The Trials of Lizzie Eustace: Trollope, Sensationalism, and the Condition of English Law

19 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2016

See all articles by Ian Ward

Ian Ward

University of Newcastle upon Tyne - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 2016

Abstract

The Eustace Diamonds was published in 1872. It was the third of Anthony Trollope's famed Palliser series. It represented, however, something of a diversion, telling the story of the ‘cunning’ Lizzie Eustace who declines to return a priceless diamond necklace to the estate of her recently deceased husband. Critics have supposed that The Eustace Diamonds can be read as a contribution to the contemporary genre of ‘sensation’ novels. Sensation novels were full of sex, crime, and scheming young women like Lizzie Eustace. The law should of course have brought to Lizzie to justice. But it does not; indeed it barely tries. For the law in The Eustace Diamonds, as in so many ‘sensation’ novels, is conspicuous only in a failure that is as metaphorical in purpose as it is prosaic.

Suggested Citation

Ward, Ian, The Trials of Lizzie Eustace: Trollope, Sensationalism, and the Condition of English Law (March 2016). Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 43, Issue 1, pp. 66-84, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2727517 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6478.2016.00741.x

Ian Ward (Contact Author)

University of Newcastle upon Tyne - Faculty of Law ( email )

21-24 Windsor Terrace
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
United Kingdom
+ 191 222 7620 (Phone)

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