He Knew He Was Right

He Knew He Was Right

by Anthony Trollope

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Overview

The central theme of the novel is the sexual jealousy of Louis Trevelyan who unjustly accuses his wife Emily of a liaison with a friend of her father's. As his suspicion deepens into madness, Trollope gives us a profound psychological study in which Louis' obsessive delirium is comparable to the tormented figure of Othello, tragically flawed by self-deception. Against the disintegration of the Trevelyans' marriage, a lively cast of characters explore the ideas of female emancipation and how to distinguish between obedience and subjection. Although himself no supporter of women's rights, in this novel some of Trollope's most spirited characters are single women.

Published in 1869, the same year as John Stuart Mills' The Subjection of Women and while the Divorce Act was a relative novelty, He Knew He Was Right was a timely novel, drawing a fine line between the obedience of women within marriage and their total possession by men.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781725122413
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Pages: 516
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) was born in London to a bankrupt barrister father and a mother who, as a well-known writer, supported the family. Trollope enjoyed considerable acclaim both as a novelist and as a senior civil servant in the Post Office. He published more than forty novels and many short stories that are regarded by some as among the greatest of nineteenth-century fiction.

 

Frank Kermode is among our greatest contemporary critics. He has written and edited many works, among them The Sense of Ending and Shakespeare’s Language.

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He knew he was right 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
davegregg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This came highly recommended by a friend. She loves digging into characters, and this book certainly does that. But however much I tried, I just could not finish this book. I get stressed out when I'm around too much petty drama and this book has a lot of it. Trollope is an excellent writer. His characters are true to imperfect human form. He stands out as a master among English literary masters, but I just couldn't stand the unwavering pettiness that seems to dominate the major plot.
riotbrrd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this to be one of Trollope's saddest novels, perhaps because of the role of little boy in the story. Nevertheless, a wonderful book, with the rich detail and keen observation of Trollope's best works.
CVBell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found He Knew He Was Right thoroughly addictive and thought provoking. Trollope has a masterful way of illustrating the vagaries of all types of social rank and the weaknesses of human spirit.While it can seem bloated and repetitive at times, I'm particularly amazed at how well Trollope's story illustrates the political struggles over women's rights which raged during the 19th century. In the central struggle between the jealous Louis Trevelyan and his prideful but loyal wife Emily, He Knew He Was Right explores male authority and women's rights within marriage--core issues in arguments over married women's property. As documented by Wendy Jones, the novel was written during the height of the debate in British parliament about these issues. Jones makes explicit the nature of Trollope's contribution to this debate by showing how He Knew He Was Right intersects with the broader cultural discourse of contract, which informs Victorian Feminist arguments, and which was central to an ideal of married love. Trollope also has a wonderfully entertaining way of exploring the pitfalls of both conforming to or rebelling against social conformity and authority. Human psychology is illuminated as much as social authority. Each way of being is shown to have its weaknesses. No one side of an argument or single character is ever all right or all wrong (save, perhaps Camilla French). At some point each inhabitant of Trollope's finely drawn universe appears intractable to his or her detriment, as if *he knew he was right*. Pride and ego are relentlessly laid bare. Sticking steadfastly to that position is almost universally the most problematic position.
uvula_fr_b4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anthony Trollope's 1869 novel He Knew He Was Right is essentially a Victorian-dress Othello, with the main plot concerning the raving jealousy of one Louis Trevelyan, a well-to-do gentleman ("well-to-do" in this instance being £3,000 per annum, which seems to translate to roughly U.S. $500k/yr. these days; Trollope has been called the most money-conscious of the Victorian novelists, and he scandalised his nation when he admitted to enjoying the remuneration he received for his scribblings) who occasionally writes articles for one review or another, over his spirited wife's friendship with an older man, one Colonel Frederic Osborne: as Trevelyan's suspicions deepen he gradually loses his grip on reality and slips into madness. The book also, incidentally, contains what the Oxford English Dictionary says is the first recorded use of the term "private detective," at least according to the endnote provided by Frank Kermode (p. 828; the term is first dropped in Chapter 19, "Bozzle, The Ex-Policeman," p. 166). The title is a bit of a red herring, BTW: Louis Trevelyan is far from being the only character in the book who "knows" that "he was right," with his tropic-reared wife being the most obvious countervailing figure; but essentially every character who's given any sort of time in the spotlight is dead certain that he (or she...) is right. In addition to examining male-female relationships from a variety of perspectives (and not always to the credit of the males), Trollope manages some jibes at feminists, one of his pet peeves, it seems. While I was ready for this book to be finished, its "shoes" didn't pinch nearly as much as those provided by Dickens (see, for example, David Copperfield).
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