Doctor Thorne

date of publication:  1858
part of the series:  Chronicles of Barsetshire
original title:  Doctor Thorne
language:  English
narrative location:  England
followed by:  Framley Parsonage

Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope (Chapman and Hall, London, 1858) is the third novel in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series, between Barchester Towers and Framley Parsonage. The idea of the plot was suggested to Trollope by his brother Thomas. Though set in Barsetshire, Barchester and its familiar residents have little part in the narrative. Most of the narrative is based in the village of Greshamsbury, the seat of squire John Newbold Gresham, of an old and respected family, and his wife Lady Arabella, sister of the Earl de Courcy. They have a son and several daughters. The titular Doctor Thorne lives in the village with his niece Mary. She is of a similar age to the Gresham children and since the doctor is well acquainted with squire Gresham, Mary spends a great deal of time at Greshamsbury Hall even though nothing is known of her background. However, the mystery of Mary's birth is only a mystery to the numerous characters in the tale. It is one of Trollope's most insistent principles to take the reader into his confidence.The novel is mainly concerned with money and position. The Thornes, are lesser cousins of the Thornes of Ullathorne and well below the De Courcy and Gresham families in status and wealth historically. Since Mary Thorne has neither family background nor money she is unable to associate with her erstwhile playmates once they all grow older. However another uncle of much lesser background, Roger Scatcherd goes some way to making up for his lack of background by making a large fortune, but alcoholism proves to be his downfall as might be expected in a book of this date. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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