Anthony Trollope's third installment in the Barchester Chronicles. A book of birth, wealth, titles, and class distinctions. Trollope skewers all three while making Dr. Thorne and his bastard strong willed niece Mary, and Mrs Dunstable, the only ones to see the absurdity of these Victorian British mores and attempt to rise above them. Even they ultimately succumb to the pressures of peer and society and fall in line.All the difficulties are ultimately resolved by an unlikely chain of events and fortuitous deaths typical of this sort of thing and the happy ending is telescoped way before it ever occurs. This leaves the message somewhat diluted.As always Trollope's prose is marvelous and his sense of humor exquisite making this a fairly light hearted read that belies his later works. The characters are well drawn and tend to be less two-dimensional than Dickens while the plots are nowhere near as lively.I like this book a lot, maybe better, than I did the previous two volumes Barchester Towers and The Warren and look forward to the next. I'm sure this will seem dull to those that do not favor long 19th century novels, but I always loved this sort of thing.