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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,056 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Trollope Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Chronicles of Barsetshire Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455188574
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The Small House at Allington introduces Trollope’s most beloved heroine, the charming Lily Dale, to the Barsetshire scene. Lily is the niece of Squire Dale, an embittered old bachelor living in the main house on his property at Allington. He has loaned an adjacent small house rent-free to his widowed sister-in-law and her daughters, Lily and Bell. But the relations between the two houses are strained, affecting the romantic entanglements of the girls.

Lily has long been unsuccessfully wooed by John Eames, a junior clerk at the income tax office. The handsome and personable Adolphus Crosbie looks like an enticing alternative; but Adolphus has his eye on the rigid Lady Alexandrina de Courcy, whose family is in a position to further his career. Bell, meanwhile, must choose between the local doctor, James Crofts, and her wealthy cousin, Bernard.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Small House at Allington, was good: I should say it is the most underrated of Trollope’s novels, in that it contains one of his more credible female creations, Lily Dale.”

    Telegraph (London)

  • “Mr. Trollope has achieved another great success...He sees a section of English life, and paints it with unerring truth, tact, and, liveliness.“

    Saturday Review, 1864

  • “Lilly Dale is one of the most charming creations that ever author devised.”

    Illustrated London News, 1864

  • “Mr. Trollope has written nothing more true or entertaining than this admirable representation of our modern social world...these are the themes which Mr. Trollope embodies for us in pictures of wonderful skill, fidelity, and, humour.”

    Spectator, 1864

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 2/20/2014

    " One of my favorite books- ever! Lily Dale is a sparkling, independent heroine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruno Bouchet | 2/17/2014

    " Trollope gets so addictive - you have to keep charging through them. Liked the rather sad nature of this one and the price the vile Crosbie pays is the perfect 'be careful the wish you make'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 2/13/2014

    " This is the 5th in the Barchester Towers series. As I continue on with this series I find myself enjoying each book more and more. I'm not sure if it's because some of the same characters continue to reappear or I have become more accustomed to Trollope's style. These books are charming and engaging. The focus of The Small House at Allington is the marriages of the Dale sisters, Lily and Bell. Neither has the requisite inheritance to help them with their choices, but, as with all Victorian heroines, they are intelligent, kind and beautiful. Great story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Guy | 2/12/2014

    " Many people say this is their favorite of the six Barsetshire novels, but I can't imagine why. It's entertaining--as all of them are--but there is something more vexing about the foibles of the characters in this volume (at least to me) than in the other stories. They seem more odd and eccentric and less endearing. And the way the bad characters get their comeuppance is not so satisfying as usual, because there's more judgment and less humor about it. Trollope's villains are usually as much fun as his heroes/heroines, but not this time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Maxon | 2/8/2014

    " I'm not normally the kind of guy that needs a happy ending, but this one seemed to build and build and build, then let me down. I wanted more closure. Still, that said, this is Trollope and his works are more than worth reading. If anything, it gives you a good understand of the culture back then. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 2/6/2014

    " This book, fifth in the Barsetshire Chronicles series, did not engage me as thoroughly as did his prior four tomes in the series. At times plodding, it lacked the sweep and panache which characterized his prior works. His principle theme is one of class distinction - a study of propriety and impropriety among the multi-layered social strata of rural England. His platform for study was the triangular love relationships appertaining to the two heorine daughters of Mrs. Dale, a mid to lower class country widow who is given (rent free) by the Squire-brother of her deceased husband the use of the "small house at Allington" which borders his country estate. Trollpe's lofty, tongue-in-cheek literary style shines through in full force to refresh the reader through the tedious narrative. Not Trollope at his best, but good enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen | 2/1/2014

    " This book is #5 in the Chronicles of Barsetshire. The Warden is #1 and Barchester Towers is #2 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lawrence | 1/28/2014

    " The Small House at Allington is a marvelous and quite serious book. It is structurally interesting and protrays characters who change in well-described radical ways. As to structure, the novel is two stories told one after the other and not simultaneously. In this respect, the first half of the book is taken up with the complexities of Mr. Crosbie's "relationship" to Lily Dale and the second half to the single-minded relationship of John Eames to Lily Dale. Essentially, Mr. Crosbie's story ends with the jilting of Lily Dale. Of course, he reappears later as a minor and passive character as fate evolves its somewhat satisfying vengeance on him. John Eames's story begins with the jilting. Of course, John Eames has appeared in the first part of the book as a minor and passive character. What appears to be the dramatic apex of the book --- the jilting --- appears in the middle. Accordingly, the continuation of the story into the drama and suspense of John Eames' relationship to Lily Dale seems at first to be an anticlimax. But I think that this impression derives from Mr. Trollope's perhaps deliberate misdirection of the reader in the book's first half to the extent that he/she thinks that the book is about Lily Dale when really it is not. The book's weight is the characters of Adolphus Crosbie and John Eames. As I wrote above, each changes in radical ways. As to Crosbie, the change is a change in circumstances, though not in character. As to Eames, the change is a growth of character. Crosbie is fascinating as an example of the banality of cadishness. His intense vanity --- even narcissism --- controls his actions, his words, his decisions, and even his thought processes given the marvelousness of his rationalizations. Accordingly, his change of circumstances is his lowering on the scale of social regard to a point below his position on the scale of vanity. Eames changes from a callow youth (hobbledehoy) to manhood. In this respect, he deals realistically with the failure of his suit for Lily and the other circumstances of his life (Amelia Roper's predatory manipulation, his advancement in his career, etc.). He ends up much higher on the scale of social regard than his virtual zero on the scale of vanity. He is therefore the successful character while Crosbie is a failure in human terms. As to Lily Dale, the point of the triangle, we know very little of her. This is not because of our popular view of women's relative seclusion in the Victorian world. Mr. Trollope has written very engaging and strong women in his books. Perhaps, it is because she is so young and so inexperienced and really benighted. Her continuing, intense attachment to Crosbie is so singular as to make her seem mentally ill. Her position is neither supported not understood by anyone around her, neither her mother, her sister Bell, nor the squire, nor persons at greater distance, like Earl De Guest and his sister Julia. It is an obsession or idee' fixe. Given the surprising inconclusiveness of the novel's ending, one can extrapolate and hope that she recovers and that John Eames might have another chance. Mr. Trollope's ability to describe humans is a gift. I always "get" what the people in Trollope are like or what they are going through. This includes Lily Dale whom we can rightfully see as deluded. I also love his style. His asides and comments run from funny to right on --- and one should have some knowledge of Scripture to appreciate how funny they are. I also liked very much the involution (did I make this word up?) of Mr. T's asides on novels and novel writing as put into the mouths of a couple of characters discussing the latest novel to come out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lex Marshall | 1/25/2014

    " Just finished this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but definitely found Barchester Towers more satisfying. I've been reading the series out of order, apparently, but I still can't wait to read another one! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Divina | 1/18/2014

    " Lilly Dale! What a case. This book is much less predictable (in the area of romance) than the earlier titles in this Trollope series. I've got a crush on John Eames. Lilly you are nuts! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lawrence | 1/18/2014

    " The Small House at Allington is a marvelous and quite serious book. It is structurally interesting and protrays characters who change in well-described radical ways. As to structure, the novel is two stories told one after the other and not simultaneously. In this respect, the first half of the book is taken up with the complexities of Mr. Crosbie's "relationship" to Lily Dale and the second half to the single-minded relationship of John Eames to Lily Dale. Essentially, Mr. Crosbie's story ends with the jilting of Lily Dale. Of course, he reappears later as a minor and passive character as fate evolves its somewhat satisfying vengeance on him. John Eames's story begins with the jilting. Of course, John Eames has appeared in the first part of the book as a minor and passive character. What appears to be the dramatic apex of the book --- the jilting --- appears in the middle. Accordingly, the continuation of the story into the drama and suspense of John Eames' relationship to Lily Dale seems at first to be an anticlimax. But I think that this impression derives from Mr. Trollope's perhaps deliberate misdirection of the reader in the book's first half to the extent that he/she thinks that the book is about Lily Dale when really it is not. The book's weight is the characters of Adolphus Crosbie and John Eames. As I wrote above, each changes in radical ways. As to Crosbie, the change is a change in circumstances, though not in character. As to Eames, the change is a growth of character. Crosbie is fascinating as an example of the banality of cadishness. His intense vanity --- even narcissism --- controls his actions, his words, his decisions, and even his thought processes given the marvelousness of his rationalizations. Accordingly, his change of circumstances is his lowering on the scale of social regard to a point below his position on the scale of vanity. Eames changes from a callow youth (hobbledehoy) to manhood. In this respect, he deals realistically with the failure of his suit for Lily and the other circumstances of his life (Amelia Roper's predatory manipulation, his advancement in his career, etc.). He ends up much higher on the scale of social regard than his virtual zero on the scale of vanity. He is therefore the successful character while Crosbie is a failure in human terms. As to Lily Dale, the point of the triangle, we know very little of her. This is not because of our popular view of women's relative seclusion in the Victorian world. Mr. Trollope has written very engaging and strong women in his books. Perhaps, it is because she is so young and so inexperienced and really benighted. Her continuing, intense attachment to Crosbie is so singular as to make her seem mentally ill. Her position is neither supported not understood by anyone around her, neither her mother, her sister Bell, nor the squire, nor persons at greater distance, like Earl De Guest and his sister Julia. It is an obsession or idee' fixe. Given the surprising inconclusiveness of the novel's ending, one can extrapolate and hope that she recovers and that John Eames might have another chance. Mr. Trollope's ability to describe humans is a gift. I always "get" what the people in Trollope are like or what they are going through. This includes Lily Dale whom we can rightfully see as deluded. I also love his style. His asides and comments run from funny to right on --- and one should have some knowledge of Scripture to appreciate how funny they are. I also liked very much the involution (did I make this word up?) of Mr. T's asides on novels and novel writing as put into the mouths of a couple of characters discussing the latest novel to come out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Divina | 1/16/2014

    " Lilly Dale! What a case. This book is much less predictable (in the area of romance) than the earlier titles in this Trollope series. I've got a crush on John Eames. Lilly you are nuts! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 1/16/2014

    " As this series goes on, Trollope becomes increasingly better at character development and insight. While the mores of the time seem foreign today, so many of the emotions and characteristics of human nature remain the same. Well done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellie | 12/23/2013

    " This was another of my most beloved books by Trollope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James Prothero | 12/23/2013

    " Not the best of the Barchester Chronicles but taking a walk with Trollope through Victorian England is always a pleasure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 11/17/2013

    " One of my favorite books- ever! Lily Dale is a sparkling, independent heroine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susannah | 11/4/2013

    " A delightful story, enjoying it thoroughly. Readers who love Austen will find much to appreciate in Mr. Trollope's work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renée | 10/26/2013

    " Much better than Dr. Thorne and Framley Parsonage. Very witty and likeable characters, some reminded me of people I know. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/9/2013

    " I tried to like this. I wanted so badly to like it. But nothing ever happened, and none of the characters were really likable. I stopped about 3/4 of the way in and moved on to better things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lex Marshall | 7/12/2013

    " Just finished this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but definitely found Barchester Towers more satisfying. I've been reading the series out of order, apparently, but I still can't wait to read another one! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bridget | 6/2/2013

    " Don't think I'll be reading more of his books anytime soon. All his characters are like dim-witted versions of Austen's in some kind of bizarre parallel universe where everything is boring and turns out badly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chad | 5/27/2013

    " What happens when a mans asks two women to marry him, within a few weeks of each other? Entertaining story, though I found the ending unsatisfying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 4/5/2013

    " Victorial heroine is jilted by cad and is determined to remain true to his memory despite the love offered by a "good man." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 3/17/2013

    " Although the heroine Lily Dale, who cannot see the flowers beneath her feet, deserves the biggest trout-slap of all time, this is a wonderfully warm and charming novel, that I thoroughly recommend to anyone who loves 19th c novels, and to anyone who hasn't yet tried one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 2/14/2013

    " Simon Vance does a marvelous job narrating this 5th entry in Trollope's Barsetshire series. Unfortunately, this novel is less amusing - more of a straightforward romance, with sickly sweet Lily Dale as the heroine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ange | 11/4/2012

    " I just don't know how I missed Trollope when I was younger. I really enjoy the depth of his characters and the way Trollope speaks directly to me. He's just fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ali | 9/14/2012

    " Not the most gripping of the Barchester Chronicles. I found Lily a particularly irritating character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 8/23/2012

    " One of Trollope's best. Excellent character development. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chas Bayfield | 8/15/2012

    " My first foray into the World of Trollope and I loved it. A real page turner and characters I could believe in. I love the fact that there's no happy ending - it feels like we are in the real world. I preferred it to Dickens and I can't wait to read more. There's even a mention of WHSmith! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chas Bayfield | 7/3/2012

    " My first foray into the World of Trollope and I loved it. A real page turner and characters I could believe in. I love the fact that there's no happy ending - it feels like we are in the real world. I preferred it to Dickens and I can't wait to read more. There's even a mention of WHSmith! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cooper Renner | 5/31/2012

    " Another delight from Trollope: a tale of love gone bad and love gone good, of youth becoming young manhood, of years of family estrangement becoming something closer to heartfelt affection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Owen Jones | 4/25/2012

    " My favorite novel. Trollope characters so much more realistic than Dicken's. Johnny Eames/Lily Dale relationship so painful yet so believable to me. What I learned from the book? Love doesn't always work out the way we want. But I guess I knew that already. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/18/2012

    " I tried to like this. I wanted so badly to like it. But nothing ever happened, and none of the characters were really likable. I stopped about 3/4 of the way in and moved on to better things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Maxon | 3/27/2012

    " I'm not normally the kind of guy that needs a happy ending, but this one seemed to build and build and build, then let me down. I wanted more closure. Still, that said, this is Trollope and his works are more than worth reading. If anything, it gives you a good understand of the culture back then. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jody | 2/7/2012

    " Okay, so I didn't actually read this book. I just couldn't get past the first couple of pages. Maybe I was just too tired, but it just wasn't capturing me. And with so many books on my "to read" list, if it doesn't grab me right away, I'm movin' on, baby!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renée | 1/9/2012

    " Much better than Dr. Thorne and Framley Parsonage. Very witty and likeable characters, some reminded me of people I know. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leila | 11/23/2011

    " LOVE Trollope, who brings both great plot AND terrific character development to the table. I wanted to name my daughter Lily after reading The Small House.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 6/21/2011

    " I'm not normally the kind of guy that needs a happy ending, but this one seemed to build and build and build, then let me down. I wanted more closure. Still, that said, this is Trollope and his works are more than worth reading. If anything, it gives you a good understand of the culture back then. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joni | 5/26/2011

    " Probably my least favorite of the Barchester series, but still good enough to get 4 stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellie | 1/2/2011

    " This was another of my most beloved books by Trollope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruno | 1/1/2011

    " Trollope gets so addictive - you have to keep charging through them. Liked the rather sad nature of this one and the price the vile Crosbie pays is the perfect 'be careful the wish you make'. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jody | 1/14/2010

    " Okay, so I didn't actually read this book. I just couldn't get past the first couple of pages. Maybe I was just too tired, but it just wasn't capturing me. And with so many books on my "to read" list, if it doesn't grab me right away, I'm movin' on, baby!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 11/3/2009

    " As this series goes on, Trollope becomes increasingly better at character development and insight. While the mores of the time seem foreign today, so many of the emotions and characteristics of human nature remain the same. Well done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 10/1/2009

    " Victorial heroine is jilted by cad and is determined to remain true to his memory despite the love offered by a "good man." "

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About the Author
Author Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope (1815–1882), the author of forty-seven novels, was one of the most prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. He is best known for his series of books set in the English countryside as well as those set in the political life, works that show great psychological penetration.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.