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The Mistletoe Bough   By: (1815-1882)

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The Mistletoe Bough by Anthony Trollope is a delightful and heartwarming holiday tale that captures the true spirit of Christmas. Set in the quaint English countryside, this charming novella follows the lives of several interconnected characters who are brought together by fate during the holiday season.

Trollope's impeccable storytelling shines through in this short but powerful story. He masterfully weaves together various plotlines, immersing the reader in a world filled with love, loss, redemption, and hope. With his vivid descriptions, the author effortlessly transports us to the windswept landscapes of England, complete with cozy cottages and majestic manor houses adorned with mistletoe.

One of the strongest aspects of the novella is Trollope's ability to create relatable and multidimensional characters. From the independent and determined protagonist, Mary, to the enigmatic and brooding Mr. Plomacy, each character comes alive on the pages, evoking sympathy and eliciting emotions from the reader. Their struggles and triumphs feel genuinely authentic, capturing the complexities of human nature.

What sets The Mistletoe Bough apart from other Christmas tales is its exploration of deeper themes. Trollope seamlessly interweaves elements of social commentary, reflecting on topics such as class divisions, societal expectations, and the power dynamics between men and women. These underlying messages add an extra layer of depth to an already captivating story.

Furthermore, Trollope skillfully depicts the holiday season as a time of reflection and reconciliation. As the characters navigate through their personal challenges, they experience moments of self-discovery and growth. The overarching message of forgiveness and second chances resonates strongly, reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Although The Mistletoe Bough is a relatively short novella, it manages to pack an emotional punch. Its concise yet powerful storytelling is a testament to Trollope's literary prowess. The story unfolds at a steady pace, keeping the reader engaged from start to finish, and culminates in a poignant and satisfying conclusion.

In summary, The Mistletoe Bough is a delightful holiday read that captures the essence of Christmas with its compelling characters, evocative descriptions, and timeless themes. Anthony Trollope's enchanting storytelling and thought-provoking narrative make this novella a worthy addition to any bookshelf. Whether read during the festive season or any time of the year, this heartwarming tale is sure to leave a lasting impression on its readers.

First Page:

This etext was produced by David Price, email, from the 1864 Chapman and Hall "Tales of all Countries" edition.


by Anthony Trollope

"Let the boys have it if they like it," said Mrs. Garrow, pleading to her only daughter on behalf of her two sons.

"Pray don't, mamma," said Elizabeth Garrow. "It only means romping. To me all that is detestable, and I am sure it is not the sort of thing that Miss Holmes would like."

"We always had it at Christmas when we were young."

"But, mamma, the world is so changed."

The point in dispute was one very delicate in its nature, hardly to be discussed in all its bearings, even in fiction, and the very mention of which between mother and daughter showed a great amount of close confidence between them. It was no less than this. Should that branch of mistletoe which Frank Garrow had brought home with him out of the Lowther woods be hung up on Christmas Eve in the dining room at Thwaite Hall, according to his wishes; or should permission for such hanging be positively refused? It was clearly a thing not to be done after such a discussion, and therefore the decision given by Mrs. Garrow was against it.

I am inclined to think that Miss Garrow was right in saying that the world is changed as touching mistletoe boughs... Continue reading book >>

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