The Eustace Diamonds is the third novel in Anthony Trollope's Palliser series.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Beautiful Lizzie Eustace (nee Greystock) has several major character flaws, among them being a nearly pathological liar. Left widowed (and wealthy) after the death of her soon-disillusioned husband, the overly romantic young woman considers several suitors after a period of insincere mourning: the dashing, if disreputable, Lord George de Bruce Carruthers; the meek and boringly dedicated politician Lord Fawn; and her lawyer and Member of Parliament cousin Frank Greystock.
Meanwhile, she gets into a serious dispute with her late husband's family over the ownership of the Eustace diamonds, a very valuable family heirloom. When thieves attempt to steal the diamond necklace, Lizzie sees an opportunity. She lies to the police and the local magistrate, telling them that the necklace was indeed stolen so that she can collect the insurance (and perhaps secretly sell the diamonds later). However, the thieves try again, and this time, succeed.
When her lies are finally revealed, her suitors all abandon her in disgust. As a result, her equally unscrupulous advisor, the Reverend Mr. Emilius, gets to marry her. (More will be heard of him in the subsequent book, Phineas Redux.)
Best part of story, including ending:
Lizzie Eustace makes a fascinating anti-heroine.
Best scene in story:
It's amusing when Lord George de Bruce Carruthers, himself no paragon of virtue, discovers he is overshadowed in that regard by Lizzie.
Opinion about the main character:
Lizzie's incessant lying and self-serving nature is quite interesting.