Since its first appearance in 1867, The Claverings has been acclaimed as one of Trollope's most concentrated and successful portrayals of mid-Victorian life. Harry Clavering is perhaps the first well-born Victorian hero to choose a career in civil engineering; he wants to transform the world with railways and bridges. Julia Brabazon, his first love, jilts him for a wealthy, dissipated, and decrepit nobleman. Two years later, a rich young widow, she reappears and forces Harry to choose between the comforts of a moneyed wife and the honourable course of marrying his fiancee, Florence Burton, and pursuing his avowed career. His struggles of conscience contrast strikingly with the emotional strength of the two women. Trollope deploys masterly realism and Victorian moral sense in portraying the anguish of making choices in both profession and marriage.
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