Nina Balatka is, on the surface, a love story not an unusual theme for Trollope. Romance and courtship were woven throughout all his previous works, often with two, three, or even more pairs of lovers per novel. Most of his heroes and heroines, after facing numerous hurdles, often of their own making, were eventually happily united by the next to last chapter. In the circles of Trollope's characters, only the wealthy could afford to marry for love; those without wealth had to marry for money, sometimes with disastrous consequences. By the time of Nina, Trollope's best exploration of this subject was the marriage between Plantagenet Palliser and Lady Glencora M'Cluskie, the former a cold fish and the latter a hot blooded heiress in love with a penniless scoundrel.