Category Archives: classic

Anthony Trollope, “The Duke’s Children”

The Duke’s Children wraps up the Palliser series of Trollope’s novels and, though I doubt Trollope planned it this way, unites the emotional and political story lines. We meet some of our old friends like Madame Max Goesler, now Mrs. … Continue reading

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Maurice Dekobra, “The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars”

International skulduggery in high society. Glamor, sex, money and violence shaken together into a strong cocktail. Cynical luxury-loving Soviets, a beautiful amoral heroine, and a an implacable all-knowing villainess — why is The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars not a … Continue reading

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Anthony Trollope, “Phineas Redux”

Is Phineas Redux the weakest of Anthony Trollope’s Palliser novels? Or am I not fair to it? I probably wasn’t fair on this reading, letting it linger on my bedside table and reading only before going to sleep. Did Phineas … Continue reading

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Rose Macaulay, “The Towers of Trebizond”

Some books are just really insistent. I’ve owned three copies of The Towers of Trebizond. The first was my mother’s; she was much given to quoting the famous opening line: “Take my camel, dear,” said my aunt Dot, as she … Continue reading

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Anthony Trollope, “The Eustace Diamonds”

Lizzie Eustace drives me crazy. Always has, always will — because Lizzie lies and gets away with it. The frustration of it! For a rule-abiding creature like me (and, I would guess, most of Anthony Trollope’s readers), Lizzie’s boldness and impunity … Continue reading

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Anthony Trollope, “Phineas Finn”

I’m not gonna lie to you: Phineas Finn is not my favorite of the Palliser novels. Just too much of it focuses on politics, specifically on the great Victorian battle to reform the parliamentary system. I know there are people … Continue reading

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Anthony Trollope, “Can You Forgive Her?”

You know how people sometimes ask you who your favorite writer is, and the names of all authors immediately vanish from your head? Usually in that situation I’ll say something like, “Well, it’s so hard to pick just one, but … Continue reading

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John Henry Patterson, “The Man-Eaters of Tsavo”

It’s about lions, folks, not wicked women. In fact no woman has a speaking part in The Man-Eaters of Tsavo; this is a strictly masculine adventure, and so securely rooted in its period that I wondered briefly whether it might … Continue reading

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John Galsworthy, “The Forsyte Saga, Vol. 2”

Soames is dead! Oh, dear, oh, dear. I didn’t see that coming. Nor did I anticipate the sense of regret I feel. John Galsworthy created Soames as the embodiment of Victorian bourgeois values. He was going to die sometime. What … Continue reading

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Beryl Markham, “West with the Night”

How you read affects what you read. So the fact that I began West with the Night in bed in a tent in Kenya both gave it great relevance, and made my reading distracted and scattered. Because of course you … Continue reading

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