Anthony Trollope was a masterful satirist with an unerring eye for the most intrinsic details of human behavior and an imaginative grasp of the preoccupations of nineteenth-century English novels. In "The Last Chronicle of Barset," Mr. Crawley, curate of Hogglestock, falls deeply into debt, bringing suffering to himself and his family. To make matters worse, he is accused of theft, can't remember where he got the counterfeit check he is alleged to have stolen, and must stand trial. Trollope's powerful portrait of this complex man-gloomy, brooding, and proud, moving relentlessly from one humiliation to another-achieves tragic dimensions.
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