The Mystery of the Stolen Gems

Anthony Trollope, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, wove tales that brought fascinating characters to life while incorporating critiques of the political, social, and religious environment of nineteenth-century England.  The Eustace Diamonds, the latest addition to the literature page, was influenced by Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, but is not a mystery in the normal sense as much as it is a narrative that sheds light on the variety of characters (and their flaws) that inhabited the English upper class or wished to do so.  The central character, Lady Elizabeth Eustace, will do anything she can to maintain her wealth and status, even to the point of keeping a diamond necklace she despises simply because the family of her late husband wants to take it away from her.  The humorous tactics she pursues enliven the novel while also giving insight into the consequences of greed and deceit in human relationships.