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The Eustace Diamonds (Penguin Classics) Revised Edition

32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0141441207
ISBN-10: 0141441208
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Editorial Reviews


Novel by Anthony Trollope, published serially from 1871 to 1873 and in book form in New York in 1872. It is a satirical study of the influence of money on marital and sexual relations. The story follows two contrasting women and their courtships. Lizzie Eustace and Lucy Morris are both hampered in their love affairs by their lack of money. Lizzie's trickery and deceit, however, contrast with Lucy's constancy. Trollope was understood to be commenting on the malaise in Victorian England that allowed a character like Lizzie, who marries for money, steals the family diamonds, and behaves despicably throughout, to rise unscathed in society. The work is the third of Trollope's six PALLISER NOVELS. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Anthony Trollope's celebrated Parliamentary novels, of which The Eustace Diamonds (1873) is the third and most famous, are at once unfailingly amusing social comedies, melodramas of greed and deception, and precise nature studies of the political animal in its mid-Victorian habitat. With its purloined jewels, its conniving, resilient, mercenary heroine, and its partiality for the human spectacle in all its complexity, The Eustace Diamonds is a splendid example of Trollope's art at its most assured. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441207
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Anthony Trollope (1815-82) became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of Trollope's best-loved works revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire, but he also wrote penetrating novels on political, social, and gender issues and
conflicts of his day."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Vodrey on July 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have only read one Anthony Trollope novel, and I had the very good fortune of having chosen "The Eustace Diamonds." This superbly constructed novel begins with what is probably my favorite opening sentence of a novel--it's right up there with the opening sentence to Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice":
"It was admitted by all her friends, and also by her enemies--who were in truth the more numerous and active body of the two--that Lizzie Greystock had done very well with herself." The second sentence further clarifies Lizzie's character when it goes on with, "We will tell the story of Lizzie Greystock from the beginning, but we will not dwell over it at great length, as we might do if we loved her."
Lizzie Greystock--eventually to become Lady Eustace--is a fascinating combination of cunning and foolishness, of avarice and pitiable character, of steely backbone and whimpering fits. She reminds me so very much of both Emma Bovary and Scarlett O'Hara. Her determination to keep the Eustace family diamonds entirely for herself is what sets the novel in motion, and with this rather simple device, Trollope goes on to spin out a tale which encompasses morality, greed, Victorian social mores, the corrupting influence of money, and the blindness it can cause to everything else of value.
Lizzie is contrasted, with every shade under the sun, with the sweet and constant Lucy Morris. Picture the contrast as one very much like that of Scarlett O'Hara and Melanie Wilkes. "The Eustace Diamonds" is a deliciously satisfying book, and a classic for a very good reason: despite having been written in the 19th century, what it has to say reverberates as soundly now as when Trollope first published it. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Leonard L. Wilson on July 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Lady Lizzie Eustace, a beautiful young widow, claims that her husband gave her the extremely valuable diamond necklace to be her very own. However, Mr. Camperdown, lawyer for the estate, says that it is a family heirloom and must be given up. Lizzie, for whom lying is always more natural than telling the truth, stubbornly clings to the diamonds, taking them with her everywhere, rather than entrusting them to some safe depository.
But then there is a skillfully performed burglary, and the jewels are stolen from her hotel room in Carlisle. Or are they? Did Lizzie just use this scheme to make the diamonds disappear? Why is there a second burglary at her London apartment? The novel becomes a fascinating detective story.
Lizzie longs for a husband to share her problems. But which man is it to be? There is Lord Fawn, to whom she is engaged, but who breaks with her because of the diamonds. Lord George, a rather shady character, intrigues her with his swashbuckling mann! ! er. Then there is her ever loyal cousin, Frank Greystock, but he is supposedly engaged to a penniless nonentity, Lucy Morris.
Lizzie Eustace is one of Trollope's most interesting characters--beautiful, strong willed, intelligent in her way, but utterly untrustworthy, constantly scheming to get what she wants and always able to justify her actions to herself. It is no wonder that even the similarly mendacious Lord George is afraid of her. Lizzie alone makes this third novel of the Palliser series well worth reading.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alison on May 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
From the very start of this novel, you know that you're not going to like Lizzie (Lady Eustace), the main character. She's one of those women who does ANYthing she can to get her way...and she'll be damned if she doesn't get it. She can flirt, act sweet and innocent, step on other women's toes, turn on her tears in a timely manner...and all of the men are just bending over backwards to help her. She was born with nothing, and she's going to get what she wants in life. She starts out by getting herself a rich husband who will conveniently die right away and leave his riches and jewels to her. But, wait, did he "correct" his will in the exact manner Lizzie wanted before he died? Well, it doesn't matter, she'll get what she wants (the Eustace diamonds) in another manner---wear them around and refuse to take them off! It's difficult to contradict this extremely clever woman, but she has enemies who are certainly going to try. Some of her "tricks" to get her way just want to make you scream--she can be SO cruel and heartless.
This novel is a battle of wills...a woman and her enemies. You don't have to like her, but you must admit she's on a higher playing field than everyone else...and she should at least get credit for her effort and her cleverness! Everyone knows a woman like Lady Eustace and hopes she gets what she deserves. This book will show you if she does. It's very long, but the political plots that are a part of the other books in this series are left out and make for an entertaining, can't-put-it-down read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark Silcox on July 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
There is a lot to like about this book. It has the usual host of colorful and varied characters that one finds in Trollope's novels. There are strong and complex women, sturdy and weak-willed men, and some wonderful set-pieces. It's a bit of a let-down after _Phineas Finn_, though, which to my mind is the greatest political novel in the English language. The previous two 'Palliser' novels having been clearly both for and about Liberals, I think that Trollope was struggling in this novel to write in a way that would both reflect and appeal to more Conservative sensibilities. So we get a lot of domestic gossip, a little mild anti-semitism, and endless lectures about the Proper way for a Gentleman to Behave to a Lady. Still, the protagonist, Lizzie Eustace, is a gem.
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