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About the book
  • Published: 27 June 1974
  • ISBN: 9780140430868
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 864
  • RRP: $22.99

Can You Forgive Her?




The first novel in Anthony Trollope's 'Palliser' series, Can You Forgive Her? traces the fortunes of three very different women in an exploration of whether social obligations and personal happiness can ever coincide. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Stephen Wall.
Alice Vavasor cannot decide whether to marry her ambitious but violent cousin George or the upright and gentlemanly John Grey - and finds herself accepting and rejecting each of them in turn. Increasingly confused about her own feelings and unable to forgive herself for such vacillation, her situation is contrasted with that of her friend Lady Glencora - forced to marry the rising politician Plantagenet Palliser in order to prevent the worthless Burgo Fitzgerald from wasting her vast fortune. In asking his readers to pardon Alice for her transgression of the Victorian moral code, Trollope created a telling and wide-ranging account of the social world of his day.
In his introduction, Stephen Wall examines Trollope's skill in depicting the strengths and weaknesses of his characters, their behaviour and inner lives. This edition also includes notes and a bibliography.
Anthony Trollope (1815-82) had an unhappy childhood characterised by a stark contrast between his family's high social standing and their comparative poverty. He wrote his earliest novels while working as a Post Office inspector, but did not meet with success until the publication of the first of his 'Barsetshire novels', The Warden (1855). As well as writing over forty novels, including such popular works as Can You Forgive Her? (1865), Phineas Finn (1869), He Knew He Was Right (1869) and The Way We Live Now (1875) Trollope is credited with introducing the postbox to England.
If you enjoyed Can You Forgive Her?, you might enjoy Henry James's The Ambassadors, also available in Penguin Classics.

  • Pub date: 27 June 1974
  • ISBN: 9780140430868
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 864
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope was born on 24 April 1815 and attended both Harrow and Winchester schools. His family were poor and eventually were forced to move to Belgium, where his father died. His mother, Frances Trollope, supported the family through writing. Trollope began a life-long career in the civil service with a position as a clerk in the General Post Office in London – he is also credited with later introducing the pillar box. He published his first novel, The Macdermots of Ballycloran in 1847, but his fourth novel, The Warden (1855) began the series of 'Barsetshire' novels for which he was to become best known. This series of five novels featuring interconnecting characters spanned twenty years of Trollope's career as a novelist, as did the 'Palliser' series. He wrong over 47 novels in total, as well as short stories, biographies, travel books and his own autobiography, which was published posthumously in 1883. Trollope resigned from the Post Office in 1867 and stood for Parliament as a Liberal, though he was not elected. He died on 6 December 1882.

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