Nina Balatka by Anthony Trollope


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Nina Balatka, by Anthony Trollope

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Nina Balatka

Author: Anthony Trollope

Release Date: September, 2005 [EBook #8897]
[This file was first posted on August 26, 2003]
[Most recently updated: May 18, 2005]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


E-text prepared by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D.





Anthony Trollope was an established novelist of great renown when _Nina
Balatka_ was published in 1866, twenty years after his first novel.
Except for _La Vendee_, his third novel, set in France during the
Revolution, all his previous works were set in England or Ireland and
dealt with the upper levels of society: the nobility and the landed
gentry (wealthy or impoverished), and a few well-to-do merchants--people
several strata above the social levels of the characters popularized by
his contemporary Dickens. Most of Trollope's early novels were set in
the countryside or in provincial towns, with occasional forays into
London. The first of his political novels, _Can You Forgive Her_, dealing
with the Pallisers was published in 1864, two years before _Nina_. By the
time he began writing _Nina_, shortly after a tour of Europe, Trollope
was a master at chronicling the habits, foibles, customs, and ways of
life of his chosen subjects.

_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. A few were doomed to disappointment (Johnny Eames never won
the heart of Lily Dale through two of the "Barsetshire" novels), but
marital bliss--or at least the prospect of bliss--was the usual outcome.
Even so, the reader of Trollope soon notices his analytical description
of Victorian courtship and marriage. 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 (_Can You Forgive Her?_
1865). Yet to come was the disastrous marriage of intelligent Lady
Laura Standish to the wealthy but old-maidish Robert Kennedy in _Phineas
Finn_ and its sequel.

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