'She loved him much, and admired him even more than she loved him...Would that he had some faults!'
Alice Vavasor is torn between a risky marriage with her ambitious cousin George and the safer prospect of a union with the formidably correct John Grey. Her indecision is reflected in the dilemmas of her friend Lady Glencora, confined in the proprieties of her life with Plantagenet Palliser but tempted to escape with her penniless lover Burgo Fitzgerald, and of her aunt, the irreverent widow Mrs Greenow, who must choose between a solid farmer and an untrustworthy soldier as her next husband.
Each woman finds her choice bound up with the cold realities of money, and the tension between public expectation and private inclination.
Can You Forgive Her? is the first of Trollope's six Palliser novels, and its focus on the exercise of power, whether in the masculine world of parliament and the professions, or within the domesticities of friendship, courtship, and marriage, signals a new breadth and diversity of interest in his fiction.
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