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Can You Forgive Her? is the first of the six in the Palliser series.
Trollope inextricably binds together the issues of parliamentary election and marriage, of politics and privacy. The values and aspirations of the governing stratum of Victorian society are ruthlessly examined, and none remains unscathed.
But above all 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, from her friend, the uncomfortably married Lady Glencora, to her aunt, the coquettish Mrs. Greenow, as well as her clear-headed cousin, Kate.
Alice is torn between marrying her ambitious but violent cousin George or the bland but gentlemanly John Grey, ending up both accepting and rejecting each of them in turn and thus transgressing from the Victorian moral code.
In contrast, her friend Lady Glencora is forced to marry the rising politician Plantagenet Palliser to prevent the worthless Burgo Fitzgerald from wasting her vast fortune.
Trollope was considered one of the most successful and respected English writers of the Victorian era. With more than 40 published novels, they are regarded by some as among the greatest of 19th-century fiction. Many of his works covered political, social and gender issues. Fans of his work have included former British Prime Ministers Harold Macmillan and Sir John Major.
Timothy West is prolific in film, television, theatre and audiobooks. He has narrated a number of Anthony Trollope’s classics, including the six Chronicles of Barsetshire and The Pallisers series. He has also narrated volumes of Simon Schama’s A History of Britain and John Mortimer’s Rumpole on Trial. Timothy West’s theatre roles include King Lear, The Vote, Uncle Vanya, A Number, Quarter, and Coriolanus. His films include Ever After, Joan Of Arc, Endgame, Iris, The Day of the Jackal. On television, Timothy has appeared in Great Canal Journeys, Last Tango in Halifax and Bleak House.