The Way We Live Now

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

The Way We Live Now is Anthony Trollope's radical exploration of the dangers associated with speculative capitalism, edited with an introduction and notes by Frank Kermode in Penguin Classics.

Augustus Melmotte is a fraudulent foreign financier who preys on dissolute nobility - using charm to tempt the weak into making foolish investments in his dubious schemes. Persuaded to put money into a notional plot to run a railroad from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, the capricious gambler Felix Carbury soon becomes one of his victims. But as Melmotte climbs higher in society, his web of deceit - which also draws in characters as diverse as his own daughter Marie and Felix's mother, the pulp novelist Lady Carbury - begins to unravel. A radical exploration of the dangers associated with speculative capitalism, this is a fascinating satire about a society on the verge of moral bankruptcy.

Frank Kermode's introduction explores the real-life inspiration for Trollope's masterly satire. This edition also includes detailed notes.

Anthony Trollope (1815-82) had an unhappy childhood characterised by a stark contrast between his family's high social standing and their comparative poverty. He wrote his earliest novels while working as a Post Office inspector, but did not meet with success until the publication of the first of his 'Barsetshire novels', The Warden (1855). As well as writing over forty novels, including such popular works as Can You Forgive Her? (1865), Phineas Finn (1869), He Knew He Was Right (1869) and The Way We Live Now (1875) Trollope is credited with introducing the postbox to England.

If you enjoyed The Way We Live Now, you might like William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair, also available in Penguin Classics.

'Trollope's masterpiece ... its examination of how hopes of easy money can corrupt remains relevant today'
Observer

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LibraryThing Review

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

LibraryThing Review

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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