Source text (please read only from this text!): http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/4599/pg4599.txtThe Small House at Allington concerns the widowed Mrs.Dale, her daughters Isabella ("Bell") and Lilian ("Lily"), who live in the "Small House", and their suitors. The bachelor Squire of Allington (Christopher Dale), who lives in the Great House, has allocated the Small House, rent free, to his widowed sister-in-law and her daughters.
This is the fifth of the six Chronicles of Barsetshire. As with all of Trollope's novels, this one also contains many sub-plots and numerous minor characters. Plantagenet Palliiser, of Trollope’s Palliiser series of novels makes his first appearance, as he contemplates a dalliance with Griselda Grantly, the now-married Lady Dumbello, daughter of the Archdeacon introduced earlier in the Chronicles of Barsetshire.
Another key sub-plot involves the goings-on at protagonist John Eames' London boarding house where the landlady's worldly and attractive daughter (Miss. Amelia Roper) attempts to ensnare Eames into a socially downwardly-mobile marriage, and where Eames' fellow boarder and co-worker gets drawn into a love triangle with the wife of an unhappily married theatrical couple. In these London scenes at the clerks' office and the Roper boarding house, we see Dickensian echoes.
As with so many of Trollope's novels, here Trollope explores issues of emotional and generational power struggles, adultery, temptation, jilting lovers, marriage proposal refusals, and the consequences of indecision. Trollope's scene of the bull attack placed mid-way through the novel is a tour-de-force moment not to be missed by any reader interested in the art of the Victorian novel.
Edited from the Wikipedia entry for the novel - spoiler alert – which contains a much more detailed account of the main plot-lines.
(Summary by Wikipedia, edited N K Whitley)
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