Frances Trollope: The Widow Barnaby

(1251 words)

Probably most readers would agree that of all of Frances Trollope's novels, The Widow Barnaby (1838) has been the most beloved, primarily due to the hilarious creation of the “feather and furbelow” and “flighty and flirting” widow, Martha Barnaby (2.1 and 2.6). Chambers's Encyclopedia pronounced this novel and its sequels, The Widow Married (1840) and The Barnabys in America (1843), as the most successful of Trollope's works (1901, 10.301).

The story begins at the usual point of familial conflict: somebody dies – namely Old Revd Compton – which elicits squabble amongst the relatives over the inheritance. The will directed that 300 acres be equally divided between the son and daughter. Well …

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Ayres, Brenda. "The Widow Barnaby". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 June 2010
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]