The Belton Estate
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The Belton Estate (1865), by Anthony Trollope, is a fine example of the author's favorite subjects: social and family relationships, inheritance, a young woman faced with the delicate choice of worthy husbands, and a sophisticated portrayal of British Victorian life.
Clara Amedroz, the lady in question, must find her place, after deaths in the family leave her vulnerable and without a fortune. Her home, the Belton Estate, has been entailed. And before happiness can be had, Clara must be sensible, patient, and above all tactful in the face of difficulty, not to mention an unspeakable mother-in-law.
as they came were not quite so bad as she had expected them to be. At first Lady Aylmer said little or nothing to her. It seemed to be agreed between them that there was to be war, but that there was no necessity for any of the actual operations of war during the absence of Captain Aylmer. Clara had become Miss Amedroz again; and though an offer to be driven out in the carriage was made to her every day, she was in general able to escape the infliction;—so that at last it came to be understood
"It's all no good," said William Belton, as he crunched the note in his hand. "I might as well shoot myself. Get out of the way there, will you?" And the injured groom scudded across the farm-yard, knowing that there was something wrong with his master. Chapter XXX - Mary Belton * It was about the middle of the pleasant month of May when Clara Amedroz again made that often repeated journey to Taunton, with the object of meeting Mary Belton. She had transferred herself and her own
this?" Clara would not answer these questions for a while. What if she had known it all, was she therefore bound to sacrifice herself? Could it be the duty of any woman to give herself to a man simply because a man wanted her? That was the argument as it was put forward now by Mary Belton. "Dear, dearest Clara," said Mary Belton, stretching herself forward from her chair, and putting out her thin, almost transparent, hand, "I do not think that you have thought enough of this; or, perhaps, you
over again, and I find that I can manage it." "We shall be so glad to have you!" said Clara. "And I shall be equally glad to come. They are already at work, sir, about the sheds." "Yes; I saw the carts full of bricks go by," said the squire, querulously. "I didn't know there was to be any brickwork. You said you would have it made of deal slabs with oak posts." "You must have a foundation, sir. I propose to carry the brickwork a foot and a half above the ground." "I suppose you know best.
heard from you, and was disappointed when I was obliged to tell her that you had not alluded to the subject. She is very anxious about you, and, having now given her assent to our marriage, is of course desirous of knowing that her kindly feeling is reciprocated. I assured her that my own Clara was the last person to be remiss in such a matter, and reminded her that young ladies are seldom very careful in their mode of answering letters. Remember, therefore, that I am now your guarantee, and send