He Knew He Was Right

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Feb 24, 1994 - Fiction - 834 pages
15 Reviews
Anthony Trollope's story of one man's obsessive self-deception pitted against against the enduring power of his wife's love, He Knew He Was Right is edited with an introduction by Frank Kermode in Penguin Classics. On a visit to the Mandarin Islands, Louis Trevelyan falls in love with Emily, the daughter of the governor, and they are swiftly married and return to live in London. But when a friend of Emily's father - the meddlesome libertine Colonel Osborne - starts paying rather too much attention to the young woman, Louis is consumed by jealousy and refuses to listen to his wife's pleas of innocence. And as his suspicions become increasingly obsessive and the marriage collapses, Louis finds himself driven to desperate actions. In He Knew He Was Right, Trollope created a highly sympathetic portrait of a deeply troubled marriage, and a compelling psychological story of sexual obsession in his portrait of a nineteenth-century Othello. In his introduction, Frank Kermode discusses Victorian attitudes to courtship and marriage, compares the novel to Othello and places it in the context of Trollope's other works. This edition also includes a new chronology, a bibliography and notes. Anthony Trollope (1815-82) had an unhappy childhood characterised by a stark contrast between his family's high social standing and their comparative poverty. He wrote his earliest novels while working as a Post Office inspector, but did not meet with success until the publication of the first of his 'Barsetshire novels', The Warden (1855). As well as writing over forty novels, including such popular works as Can You Forgive Her? (1865), Phineas Finn (1869), He Knew He Was Right (1869) and The Way We Live Now (1875) Trollope is credited with introducing the postbox to England. If you enjoyed He Knew He Was Right, you might enjoy Trollope's The Way We Live Now, also available in Penguin Classics.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
5
3 stars
2
2 stars
4
1 star
1

Review: He Knew He Was Right

User Review  - Rachel - Goodreads

He Knew He Was Right, Anthony Trollope Just as a comparison of statistics - Middlemarch was 700ish pages long, and took me the best part of a month to read; HKHWR was 820 pages long, and took me a ... Read full review

Review: He Knew He Was Right

User Review  - Kilian Metcalf - Goodreads

This is one of Trollope's darkest novels. Unfortunately he tries to lighten the mood by loading the book down with happy little subplots, any one of which would have made a good story in itself. Louis ... Read full review

About the author (1994)

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) was born in London to a bankrupt barrister father and a mother who, as a well-known writer, supported the family. Trollope enjoyed considerable acclaim both as a novelist and as a senior civil servant in the Post Office. He published more than forty novels and many short stories that are regarded by some as among the greatest of nineteenth-century fiction.


Frank Kermode is among our greatest contemporary critics. He has written and edited many works, among them The Sense of Ending and Shakespeare’s Language.

Bibliographic information