Can You Forgive Her?

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Anthony Trollope was a prolific Victorian writer. Trollope's best-loved works were known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, which center on the imaginary county of Basetshire. He wrote penetrating novels on political, social, and gender issues and conflicts. When Trollope returned to England after eighteen months in the colonies, he was horrified by the rampant immorality he found. Can You Forgive Her? Contains three intertwined yet distinct stories of Victorian England, each concerned with one woman and two men. The values and aspirations of the governing stratum of Victorian society are ruthlessly examined and none remains unscathed. Trollope focuses on the predicament of women. "What should a woman do with her life?" asks Alice Vavasor of herself, and this theme is echoed by every other woman in the novel, from the uncomfortably married Lady Glencora to the coquettish Mrs. Greenow and Alice's clear-headed cousin Kate.

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