Anthony Trollope's celebrated Parliamentary novels, of which The Eustace Diamonds (1873) is the third and most famous, are at once unfailingly amusing social comedies, melodramas of greed and deception, and precise nature studies of the political animal in its mid-Victorian habitat. With its purloined jewels, its conniving, resilient, mercenary heroine, and its partiality for the human spectacle in all its complexity, The Eustace Diamonds is a splendid example of Trollope's art at its most assured.
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Graham Handley is Lecturer in English in the Extra-Mural Department, University of London. He has edited Daniel Deronda (Clarendon Press) and Trollope's The Three Clerks (World's Classics). He has also written a book on George Eliot's Midlands and a critical study of Barchester Towers.