The Way We Live Now (Vintage Classics)

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9780099528661: The Way We Live Now (Vintage Classics)

Trollope's magnificent and prescient satire about a dishonest financier who buys his way into a corrupt society, and throws it into turmoil When the Melmottes arrive in London everyone agrees their manners are wanting, their taste is execrable, and their lineage and background decidedly shadowy. But their money is far from revolting, and city society quickly makes allowances for the mysterious financier and his family. Soon hearts, minds, and family savings are swept into the whirl of Augustus Melmotte's lavish parties and exciting investment plans—but is it all an elaborate swindle?

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Review:

Trollope's 1875 tale of a great financier's fraudulent machinations in the railway business, and his daughter's ill-use at the hands of a grasping lover (for whom she steals funds in order to elope) is a classic in the literature of money and a ripping good read as well.

From the Inside Flap:

"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 of a society on the verge of moral bankruptcy, where the traditional virtues of Tory squirearchy, represented by Roger Carbury, prove to be no match for the financial genius of Augustus Melmotte. 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.

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