The Way We Live Now

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Penguin Books Limited, Apr 28, 1994 - Fiction - 778 pages
21 Reviews

'Trollope did not write for posterity,' observed Henry James. 'He wrote for the day, the moment; but these are just the writers whom posterity is apt to put into its pocket.' Considered by contemporary critics to be Trollope's greatest novel, The Way We Live Now is a satire of the literary world of London in the 1870s and a bold indictment of the new power of speculative finance in English life. 'I was instigated by what I conceived to be the commercial profligacy of the age,' Trollope said.

His story concerns Augustus Melmotte, a French swindler and scoundrel, and his daughter, to whom Felix Carbury, adored son of the authoress Lady Carbury, is induced to propose marriage for the sake of securing a fortune. Trollope knew well the difficulties of dealing with editors, publishers, reviewers, and the public; his portrait of Lady Carbury, impetuous, unprincipled, and unswervingly devoted to her own self-promotion, is one of his finest satirical achievements.

His picture of late-nineteenth-century England is a portrait of a society on the verge of moral bankruptcy. In The Way We Live Now Trollope combines his talents as a portraitist and his skills as a storyteller to give us life as it was lived more than a hundred years ago.

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User Review  - etxgardener - LibraryThing

This is my favorite Anthony Trollop novel. When I initially read it in the 1980's, I thought it would be a great companion to Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of Vanities since they both cover greed, social ... Read full review

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User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

Darker than the Barsetshire books, but with the same way of getting at the humanity of his characters. Delightfully complex, wickedly funny ... it may look like a long read, but the time just flies right by. Read full review

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About the author (1994)

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 Office. He published more than forty novels and many short stories that are regarded by some as among the greatest of nineteenth-century fiction.

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