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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1878, Is He Popenjoy? is a delightful comic novel written late in the career of author Anthony Trollope. The plot revolves around the themes of property and inheritance, as the relatives of the Marquis of Brotherton question the legitimacy of a foreign-born heir to the family estate.

Lord George Germain, as the younger brother of the marquis, can neither inherit the family title nor enjoy the income from the estate. He occupies the ancestral home, Manor Cross, only by grudging permission of his elder brother, who lives abroad. But he does find happiness in his marriage to Mary Lovelace, the sweet-natured young daughter of the Dean of Brotherton, who brings a family legacy that provides an immediate solution to his financial problems.

Lord George’s new-found contentment is thrown into turmoil, however, when the marquis announces that he is returning to England, having married an Italian widow who has borne him a son - Lord Popenjoy, as the heir to the title is traditionally known. Lord George, his wife, his mother and sisters, must therefore leave the house to make way for his brother.

On his return, the marquis shows himself to be a despicable bully who treats his family and all around him with supercilious condescension. But Mary’s father, the Dean, suspects that the marquis’ son may not be a legitimate heir - that Popenjoy may in fact not be Popenjoy - and determines to make enquiries as to the validity of the marquis’ marriage and his son’s claim to the title.

The story is full of entertaining characters and twists and turns, including love affairs, jealousy, and the rights of women - all told with Trollope’s liberal satire and entertaining wit.

Public Domain (P)2020 Spoken Realms

What listeners say about Is He Popenjoy?

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Another Great Trollope Yarn

Trollope’s fiction was produced 150 years ago and, of course, is a reflection of the customs and prejudices of British society of that era. But his fiction will always be current and entertaining, because he was a realist and very much concerned with what it means to be a gentleman or a lady. His wit, humor, and plethora of human portraits are unparalleled. And thank God for his enormous productivity!

8 people found this helpful

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Delightful

Just wonderful; as delightful and really funny as it literate. Also showing Trollops’ own brand of feminism. This is a wonderful reading, (only to be surpassed by Christopher West). The voices for the characters are excellent , and there is significant nuance in this reading all around. I do hope that Nigel Patterson will consider performing some of the other Trollop novels that have less successful readings, for instance those of Flo Gibson. There are many people waiting for that.

5 people found this helpful

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Love my Trollope

No one can interweave numerous plot lines like Trollope. Nigel does a fair job of narrating, but he’s no Timothy West. It’s enjoyable nonetheless.

5 people found this helpful

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Nigel Patterson is amazing

His narration was excellent, and really added to my enjoyment of the book. He gave each of the numerous characters a distinct voice.

1 person found this helpful

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Something missing....

A very good story but there isn't much character development. We get to hear them talk, argue, disparage each other but why? What is up with these people? What makes them tick, what do they like, dislike, who are they? What is the object of their desires? It's like eavesdropping (can be interesting ~but) without knowing who is behind the curtain it really doesn't have much meaning unless you know the people. I have this problem with many of Trollope's stories, so much dialog, so much going on but not enough depth to truly be immersed in the story, to care. We are just listening in to people we know nothing about. They are not described in appearance to any degree, we don't know how they dress, wear their hair, speak, etc. The interiors are not well described which would have been enjoyable for all the houses involved, especially the family home renovation near the end in London. We don't know a thing about the mysterious Italian wife and child or whether they are truly who they say they are or how that situation came about. Why does the Marquis hate his family? Nothing is explained at all. But this is typical Trollope. It makes the stories forgettable after reading since there is nothing very deeply engrossing about any of the characters except annoying antidotes and all come across as not very smart. The heroine is pregnant but it's never described and she continues to meet with people and go about with never a mention to how much she is showing not even at 8 plus months not even to a man who claims to love her from afar like he doesn't even notice. BTW, Why is the heir called Popenjoy? England was led about by this truly horrid system that dictated how to think, dress, care, all of which were in many cases the exact opposite of natural feelings or desires. What a sick system for people to feel so entrapped by an accident of birth determining what class you would be. No class was truly free and everyone made decisions for everyone else. How awful. I can't believe it took so long for it to go away and it's probably still alive and well in certain circles. If you have a love of words, sentence structure, composition as I do you will enjoy this for the pure joy of lanuage at it's best.

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely wonderful

I loved this. It’s serious and it’s playful. I’ve read most of Trollope and I think he is more perceptive of the feelings of women than any other author I’ve read.
The narrator does a magnificent job, though I did slow it down a hair.

1 person found this helpful

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Love Trollope, but this one’s not so good

I’ve been listening to a LOT of Trollope this past 2 years (COVID distraction!). Loved the Chronicles of Barsetshire.

But Popenjoy was…meh. Not much of a story line, characters a bit lackluster, humor was thin , and -oh dear- sometimes Trollope gets a bits lecture-y through the dialogue.

In short- a bit of a dud.

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A delightful Trollope, read beautifully.

Almost as good as the better Barchester and Parriser novels. If you like Trollope, get this one. Those who object to Victorian notions of marriage, clerics, and fox hunting had better stay away.

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144 years old and still kicking

Amazing how a story written a century and a half ago on the British isle could resonate still so well to our modern times. Although I am grateful not to be constrained by the ideas of « oroper » womanly behavior, most of the rest of the mores are distressingly familiar.
Am easy listen.

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TOTALLY ENGAGING AND JUST PLAIN MARVELOUS!!!!

GOOD OL' TROLLOPE!! BETWEEN HIM AND DICKENS, THE GENIUS OF THESE TWO, AND THEIR OUTSTANDING NARRATORS, MY AUDIBLE READING EXPERIENCE IS OFF THE CHARTS, THE MOST PLEASANT, WELL-SPENT HOURS OF MY DAY!! THANK YOU, AUDIBLE.COM!!

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  • Sophie
  • 05-05-21

Unfortunate narration, very flat.

As a huge fan of all books by Anthony Trollope I was delighted to discover this lesser known work appear as an audible audio. Sadly, I’ve been utterly spoiled by listening to the divine Timothy West narrate the Palliser and Barchester series, and by comparison this narration is flat and lacklustre.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Pamela
  • 01-07-22

Disappointing!

I hope anyone who has not enjoyed Trollope before never comes across this novel. I am a fan of Trollope and the Palliser and Barchester series. And this pleasure has been enhanced by the superb audio performances by Timothy West. Do not start Trollope with this book or you will meet with disappointment.
Nigel Patterson gives a weak performance and there is little differentiation in the voices of the characters. This makes listening rather difficult. People can read a book but this does not mean they are able to read aloud and breathe life into it. It is more reminiscent of reading at school where the pupils are awkward and flat and Nigel Patterson is the teacher who reads but is unable to generate energy or interest in the text.
The book moves at glacial speed in the beginning and I know by chapter 26 I was still waiting for something to happen or any depth given to these two-dimensional characters. Add to the mix an improbable plot and I feel two stars was my very best mark.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nicola
  • 09-06-21

Such insight

Not my favourite Trollope book - but very much worth the read. His insight into the thoughts, fears and actions of characters is masterful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Valerie Kennett
  • 09-02-21

Funny far fetched story

I really enjoyed this funny & far fetched story…. though some things never really seem to change do they?
Anthony Trollope’s story telling, is at the same time an insight into, & an escape from the modern world.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Peter R
  • 08-14-21

superb.

Great writing, great plot and great performance. As good as the Barchester and Palliser novels. Excellent narration, I thought Nigel Patterson's voice too light at first but he soon won me over with his excellent performance and character voices.

1 person found this helpful

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  • NutwoodWanderer
  • 08-02-21

Poorly narrated and oh so slow to get going

I’ve given up - just couldn’t get into this at all. It’s my first Trollope and I’m not sure I’ll try another.

There’s over an hour of scene setting before anything happens. The narration was dull and the voices poor. I couldn’t tolerate any more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • swirley
  • 05-06-22

Marvellous!

what a joyous comedic romp with outstanding performance by Mr Patterson. Raced through it!

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  • cyclingcarol
  • 04-01-22

Wonderful escape into Victorian England

Loved the humour and Trollope’s satire on the class system, Victorian morality and the role of women. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • C and/or A
  • 02-14-22

Excellent Production

This novel has been read as superbly as Trollope deserves. To read, and listen to the works of Trollop is a great pleasure. And, I would happily listen to anything read by the expressive Nigel Patterson.

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  • W. King
  • 02-09-22

The narration was poor.

I loved this book . I am working my way through Anthony Trollope's novels and love his way of writing storylines and the words used at that time. I was disappointed by the narration this time - his voices for the different characters were not a patch on Timothy West's in other o es I have listened to.