The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

The Eustace Diamonds (Palliser, #3)
This topic is about The Eustace Diamonds
The Trollope Project - Archives > The Eustace Diamonds June 3-9: Chapters 57-64

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1936 comments Mod
In this section we see more developments in the investigation of the robbery, and as was mentioned in an earlier section, Trollope seems to be trying his hand at a police procedural. What do you think of his attempt?

The other main thrust of this section is a review of what is happening with Lizzie's various lovers. Who is still potentially in the running to marry Lizzie, and what do we see of them in this section?

Who is Lizzie clearly most hoping will end up her husband? What scheme is she using to try to win him? What do you think of her tactics?

What do you think of the overall arc of the novel as we are nearing the end?

message 2: by Robin P, Moderator (last edited Jun 03, 2018 05:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robin P | 2229 comments Mod
So did the policeman promise the maid he would marry her in order to get her to testify? That seemed to come out of nowhere. We have no idea who really took the diamonds.

Lizzie prefers Frank and I think she actually would have been happiest with him of the 3, if Lucy weren't in the picture. She and Lord Fawn would be terrible and Lord George is totally self-centered. He isn't really the dashing corsair that Lizzie imagined.

Lucy finally is facing reality. But she still stands up to Lizzie, which I really admire. I also like that she isn't ready to truly sacrifice herself, by saying "I love Frank so much that I will give him up so that he can have the money he wants."

message 3: by Phrodrick (new)

Phrodrick I am sorta pulling for Lord George and Lizzy.
He is criminally minded and I think appreciates the sent of larceny in Lady Eustice. He has no interest in working for a living . That said I think a woman who trusts him is what the medical experts call a fool.

Then again a man who trust her is no better than a gold digger. So again they deserve each other.

2nd runner up is Lord Fawn and Lady Lizzy, together they can spawn a litter (Clowder?) of ninnies. The missing parents of Bertram Wooster?

message 4: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1439 comments Mod
I also thought Lizzie and Lord George deserved each other. He's sketchy and so is she.

I don't remember who referred to Lucinda as an "adventurer," but what did they mean by that?

I kept getting distracted by the word "burthen."

As for the police procedural: Trollope is no Wilkie Collins. Trollope is decent at examining human nature (and, as we see in this series, politics), but I suspect this new arc will fall flat.

message 5: by Brian E (last edited Jun 04, 2018 10:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments Lori, actually I think Trollope is like Wilkie Collins - in beard size.

message 6: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1439 comments Mod
Wow, they did look a little alike!

message 7: by Brian E (last edited Jun 04, 2018 11:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments Lori wrote: "Wow, they did look a little alike!"

Big beards are back in style now, but not as wildly bushy as the beards of Collins and Trollope! If I had one like theirs I'd probably have a full meal stuck in it by the end of the day.

Sorry, I digress. I do agree with Phrodrick that, out of the current contestants, Lord George fits best as Lizzie's soulmate.

message 8: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments Have been totally absent for discussion as I’m trying very hard to catch up. I have been enjoying this volume in the series.
For me, as Lizzie is totally motivated by her own self-preservation and achieving the most comfortable and socially advantageous life she can, she has no true love or commitment to anyone else (including her son). Her juggling of various lovers are based on who she believes will do the most for her as circumstances dictate. When Trollope writes from her point of view, we observe her increasingly stressful ruminations which can sometimes seem a little ditzy, but I think she tries to be a most careful schemer.
Who would she be happiest with? Probably no one. However, Lord George is too much like her, dedicated to his own survival, for that relationship to work. Lord Fawn and Frank have both demonstrated weakness in their characters which would allow Lizzie to dominate, but both have also fought back against her. Frank is the nicest of the bunch, although his flaw of allowing his sexual attraction to Lizzie overcome his basic morality might prove to be fatal. I hope he doesn't end up with her. Perhaps she will end up like her soulmate, Becky Sharpe, wealthy but alone.

message 9: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1936 comments Mod
I rather thought it was too bad that staying single was did not seem an option by Lady Eustace, as it apparently was for Mme Max or for Miss Dunstable (that is, until they found someone they truly loved).

message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments Is anyone else having a problem with the Goodreads app cutting off parts of their comments? It’s happened to me several times- very annoying. Part of my comment which did get cut off was my comparison of Lizzie to Becky Sharpe of Vanity Fair. Their similarities struck me from the beginning of the novel and evidently was not lost on 19th century readers, or even Trollope himself! Becky is another wicked, egotistical schemer who doesn’t even care for her own son, but ends up not wanting for money (because of her son’s generosity), but alone. She does go through low times which Lizzie seems to evade, but she ends up as a survivor - sort of like a cockroach.

Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments Linda, just remember Lizzie's story ain't over yet. I liked both Becky and Lizzie as characters, if not as humans.

message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments Brian wrote: "Linda, just remember Lizzie's story ain't over yet. I liked both Becky and Lizzie as characters, if not as humans."

Agreed. Didn't mean to imply Lizzie will also end up alone. Both novels owe their existence to the wicked schemings of Becky and Lizzie for sure, I just can't bring myself to say I like them even as characters!
I do sympathize with Lizzie as a woman who is subject to such sexist inheritance laws, even though she tells so many lies about the necklace. While I know this is a modern reaction, I do think Trollope was commenting on the (ridiculous) complexity of inheritance laws and making it so much more interesting by having a villain such as Lizzie the possible benefactor of at least one interpretation.

Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments Lizzie was a gold digger (there are more male ones in these stories) who didn't love her husband and helped drive him to the grave and does not deserve the necklace even with fair inheritance laws. Lizzie has none of my sympathy but a lot of my fascination for her ability to connive and rationalize. Maybe I can like her as a character because I have relatively more evil in me than you, Linda.

message 14: by Phrodrick (last edited Jun 13, 2018 08:07PM) (new)

Phrodrick Maybe I do not like Lizzie in part because I have read Trollope's repeated insistence that she is not likable. We get to read her thought processes and they are flighty and phony. She is not capable of anything long term in her thinking such that her thoughts to remain consistent from one end of of a paragraph to another.

She never has a real plan just moment by moment mostly weak inspirations. The same sexist society that has every female character dealing with the limitations on women; does not demand Lizzie to amount to anything. She is pretty, rich and titled. Boom she is everything a women of her time needs to be. She has no thought about being functional or learned or charitable.

Yes that she had a terrible upbringing and lives in an unfair world.
Her brain lacks the complexity to understand anything about the excuses she has going in; but she continually invents an internal narrative that excuses her from responsibility for anything.

This is too early for Freud, but she is Id, Ego and no Superego., plus not that bright. Instinct, impulse and no control.

She gets away with this because again the same society that is unfair to women, esp those who could be greater than rich, pretty and titled, eats up on the fact that she is just that. And so she gets the benefit of class, sex, looks and money.

Mostly I do not like this book as much as others because Lizzie is too small and weak of a character to support this much space in the narrative. She will not get Lord Fawn, because she bungled that match, and he is a bungler.
Lord George should behers for the asking, but It looks like he has figured out that for all their shared lack of morality, she is too dumb to be reliable in a jam. Does she ever even think of taking the suspicion off of Georgie?

I have rather lost count. How many cast off characters, minor plot lines and other distractions have we had because the central story line is convoluted, but driven by characters too small for 700 pages?

message 15: by Dan (last edited Nov 15, 2018 10:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan | 86 comments Lizzie IS small, and beautiful too.

Trollope told us right up front that she was no heroine, which readers could take as an indication that a heroine would show up later. We have no heroine.

I like what Trollope is doing here. He is not painting a monster; but a character who is self-centered, a schemer, and is, most of all, an actor - playing a role always - as if she was a character.
He is not painting a gentlewoman either; there is no true love, no constant morals or values, no real feelings about anyone or anything.

Trollope has tried to portray a real person; mostly bad, with wealth and beauty. His skill at narrative is perhaps his greatest talent; he has taken some diamonds and a lady on the make and crafted what is hardly too long of a book.

SO far, I could have done without Lucinda and Sit Tewett. Trollope likes his compares and contrasts, but (so far) this one is a pair I don't (yet) care for; when the action is about them, my interest is less. Still, something is always happening, and while not a great police procedural novel (at least not through page 700) but it is a terrific depiction of characters and society.
I don't expect a happy ending for Lizzie, nor a tragic one. She will remain who she is.

message 16: by LiLi (new) - rated it 3 stars

LiLi | 281 comments I keep wondering whether Lucinda mightn't prefer a lady friend.

message 17: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1936 comments Mod
I wondered if Trollope was sending up the more Dickensian trope of equating beauty with goodness, and here portraying a female lead who was both beautiful and immoral.

message 18: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
I agree with you, Dan. Lizzie is the main female character, but no the heroine. This is a novel without a hero, as well. But the plot is certainly there.

I see that George didn't do it after all, or he would already have left England.

I am glad that Lucy finally told Lizzie what she thinks of her.

Elizabeth, that would explain a lot!

back to top