Doctor ThornePosted: 2019/07/07
Trollope, Anthony. Doctor Thorne. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Reason read: to continue the series started in April in honor of Trollope’s birth month.
To set the stage: Mary Thorne, at the age of twelve, comes to live with her uncle, Doctor Thorne. She is sent to him when Dr Thorne’s sister (Mary’s mother) runs away to Australia and Mary’s father (Dr. Thorne’s brother) is murdered by Roger Scatcherd, Mary’s mother’s brother. Did you get all that? To complicate things, Dr. Thorne is also the financial advisor to Mary’s mother’s brother, Roger. Essentially Mary has two uncles. But this is a big secret for most of the book.
On with the plot – As Mary grows up she attracts the attention of Frank Gresham but unfortunately for Frank, Mary is not marriage material. She doesn’t come from money so his family opposes a proposal. His mother prefers Martha Dunstable as a suitable wife. The only problem is Miss Dunstable and Frank become great friends and mutually agree romance is not in the cards. As an aside, their friendship is wonderful. As Roger Scatcherd’s financial advisor, Dr. Thorne knows how much money Roger leaves to his son after drinking himself to death. When Roger’s son is nearing the same fate, Dr. Thorne has to spill the genealogy beans in order to make sure Mary is in the will and gets her fair share of Roger’s original inheritance.
Line that caught my attention, “I know he’s rich, and a rich man I suppose can buy anything except a woman that is worth having” (p 99).
Book trivia: Doctor Thorne is the third book in the Barsetshire series but to be fair, each book could be read independently of one another. However, going by book sales Trollope felt Doctor Thorne was his most popular story. Doctor Thorne connects back to Barchester Towers by family.
Author fact: Trollope published Doctor Thorne just one year after Barchester Towers.
Nancy said: nothing specific except that the whole series is her favorite Trollope to read.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Barsetshire and Beyond” (p 15).