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The Way We Live Now

Anthony Trollope


The Way We Live Now is Anthony Trollope’s longest novel, published in two volumes in 1875 after first appearing in serial form.

After an extended visit to Australia and New Zealand in 1872, Trollope was outraged on his return to England by a number of financial scandals, and was determined to expose the dishonesty, corruption, and greed they embodied. The Way We Live Now centers around a foreign businessman, Augustus Melmotte, who has come to prominence in London despite rumors about his past dealings on the Continent. He is immensely rich, and his daughter Marie is considered to be a desirable catch for several aristocratic young men in search of a fortune. Melmotte gains substantial influence because of his wealth. He rises in society and is even put up as a candidate for Parliament, despite a general feeling that he must be a fraudster and liar. A variety of sub-plots are woven around this central idea.

The Way We Live Now is generally considered to be one of Trollope’s best novels and is often included in lists of the best novels written in English.

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