2007: 115. The Eustace Diamonds

“It was admitted by all her friends, and also by her enemies -- who were in truth the more numerous and active body of the two -- that Lizzie Greystock had done very well for herself.”

The Eustace Diamonds, Anthony Trollope

This was a great book! I have read a bunch of Trollope, and am slowly making my way through the Palliser series, but this is the first one that I have flat out adored.  It is sooo much better than Phineas Finn, and the reason is that it has such a great villain.  Bad women are much more interesting than vacillating men!! 

It tells the story of Lizzie Eustace, née Greystock, who marries Lord Eustace on his deathbed, and decides (or rather, convinces herself) that the famous Eustace diamonds were a gift to her from him.  The family thinks they are heirlooms, and off we go! The story is interesting because Lizzie is rotten, through and through - but beautiful and rich, so it is easy for the men flocking around her to ignore this tiny flaw.  Until things get worse and worse, and oh! it is good.  Lizzie is a great character, and the people taken in and associated with her are pretty good too, and she gets a totally satisfying comeuppance, and I really liked this book.

And I thought the writing was grand! Some quotes, all from the Penguin Classic edition:

On Lizzie’s opportunism pg. 359

“He had not eyes clear enough to perceive that his cousin was a witch whistling for a wind, and ready to take the first blast that would carry her and her broomstick somewhere into the sky.”


On Frank’s falseness to Lucy* pg. 587:

“What did it matter where she now went? And yet she must go somewhere and do something.  There remained to her the wearisome possession of herself, and while she lived she must eat, and have clothes and require shelter.” (Oh, poor Lucy! Damn that bitch Lizzie!)


And, a compliment to me p. 55:

“How few there are among women, few perhaps also among men, who know that the sweetest, softest, tenderest, truest eyes which a women can carry in her head are green in colour!”


Recommended for:  People who like good stories with great villains and people getting what is due to them! I mean if you like Gray’s Anatomy, you would like this, I promise.


* I didn’t even tell you about Frank, and Lizzie, and Mr. Camperdown, and poor Lucinda! Man, this is a good book - I need to go read Phineas Redux!


Date/Place Completed:  7/26/07; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction; Commuting Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017