The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

The Eustace Diamonds (Palliser, #3)
This topic is about The Eustace Diamonds
26 views
The Trollope Project - Archives > The Eustace Diamonds: June 17-23: Chapters 73-80

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Frances, Moderator (last edited Jun 17, 2018 12:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1932 comments Mod
We have finished the 3rd novel in the Palliser series.

Please share your thoughts on this section, and on the novel as a whole.

1. What do you think of the outcome for Lady Eustace? Were you surprised by her choice, and how do you think she will fare? Do you want to see her again in the remaining novels?

2. Frank and Lucy-will they be happy? Are you pleased for Lucy? This is not our first Trollope hero to choose a plain, simple, relatively poor mate over a lovelier and richer rival. Young Gresham (in Doctor Thorne) received an unexpected inheritance as a reward for his love and loyalty, but Frank (as with Phineas before him) has not. Has your opinion of Frank or of Lucy changed over the course of this novel?

3. Did you have a favourite minor character? Who would you like to see again?

4, What do you think of Trollope's political novels so far?

Please share your thoughts.

P.S. We will have a few weeks to finish up our discussion of this book and to take a short break before starting Phineas Redux in mid-July.


message 2: by Phrodrick (new)

Phrodrick Rather let others begin most of this topic...
BUT

If ever it was clear that Politics, meaning national or elective politics is NOT the point of these books, This one shouts it.

Way in the background we have Parliament doing something, or not. The book is politics of the home and heart.

Every romance carries with it the problem of finances, social standing, keeping the parental and community approval ratings and related maneuvers that make the demands of party and traditional politics seem pure and simple.


message 3: by Robin P, Moderator (last edited Jun 17, 2018 02:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robin P | 2227 comments Mod
I think Frank and Lucy will be fine. She has no monetary expectations. Unfortunately, at the time it wasn't an option for a married woman to continue a career and contribute to income. As for Lizzie and her minister (who reminded me a bit of Mr. Slope), there's a suggestion that she admires a strong man even if she doesn't really like him that much. Most of her suitors were blinded by her charm and beauty (except Lord George) but this is a business calculation. The ironic thing is that right around the time she accepts him, Lizzie is cleared of all charges so maybe she doesn't need a husband as much as she thought.

I would like to see Madame Max again and have her find a satisfying relationship. I also like Glencora who has matured from when we first met her.


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

Frances (francesab) | 1932 comments Mod
I'd also like to see Madame Max again and rather hope she will meet someone worthy of her (as Miss Dunstable did). I also rather like Lady Glencora and hope that, once the current Duke of Omnium passes away, she will relax and become better friends with Madame Max. I admit wanting Lord Fawn to finally find a suitable bride-even if he's a prig, I like his mother and some of his sisters and want the family to survive.


message 5: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1932 comments Mod
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. This was almost a psychological study of a woman with no scruples and with a tremendous degree of self-centredness and the havoc she wreaked on so many people who came into contact with her. It was also, perhaps, a warning to young men not to be fooled by a pretty face. At the same time, Trollope showed some sympathy for Lizzie Eustace, and also showed a certain degree of self-knowledge in her.

Lucy as well, though poor and rather plain, was portrayed neither as a shrinking violet nor as a paragon-there were some similarities to Jane Eyre (with a much less dramatic backstory and outcome, though-this is Trollope, after all!).

What did you think of Lady Linlithgow and Lady Fawn?


message 6: by Robin P, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robin P | 2227 comments Mod
We mentioned that Lizzie is like Becky Sharp but she is also like Scarlett O'Hara - totally egotistical and calculating, yet somehow fascinating.


message 7: by Brian E (last edited Jun 18, 2018 09:30AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments In the second half of the novel, Lucy Morris herself became a minor character. So minor that the 26 episode miniseries on the 6 Palliser novels decided to completely omit her character.
For the miniseries, you would think that each of the 6 books would take at least 4 episodes. Instead, episode 12 begins with the end of Pineas Finn with Phineas returning to Ireland, before leading into the Eustace Diamonds story which ends in Episode 14. Phineas Redux starts at the end of that episode, so the Phineas character is absent for only one episode.
Planty and Glencora are in every episode and are the focus of the minseries which could be one reason they omitted the Lucy storyline. Frank does appear, but only as part of the Lizzie storyline.
In the novel, the Lucy wedding story ends with a whimper rather than a bang. However, Trollope does take time to remind us that Lucy is not the heroine of the book.


message 8: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1932 comments Mod
While I thought Lucy was a well-drawn character and not your typical Dickensian sweet innocent, her primary role did seem to be as a way to prevent Frank from over committing himself to his cousin, and a way to, once again, feature the love vs money struggle of impoverished young men hoping to make their way in society.

As well, while this was an enjoyable stand-alone novel, it doesn't seem to move the Palliser/politics story forward much.


Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments While I agree with Phrod that the Palliser series is more about personal politics than actual politics, it is a story about two politicians Phineas and Pally. Too much true to life political details would drag down what is in essence a family saga with Pally as the slightly boring but serious central character with the more interesting characters revolving around him. Kind of like the role of a Mary Tyler Moore or Seinfeld in 20th century sit-coms.
The miniseries decision to devote only 1/12 of its time to the Eustace Diamonds story and completely omitting the Lucy story may confirm Phrod's view that this story contains a lot of padding. Entertaining padding, though, IMO.


Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments I agree with Frances' overall assessment of the novel and also that Lucy is similar to Jane Eyre's character though I even find Frank preferable to Rochester. Lucy's also a bit of the Amelia to Lizzie's Becky or, continuing in that vein, Melanie to Lizzie's Scarlett.


message 11: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments I think of Jane Eyre as much more independent than Lucy who was quite passive and unwilling/afraid to acknowledge the truth of Frank’s behavior. I think Jane would have left him long before to find another position as governess.
Frank, however, does redeem himself in the end. The narrator obviously wants the reader to see him in a positive light as he attempts to justify his attraction to Lizzie. However, I think he and Lucy will have a happy life together.
Lizzie’s agreeing to marry Emilius was surprising for me. Reinforces the fact that she is capable of making any situation fit her objectives. Although she has survived, I think the Duke’s comment that he doesn’t see them as being happy as fitting payback for her behavior.
Glencora is my favorite character in this series and it’s interesting to see how her power and influence have increased while Palliser devoted himself to his monetary plans. I actually consider Glencora the more political in this novel as she manipulates Lord Fawn with the threat of political retribution.
While I knew that Trollope was anti-Semitic, this is the first novel I’ve read where it appeared so blatant - in the characters of Emilius and Benjamin. A bit upsetting for me.
I certainly wouldn’t classify this as a political novel, but I did enjoy it and Trollope’s portrayal of the psychological.


message 12: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1435 comments Mod
Trollope said at the beginning of the book that the main heroine would be introduced later. But it never really happened, right?

there was one character who said Lizzie would make a good lawyer, which I found amusing. Though I agree with Phrodrick that she's not smart enough. But maybe she could have been if she'd had access to that kind of education and training.

I wasn't too surprised by Lizzie ending up with Emilius. As soon as he revealed his interest in her I figured it was a very real possibility. Were the conversations near the end implying that he was abusive toward her?

I also found the anti-Semitism disturbing here, as well as in Phineas Finn when Glencora was imagining the duke having a baby with a "monkey face" with Madame Max.

And yes, Frank and a great many literary men are better than Mr. Rochester. Why Jane Eyre is considered a great romance is beyond me.


message 13: by Brian E (last edited Jun 18, 2018 04:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments Lori wrote: "Trollope said at the beginning of the book that the main heroine would be introduced later. But it never really happened, right?

That's what I thought too. I checked and in the second paragraph of Chapter 3, when introducing Lucy and saying he is NOT putting her forward as a heroine, Trollope says:

"The real heroine, if it be found possible to arrange her drapery for her becomingly, and to put that part which she enacted into properly heroic words, shall stalk in among us at some considerably later period of the narrative, when the writer shall have accustomed himself to the flow of words, and have worked himself up to a state of mind fit for the reception of noble acting and noble speaking."

Based on this, I think:

1. the heroine can't be Lizzie as she has already been introduced in the first two chapters and Trollope doesn't write any "noble acting and noble speaking" parts for her;
2. If he means someone else, such as Lucinda or even the heroine of the 6 book saga, Glencora, who do enter the story later, they neither do or say heroic things or play an important part in this novel's story;
3. Maybe, as alleged by many critics, Trollope is just so prolific that he gets careless and just wrote something he forgot about.

I think #3 because, while Trollope is one of my most favorite authors, I also recognize that he is not the most thoughtful or deep writer. However, I did think he planned his books and I do wonder who he was thinking of when he wrote it. Anyone?


message 14: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1435 comments Mod
Maybe he had bigger plans for Madame Max that ended up not happening, or were postponed to the next book.

Was this a serialized publication like a lot of Dickens novels were? In that case, he may have decided to go off in another direction. (And I agree with you that he could have forgotten.)


Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments Lori wrote: "Maybe he had bigger plans for Madame Max that ended up not happening, or were postponed to the next book.

Was this a serialized publication like a lot of Dickens novels were? In that case, he may..."


Wikipedia reports it was first published in 1871 as a serial in the Fortnightly Review


message 16: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan | 86 comments Trollope, up until his very last novel, always completed an entire novel before he would begin serialization. Whether he changed his mind or forgot, he did so before the publication of the chapters began.


message 17: by Brian E (last edited Jun 20, 2018 10:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments I thought Trollope planned out his novels, so it makes sense he would have it finished before starting serialization. Thanks for the info, Dan.


message 18: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2933 comments @#13: Perhaps Trollope did not, in the end, find it possible to 'arrange her drapery for her becomingly, and to put that part which she enacted into properly heroic words'.


message 19: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 2939 comments Mod
Well, I have finished the book and I need to read some shorter books now.

I am glad that Lucy and Frank got married at last. Perhaps she will manage money bettee than he does, she can't do any worse.

As for Lizzie and Emilius, that just didn't ring true for me. Maybe Trollope was in a hurry to dispose of her for a while.

I found the anti- Semitism disturbing as well.
This is probably my least favourite Trollope book so far. It would have been a better book if it wasn't so long. I got really tired of reading about Lizzie's beauty, etc.
And then, near the end of the book, he calls her the heroine.
Here is a quote from the last page of chapter 78:

She has been our heroine, and we must see her through her immediate troubles before we can leave her.


message 20: by Brian E (last edited Nov 26, 2018 08:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Well, I have finished the book and I need to read some shorter books now.

Quo Vadis is short? I guess it is shorter, but not by that much.
Reeds in the Wind is short, though.

Phineas Redux is much better than this one, I think the best of the first four Pallisers, so it does get better. Lizzie is a lot of fun for awhile but gets a bit tiresome by the end.


message 21: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 2939 comments Mod
That is good to hear. I liked the characters in Phineas Finn, and really did get tired of Lizzie by the end of the book.


Bonnie | 243 comments I think he must have meant "heroine" sarcastically.

We used to call it "Protagonist" I think, a main character who was not a hero/heroine. Do they still use that?

Then the (TV references) Tony Soprano/ Walter Whites were anti-hero es.


message 23: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 2939 comments Mod
Bonnie, that makes a lot of sense. Lizzie was the main character but didn't have enough positive qualities to make her a heroine.


back to top