- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 58 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: May 15, 2009
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002A2BNYI
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Dr Wortle's School Audiobook – Unabridged
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December 1880 issues of "Blackwood's Magazine" The short novel runs to just over 200 pages. The elderly Trollope wrote it in just over two weeks.
The story concerns a moral dilemma. It is set in Dr. Wortle's preparatory school for boys eager to get into Oxford or Cambridge. An assistant teacher arrives in the school. The Rev. Mr. Peacocke and his lovely American "wife" are well liked in the small school. Dr. Wortle is a big and friendly man much like Trollope was himself.
The Rev. Peacocke was teaching in St. Louis when he befriended a woman whose husband was reportedly killed in San Francisco. The couple wed only to have the supposed dead husband show up! They were, therefore, involved in a bigamous situation. When this was revealed,Mr. Peacocke left for America to discover what had happened. Mrs. Peacocke was befriended and allowed to stay at the Wortle school.
The incident was initiated when the shabby Robert Lefoy the brother of the dead husband Ferdinand arrived in the Wortle school. He and Mr. Peacocke traveled to America where the grave of Ferdinand was discovered. Learning this important fact the Peacockes were married in London by Dr.
Wortle. All ended happily for the couple.
In a slight secondary plot the love between Mary Wortle the good doctor's daughter and the wealthy Lord Carstairs is examined. Despite the class differences the couple are in love with their union being approved by their respective parents.
Scandal is always around the corner with the repugnant gossip the odious Mrs. Staniloup. She accuses Dr. Wortle of befriending the socially unacceptable Peacock couple and seeks to broadcast the news in the town and the newspapers.
Trollope is best known for his Barsetshire and Palliser novels which are huge Victorian three deckers. This slight work is a good place to begin your study of a great novelist and chronicler of the clergy and law professions in nineteenth century England.
Trollope introduces a note of levity to the story with a side plot concerning the love between Dr. Wortle's daughter Mary and young Lord Carstairs, a student at the school. Trollope also takes some interesting potshots at America, particularly the lawlessness and licentiousness of the American West. A good introduction and footnotes to the novel provide background information on Trollope's ideas and personal life, and how they are reflected in the story. If you are hesitant to try a novel by Trollope, this would be a good one to start with.