What I'm reading this week
I’m still going through Trollope’s Palliser novels. Currently I’m reading The Eustace Diamonds. The leading character, Lizzie Eustace, is explicitly compared by Trollope to Thackeray’s Becky Sharp. In both cases, it’s hard for a modern reader not to barrack for these women playing the marriage market for all it’s worth in a society that offered few other choices. Jane Austen’s sympathetic treatment of Charlotte Lucas’ decision to accept the ludicrous Mr Collins is far more sophisticated than anything in Victorian literature.
Meanwhile, I still read quite a few magazines in print format. Both the Scientific American and Prospect (UK) have excellent web sites, but I’m happy to read the print versions. Prospect in particular is excellent, if a little bit Blairite for my own tastes.