I went burrowing through the library for a good old-fashioned read over Christmas and found a Trollope I'd never heard of called Miss Mackenzie. Crazy book. Clearly a bit of a potboiler, if you'll forgive me for saying so, Anthony. With weird, completely redundant chapters such as one entitled 'The Negro Soldiers' Orphans Bazaar' - which our heroine attends in figured muslin.
The novel is purportedly about two things: money and matrimony. But to me its theme is what on earth are genteel women supposed to do with their time - especially if they have the merest smattering of cash? Miss Mackenzie inherits some money which makes her prey to a set of despicable, money-grabbing suitors, including a clergyman with a squint and a chancer called Rubb, and her own cousin who's a fifty year old widower with nine children. While Miss Mackenzie waits for a lawsuit to be settled she spends acres and acres and acres of time in a room, doing NOTHING.
What was Trollope thinking of? Miss Mackenzie
Women have always had minds. A mind must feed on something. And if it does not, then that is a theme of a novel in itself. So come on Trollope, think again. Give Miss Mackenzie something to do, or let her howl with the pent up frustration of a prisoner in solitary. Don't just suspend her in time.