"The Small House at Allington" is the fifth book in Anthony Trollope's Barchester series (AKA Chronicles of Barsetshire). As with all of Trollope, it is beautifully written and draws the reader into its many interwoven tales.
"The Small House at Allington" is largely focused on the Small House's inhabitants, Mrs. Dale and her two marriageable daughters, Lily and Bell. The two girls, of course, have suitors: their cousin, Bernard Dale, his friend Adolphus Crosbie, and the local boy, Johnny Eames, whose career in London is to mark him as far more than the "hobbledehoy" that he has earlier been considered. Crosbie is a social climber, and his connection with the dysfunctional de Courcys of Barsetshire give the author a chance for a splendid portrayal of an aristocratic family in decline. As with many of Anthony Trollope's novels, there are subplots as well, and many pictures of rural life standing in contrast to that of London. Some critics have seen in the portrayal of Johnny Eames something of an autobiographical exercise on Trollope's part.
Former Prime Minister John Major declared this particular novel to be his favourite book of all time, and in doing so, he was joining the good company of the countless Trollope fans who have ensured this work's lasting fame, and helped to enshrine its place as a literary classic.
Novels in the Barchester series:
5-The Small House at Allington
6-The Last Chronicle of Barset