearing to be prig
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
This is my second reading of the unforgettable Miss Mackenzie. I liked it even better than the first go-around. It is really a fine example of Trollope's depth, as well as his inimitable and often humorous character portrayals.

When her brother dies and she is on her own for the very first time, Miss Mackenzie struggles to become independent. The world is a mystery to her and it is much like reading about a cloistered nun leaving the nunnery for the first time.

Miss Mackenzie's determination to
A very pleasant read, although the story itself could have easily ended 50 pages sooner. However, the filler created by Trollope was also enjoyable.

It was an interesting portrait of a woman on her own in 19th century England. I became quite attached to Miss Mackenzie and absorbed in her story.

And as always, Trollope's prose is smooth and comforting. There is lots of plot events and the usual range of Victorian characters.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Margaret Mackenzie spent her youth caring for her ill father, only to spend her young womanhood - and beyond - caring for her brother who was also ill. When her brother died, and left Margaret his small fortune, she was 35 years old, had no friends and knew nothing of the world. But that small fortune left her with options! Most middle-class women in Victorian England had to find a husband in order to secure even their most basic needs. Margaret could afford to look around a bit.

Not only did Mar
Anna Kļaviņa
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anna by: Petra X
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a husband.

Miss Margaret Mackenzie,a middle aged spinster, has spent her life in service to her family. First she nursed her aged father through his final illness and now her older brother, Walter. When Walter's will is read, everyone is shocked he left his fortune to Margaret. None is more shocked than her older brother Tom, of Rubb and Mackenzie, tire manufacturers. Tom's wife takes personal offense at this snub. Margaret is finally getting the chance to live her life and she heads to Littlebath to join ...more
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I never tire of returning to the novels of Anthony Trollope, and Miss Mackenzie has proved to be the treat I’d anticipated. This wonderful Victorian novelist never fails to delight. In this unassuming little novel, the less than attractive spinster, Margaret Mackenzie, unexpectedly inherits a small fortune and decides to expand her horizons, moving from the dreary London neighborhood where she has long nursed her now deceased brother to the modestly genteel town of Littlebath. There she and her ...more
This is an overlooked small gem of a novel. Margaret Mackenzie is a spinster in her mid-thirties who receives a large inheritance when her brother dies and must then deal with what comes with the inheritance, including several suitors, who may or may not simply be after her money. Trollope depicts Miss Mackenzie with his usual unsparing honesty, and although in his autobiography he called her "a very unattractive old maid", her modesty, charity, and dignity endear her to the reader. I found myse ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Rather sweet, and quite a bit shorter than the usual Trollope novel, with correspondingly fewer characters. Perhaps this may serve as a good place to start and see if you like his style: the writing and atmosphere are essentially the same.
What characters there are, though, are vividly drawn, sometimes brought before our eyes only in a couple of sentences. I especially liked the main topic Trollope considers here: the social and cultural pressures driving women to marriage, even where no romantic
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
This unusually short and uncomplicated Trollope novel was a delicious read; there isn't a single slow spot. And the novel is especially interesting from a feminist perspective. I think I can safely say that it's the most unromantic novel with a marital plot--that is, a plot that ends with marriage--that I have ever read.

Miss Mackenzie spent her youth in a dependent and confined environment, nursing her invalid brother. At his death she finds herself free and well to do, and sets out to discover
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
My first Trollope and a pleasant surprise. For a modern reader not much happens but I quickly found myself immersed in the authors world. His delineation of the female characters is particularly strong and there are many humorous touches. Loved the image of the Rev. Maguire moving 'promiscuously' among the tables at Mrs. Stumfolds tea party. Summed the man up in a sentence. Tempted now to try the first Palliser novel.
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Never read this, but was seduced by the fact that it was free on the Kindle. What a good find! Really makes you feel how exposed and fragile was the state of women's lives a couple of centuries the mercy of the inheritance laws and the good will of family to support them. The sheltered existence led by our heroine as she cares for her brother, who then dies, leaves her totally unprepared to deal with the world on her own. Fun to immerse oneself in such an alien world!
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sadly overlooked in the 21st century, Anthony Trollope is a gem of the British literary establishment whose books, whilst less enduringly popular than Austen or the Brontes, are every bit as witty, intelligent and timeless.

Miss Mackenzie tells the story of a middle-aged woman who, having nursed her sick brother for her entire life, finds herself to be the recipient of his fortune when he dies. As she attempts to navigate the social whirl to which she has never before been exposed, the unexpected
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Anthony Trollope's novels! Miss Mackenzie is a 35 year old spinster, who has spent the last decade or more of her life caring for her ill and dying brothers. She has a true servant's heart, being quite sweet and unselfish, but it is a joy to see her stand firm when the case calls for it. Margaret Mackenzie comes in to a lovely inheritance at the death of her last brother, enjoys her money for a year, with several suitors (of varying personalities) vying for her hand. During that t ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, nota-3-5
Nota: 3.5/5 ⭐
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Classic Serial listeners
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trollope es tremendamente descriptivo y, he de confesar, que al principio la novela me estaba pareciendo algo plana y sin mucha consistencia. Desde luego, la extensa caracterización de sus personajes que ocuparon tantas páginas, hubiera sido más llevadera en la pantalla. Por eso creo, que esta historia tiene absolutamente todos los ingredientes como para realizar una maravillosa adaptación de la BBC.

Quizás fuera necesaria la descripción tan meticulosa de cada personaje de la nueva sociedad en l
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: litt-anglaise, 19
Dans ma découverte de la littérature anglaise, je découvre cet opus d'Anthony Trollope, auteur qui, je l'avoue, m'était totalement inconnu jusqu'à lors.
Après un début un peu longuet, et malgré un style qui peut dérouter les habitués des auteurs Français comme Zola ou Balzac (cf. les adresses directes au lecteurs par le narrateur), on rentre vite dans l'ambiance victorienne du roman marquée par ses codes et ses règles sociales rigides, les luttes intestines pour quelque héritage, et bien sur, ce
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Margaret Mackenzie inherits a modest fortune from her brother in her mid-thirties and moves to a spa town to begin her life. There she (not entirely intentionally) moves in strictly Evangelical circles and considers a proposal from a curate with a terrible squint. She also considers marrying her brother's business partner, despite the fact that he has cheated her out of thousands of pounds. She turns down a marriage proposal from her cousin, John Ball, a widower with 9 children, who regards her ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anthony Trollope is a favourite author of mine and I've been wanting to read Miss Mackenzie for several years. With my brand new Kindle, getting a copy was incredibly swift and easy - not to mention cheap! I'm happy to report that my first Kindle reading experience was a pleasure - Trollope didn't let me down nor did this amazing reading device.

Margaret Mackenzie's mother died when she and her two older brothers were children. Her father was employed at Somerset House and the family was reasona
Enza Said
It's so good when we pick up a book randomly with no expectations and it turns out to be a great reading. As a matter of fact, I believe Miss Mackenzie is one of the best books I've read so far in 2017 and I'm glad I decided to read it instead of picking up some poor YA as I intended.
I had never read anything written by Mr. Trollope and I really loved his Miss Mackenzie. She's a very generous and kind-hearted spinster who suddenly gets rich after her brother dies.
But life doesn't get any easier
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book for the umpteenth time I loved it more than ever. Short and sweet, it has all of Trollope's best features writ small: an engaging plot, funny set-pieces, and characters who mix good and bad and smart and stupid in a thoroughly realistic way. Even the sometimes dithery narrative style adds to the overall perfection of the book, echoing the mind of Miss Mackenzie herself whose thoughts are deep but not neccessarily clear.

My favorite thing about Trollope is his genuine sympathy f
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Listened to this driving cross-country. It was perfect. The route I took was dull and mostly empty. Had a very nice (free!) audio version from, which I highly recommend; both the audiobook and the website. Some of their readers are great.

Miss Mackenzie is one of Trollope's Virtuous Maidens, but without youth, beauty, boldness, or brains going for her. So she'll never set the Thames on fire, but we learn to love her nevertheless as she wends her way through many trials and tribulatio
May 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have found I really do like Trollope and I am trying to discover why, because this book's plot is tedious and the way he treats the title character is almost contemptuous. I suppose it is the 19th century response to the "spinster," but Margaret is only in her mid-30s and comes from genteel stock (class raises its head again and again as well) and her inheritance upon her brother's death causes all sorts of murky men to rise towards her. But I kept reading for the descriptions and because I ca ...more
Feb 02, 2010 rated it liked it
I can't remember where I heard about this book, but I know I read a description of the scene where she kisses her image in the mirror.

The depiction of the society and attitudes of the time, including of course the author's own biases, is quite interesting. The journey of the title character was, to me (with my biases) a bit disappointing. At various points she toys with ideas that are broader and more free-thinking than her social milieu would dictate -- but then in the end, her happy ending is
Gabi Coatsworth
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
I enjoy Trollope and the ironic eye he casts on the world. This novel concerns a young-ish woman ho is unexpectedly left some money, which changes her immediately from a spinster into a marriage prospect. Trollope uses his sense of humor to make serious points about the position of women and the effects of class in Victorian times, and although the novel has the traditional "happy ending" it is still readable today.
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
A wonderful book; Trollope's characterisations are remarkably accurate. Indeed the truly wonderful thing about this is that the reader becomes Miss Mackenzie; you react as she would react, however foolish . Now I don't know about you but I think that is quite clever.

Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
An other confirmation that I prefer Trollope books with politics and the CofE rather than the soppy live stories that are predictable and end up with dirty old man marrying younger woman!
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What does the heroine do with her time? 1 5 Dec 30, 2015 10:41AM  
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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
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