Doctor Thorne (1858) by Anthony Trollope is one of the charming series of loosely connected novels set in Barsetshire. While the good Dr. Thomas Thorne is at the heart of the novel, it is the romantic story of his niece Mary Thorne and Frank Gresham -- a story with the playful sensibility of Jane Austen and the heartwarming cheer of Dickens.
I watched the adaptation and loved the story so knew I had to read the book. Really enjoyed the more fleshed out narrative and expanded story, but I admit to skipping some of the overly repetitive verbiage.45
After the first two Barchester books, this one took a bit longer for me to get into. Of course, Trollop himself admits in the book that the first two chapters drag. The final ending was telegraphed pretty early on. Nevertheless, the journey to get there was very enjoyable. Amazon Video recently released a miniseries adaptation that was under the auspices of the same fellow that was behind Downton Abbey. Much like the videos of the first two books from the 1980s (starring a very young Alan Rickman) the new video of Doctor Thorne was fun, but doesn’t hold a candle to the book. Overall, I recommend this book. It can certainly stand alone without the others in the series, but I would highly recommend reading the Chronicles of Barchester in publication order. I.e., read “The Warden” and “Barchester Towers” first.45