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On Honor and Consequences: The Duel in Trollope's The Small House at Allington

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Abstract:

Anthony Trollope's novels of the 1860s examine jiltings and rivalries that would have instigated duels only a generation earlier. As his characters agonize over what course of private justice remains in lieu of the notoriety of public legal recourse, Trollope adds to the mid-century debate over the “New Man.” The Small House at Allington brings these preoccupations together as it engages in an ironic deflation of the role of the hero, yet stages a series of pseudo-duels that exemplify the human need to know firsthand that wrongdoing has been addressed. Although dueling has a negligible effect upon the outcome of the romance plots in his fic tion, Trollope shows that in cases of jilting the drive for retribution and closure is too overwhelming to abjure violence altogether.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7756/dsa.043.008.169-186

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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