'Love is like any other luxury. You have no right to it unless you can afford it.' It is impossible to be sure who Melmotte is, let alone what exactly he has done. He is, seemingly, a gentleman, and a great financier, who penetrates to the heart of the state, reaching even inside the Houses of Parliament. He draws the English establishment into ...
'Love is like any other luxury. You have no right to it unless you can afford it.' It is impossible to be sure who Melmotte is, let alone what exactly he has done. He is, seemingly, a gentleman, and a great financier, who penetrates to the heart of the state, reaching even inside the Houses of Parliament. He draws the English establishment into his circle, including Lady Carbury, a 43 year-old coquette and her son Felix, who is persuaded to invest in a notional railway business. Huge sums of money are at stake, as well as romantic happiness. The Way We Live Now is usually thought Trollope's major work of satire but is better described as his most substantial exploration of a form of crime fiction, where the crimes are both literal and moral. It is a text preoccupied by detection and the unmasking of swindlers. As such it is a narrative of exceptional tension: a novel of rumour, gossip, and misjudgment, where every second counts. For many of Trollope's characters, calamity and exposure are just around the corner.
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New. Tight binding with clean text. New. Cover has slight wear along edges. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 842 p. Contains: Illustrations. Barnes & Noble Classics (Paperback). Audience: General/trade. With an Introduction and Notes by Peter Merchant. Canterbury Christ Church College. The tough-mindedness of the social satire in and its air of palpable integrity give this novel a special place in Anthony Trollope's Literary career. Trollope paints a picture as panoramic as his title promises, of the life of 1870s London, the loves of those drawn to and through the city, and the career of Augustus Melmotte. Melmotte is one of the Victorian novel's greatest and strangest creations, and is an achievement undimmed by the passage of time. Trollope's 'Now' might, in the twenty-first century, look like some distant disenchanted 'Then', but this is still the yesterday which we must understand in order to make proper sense of our today.
I read "The Way We Live Now" on the recomendation of Jon Meachan, editor of Newsweek, who led an effort to develop a list of 50 books "that make sense of our times." Trollopes's 1875 satirical novel was number one on their list. It describes the financial and moral crisis of Victorian England, a crisis that is very similar to what we are going through today in the U.S. "The Way We Live Now" is a long book with 100 chapters because it was orginally written for serialization in a magazine, a common practice for writers of that era. Nonetheless, it moves quickly and has a surprising number of twists in the plot. I found it a very good read.
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