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The Eustace Diamonds (Penguin Classics) Revised Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I suppose one should not criticize an author who cannot response from beyond the grave, so I should begin with the good sides. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Michael R. H. Swanson, Ph. D.
Trollope is a great student of character. Why he is not as widely read as Dickens (whose characters sometimes present themselves as caricature) is a mystery to me. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Laura
Since girlhood Lizzie has been very fond of her jewels. Orphaned at 19, she saves her jewelry from her father's creditors by convincing them that everything has been sold, or never... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Meredith/Susan
The Eustace Diamonds, the third novel in the Palliser series, caused me to be a bit disappointed with Anthony Trollope, because it seems to me to be very derivative, as if he... Read morePublished 10 months ago by gammyraye
Lots of notable quotes that I both enjoyed and made me 'think' in this British literature classic including passages like “The persons whom you cannot care for in a novel, because... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Don Kidwell
Very good narration of a Classic Victorian moral dilemma and character study. Not quite as engrossing as his barchester novels but still very good.Published 12 months ago by Astrada
One of Jane Austen's five classic novels. This is a pristine copy, and the Penguin forewords and afternotes are always excellent.Published 13 months ago by Starr Morrow
I love Trollope and his descriptions of past periods, how they lived, what their values were, how people interacted.Published 16 months ago by Pat