The Small House at Allington

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The Small House at Allington
Title page from the first edition in book form.
Author Anthony Trollope
Illustrator John Everett Millais
Country England
Language English
Series Chronicles of Barsetshire
Publisher Cornhill Magazine (serial); George Smith (book)
Publication date
September 1862 – April 1864 (serial); April 1864 (book)
Media type Print (Serial, Hardback, and Paperback)
Preceded by Framley Parsonage (1861)
Followed by The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867)

The Small House at Allington is the fifth novel in Anthony Trollope's series known as the "Chronicles of Barsetshire", first published in 1864. It enjoyed a revival in popularity in the early 1990s when the British prime minister, John Major, declared it as his favourite book.

Plot summary[edit]

The Small House at Allington concerns the Dale family, who live in the "Small House", a dower house intended for the widowed mother (Dowager) of the owner of the estate. The landowner, in this instance, is the bachelor Squire of Allington, Christopher Dale. Dale's mother having died, he has allocated the Small House, rent free, to his widowed sister-in-law and her daughters Isabella ("Bell") and Lilian ("Lily").

Lily has for a long time been secretly loved by John Eames, a junior clerk at the Income Tax Office, while Bell is in love with the local doctor, James Crofts. The handsome and personable, somewhat mercenary Adolphus Crosbie is introduced into the circle by the squire's nephew, Bernard Dale. Adolphus rashly proposes marriage to portionless Lily, who accepts him, to the dismay of John Eames. Crosbie soon jilts her in favour of Lady Alexandrina de Courcy, whose family is in a position to further his career. Lily meets her misfortune with patience, and remains single, continuing to reject Eames, though retaining his faithful friendship. Bell marries Dr Crofts, after refusing an offer of marriage from her cousin Bernard.

As with all of Trollope's novels, this one contains many sub-plots and numerous minor characters. Plantagenet Palliser (of the "Palliser" series) makes his first appearance, as he contemplates a dalliance with Griselda Grantly, the now-married Lady Dumbello, daughter of the Archdeacon introduced earlier in the Chronicles of Barsetshire.

Characters in The Small House at Allington[edit]

Major characters[edit]

  • Squire Christopher Dale, owner of the estate of Allington. He resides in the Great House. The Squire has no children, and so his presumptive heir is Bernard Dale.
  • Mrs. Mary Dale, the Squire's sister-in-law. She married his youngest brother, for which he never forgave her. After her husband's death the Squire invites her to stay in the Small House for the sake of her daughters.
  • Lily Dale is the heroine and eldest niece of the Squire.
  • Isabella (Bell) Dale is Lily's sister.

Minor characters[edit]

  • Captain Bernard Dale, nephew of Christopher. He grew up with Lily and Bell.

External links[edit]