An Old Man's Love is Trollope's last complete novel, finished seven months before his death and written in almost constant pain and ill-health. The 'old man' of the title, however, is just 50 years old and has never had a days' illness. William Whittlestaff becomes guardian to Mary Lawrie, the orphaned and penniless daughter of an old friend, and gradually finds himself falling in love with her. But Mary has already given her heart to the young John Gordon who has gone to seek his fortune in the Kimberley diamond fields... It may be suspected he had Kate Field (an American girl whom he met in Italy in 1860) and himself in mind when in old age he wrote An Old Man's Love, which tells of the fondness - half protective and half passionate - of a man of fifty for a girl some thirty years his junior.