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Doctor Thorne is the third book in Trollope’s “Chronicles of Barsetshire” series, which is set in the fictional county of Barsetshire, somewhere in England’s West Country. Unlike the two earlier novels in the series, Doctor Thorne isn’t set in the cathedral city of Barchester, but in the small village of Greshamsbury and the estate of the local squire, Greshamsbury Park.
Doctor Thorne is a middle-aged medical practitioner in Greshamsbury, a friend of the local squire Mr. Gresham, who is deeply in debt because of ill-advised attempts to gain a seat in Parliament. Doctor Thorne not only provides medical advice to the Greshams, but also assists Mr. Gresham in obtaining financial loans from a local self-made entrepreneur, Sir Richard Scratcherd. When Mr. Gresham’s son Frank comes of age, it is impressed on the young man that he must “marry money” to overcome the debts of the estate.
Doctor Thorne is regarded highly among Trollope’s works, with one prominent critic, Michael Sadleir, writing in 1927 of “the sensational perfection of Doctor Thorne.”
A television adaptation of the book was produced by ITV and aired in March 2016, with a script written by Julian Fellowes, the writer of Gosford Park and Downton Abbey
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