The Way We Live Now

The Way We Live Now

Paperback - 2001
Average Rating:
4
Rate this:

'Trollope did not write for posterity,' observed Henry James. 'He wrote for the day, the moment; but these are just the writers whom posterity is apt to put into its pocket.' Considered by contemporary critics to be Trollope's greatest novel, The Way We Live Now is a satire of the literary world of London in the 1870s and a bold indictment of the new power of speculative finance in English life. 'I was instigated by what I conceived to be the commercial profligacy of the age,' Trollope said.

His story concerns Augustus Melmotte, a French swindler and scoundrel, and his daughter, to whom Felix Carbury, adored son of the authoress Lady Carbury, is induced to propose marriage for the sake of securing a fortune. Trollope knew well the difficulties of dealing with editors, publishers, reviewers, and the public; his portrait of Lady Carbury, impetuous, unprincipled, and unswervingly devoted to her own self-promotion, is one of his finest satirical achievements.

His picture of late-nineteenth-century England is a portrait of a society on the verge of moral bankruptcy. In The Way We Live Now Trollope combines his talents as a portraitist and his skills as a storyteller to give us life as it was lived more than a hundred years ago.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2001.
Edition: Modern Library pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780375757310
0375757317
Characteristics: xx, 864 p. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Osborne, Hugh

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

d
DWIGHT A GREEN
Mar 11, 2016

"The Way We Live Now" provides Trollope’s satiric look on the modernizing world of his day and the inability of many individuals to retain a moral compass amid the changes. Throughout the novel, Trollope provides criticism of and sympathy for his characters. Despite many dark portraits and sections, Trollope also provides a lot of humor.

One central theme looks at pervasive dishonesty, located in financial, political, and moral aspects of everyday life. Mr. Melmotte, an extraordinary swindler, was based on fact and anticipates many more financial schemes to come. Trollope makes it clear, though, that the swindler doesn’t act alone—he needs someone willing and able to be fleeced. What Trollope couldn’t anticipate was governments swindling money or perpetrating Ponzi schemes that would make a Melmotte or Bernie Madoff look like pikers.

Highly recommended—except for the first 75 pages, when Trollope sounded like a prudish scold, I thoroughly enjoyed this. There are a few resolutions that feel pat or formulaic, but they did not detract from the pleasure at all.

debwalker Jun 11, 2011

"One of my resolutions for the summer is to get better acquainted with Anthony Trollope, and so at the top of my list is The Way We Live Now. Somehow long summer days seem the best time to read those 600 or 700-page Victorian novels that you’ve long wished you had read, so that’s what’s at the top of my pile of “to read” books."

Adam Hochschild

k
KarenW
Nov 26, 2010

Brilliantly told story of the confict between the classes is scathing in its portrayal of the upper class as a parasite. The wonderful characters are drawn cleverly and modern parallels can be drawn quite easily.

a
AnamCara
Oct 27, 2007

Trollope describes the darker side of commercialism during the Victorian era.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at CPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top