This was Trollope's last completed novel, and he may have acquired his sympathy for older lovers with age! A not-so-very-old man, Mr. Whittlestaff, dearly loves Mary Lawrie, the girl he provides a home for after her father's death. He wishes to marry her, and she reluctantly accepts him, but warns him of her deep regard for a young man she had known years earlier. That Mr. Gordon had not exactly engaged her, but had gone off to seek his fortune and had not communicated with Mary ever since. Shortly after Mary accepts Mr. Whittlestaff, Gordon shows up. Trollope works out a final arrangement which resolves the quandary, but not with comfort. (Arnold Banner)
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