More mayhem in Trollope

Having shown Trollope’s penchant for including murder in his plots, it is only proper to continue the crime-related theme in honour of Crime Fest 2014 and mention that he also included several unsuccessful attempted murders in addition to the one in The Landleaguers mentioned yesterday.

Indeed, the first attempted murder is in only his second novel, The Kellys and the O’Kellys – another Irish crime scene! Here we see Barry Lynch attempt to kill his sister Anty to get his hands on her money.

However, once again it is love, or frustrated love that more often provides the spur for other attempted murders in Trollope’s novels. In Phineas Redux, Mr Kennedy tries to shoot Phineas Finn, whom he believes to be responsible for his wife’s continued refusal to return to him. And it is maternal love, however misguided, that drives Lady Lovel to make a similar attempt on the life of Daniel Thwaite, her daughter’s would-be suitor, whom she considers unsuitable (pun intended) in Lady Anna.

There are also a number of violent assaults, such as that by Frank Gresham with a horse-whip on Mr Moffat, who jilted his sister Augusta in Dr Thorne, which, while perhaps not attempts at murder, are contrary to the popular misconception of Trollope as a teller of genteel Victorian tales.


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