In this installment of the Palliser series, Lizzie Greystock, a fortune-hunter who ensnares the sickly, dissipated Sir Florian Eustace is soon left a very wealthy widow and mother. While clever and beautiful, Lizzie has several character flaws, the greatest of which is an almost pathological delight in lying, even when it cannot benefit her. Before he dies the disillusioned Sir Florian discovers all this, but does not think to change the generous terms of his will.
which would come from thinking! He was proud, I have said, and haughty; but he was essentially modest and humble in his self-estimation. How divine was this creature, whose voice to him was as that of a goddess!
Then he spoke out to her, with his face a little turned from her. Would she be his wife? But, before she answered him, let her listen to him. They had told him that an early death must probably be his fate. He did not himself feel that it must be so. Sometimes he was ill,--very ill; but often he was well. If she would run the risk with him he would endeavour to make her such recompense as might come from his wealth. The speech he made was somewhat long, and as he made it he hardly looked into her face.
But it was necessary to him that he should be made to know by some signal from her how it was going with her feelings. As he spoke of his danger, there came a gurgling little trill of wailing from her throat, a soft, almost musical sound of woe, which seemed to add an unaccustomed eloquen
fun to read - very entertaining, but tends to be very wordy.
Classic story of a vixen vs. a virgin.
Although part of the Palliser series of books, this is really a stand-alone novel. It concerns Lizzie Eustace, a woman who marries for money and who fights to retain a diamond necklace thought to belong to her husband's family. She's certainly not a role model of morality, but she's fun to read about. This book is full of interesting characters and clever observations about money & marriage in Victorian England.