Not so here. Bell and Dr. Crofts do get married, but they are pretty much a sideshow. Another element, taken from the useful notes of the Penguin edition, is the strongly autobiographical nature of Johnny Eames as a character.
But, for me, the most important, attractive and intriguing character is Squire Dale. His is a sad story: the portrait of the physical inability to express very real feelings. I don't think it's any cliché about British "stiff upper lip" that explains Dale's predicament. Other Trollope characters are very British and very expressive. It is a type of human being sadly too easy to find: the person who does have feelings, but finds him or herself unable to communicate them, so that people think they are cold, indifferent, or outright hostile. You know how many people who seem to be arrogant are simply shy.
I have the feeling that, deep down, Dale is in love with Mrs. Dale, his sister-in-law, but is simply unable to approach her otherwise than through her daughters and, fearful of betraying his feeling, resorts to coldness as a (very bad) strategy to hide his feelings. Perhaps he feels he would be unfaithful to his brother's memory if he married her. I also have the feeling that, if he could have found a way to approach the lady, he would not have been rejected. But who knows?
Johnny, of course, is the other hero. Many men could feel identified with Eames, at least all those who were not "winners" from childhood on. I certainly remembered my teenage years.
Lord de Guest is a wonderful guy. Lily is nice and witty, but kind of strange. The way she remains attached to love for Crosbie is totally creepy.
Just some rushed random thoughts, but I am most curious to read yours.
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