Doctor Thorne (1858), the third novel in Anthony Trollope’s Barsetshire series, was the best-selling of his forty-seven novels during his lifetime, and remains one of his most widely read today.
Young Frank Gresham, the heir of the squire of Greshamsbury, is determined to marry his beloved Mary Thorne, niece of the village physician. Frank’s family is violently opposed to the match, however, for they are in debt and in danger of losing their estate, and Mary is penniless and illegitimate. Dr. Thorne, Mary’s loving uncle, knows a secret about her origins that would change everything, but he wants her to be accepted on her own merits. The ensuing battle of wills plays out in a maelstrom of pride and money, love and self-doubt. Though the plot is more sensational than usual for Trollope—set in motion by a seduction and a murder—these potentially melodramatic elements never disrupt the utterly compelling realism of the author’s richly woven tapestry of provincial life.
Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) was born in London to a bankrupt barrister father and a mother who, as a well-known writer, supported the family. Trollope enjoyed considerable acclaim both as a novelist and as a senior civil servant in the Post… More about Anthony Trollope