Ralph the Heir was first published in book form in 1872, during Trollope's middle period. Although Trollope described it in his Autobiography (ch 19) as “one of the worst novels I have written”, the book has an interesting plot, rounded characters, and a famous account of an election at “Percycross”, which stands for Beverley, where Trollope's failed and embittering bid for a seat in parliament took place.
The list of characters reveals striking structural similarities and contrasts reminiscent of the parallels in Renaissance drama, which was an interest of the author's. It is the story of four families, in each of which the focus is on the father and his relations with his children. At the top …
Shaw, Philip. "Ralph the Heir". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 June 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2457, accessed 20 January 2017.]