By R. D. McMaster (auth.)
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Additional resources for Trollope and the Law
As we shall see in the chapter on Chaffanbrass and the Old Bailey, Trollope had severe reservations about the function of the defence counsel, seeing him as a defender of-villainy and confounder of truth. No doubt much of his information about criminal lawyers came from the newspapers, which reported the juicier Old Bailey trials. 29 In discussions about the reputation of lawyers in general, the point is often made by their defenders that the public tends to base its notions on the reported antics of criminal advocates at the Old Bailey, but that these stars hold rather a low status in the profession and are hardly to be taken as fair representatives of the profession as a whole.
To his surprise, his brother marries and claims to have a son, whereupon Lord George thinks uncomfortably: 'But now he would only be his wife's husband, the Dean's son-in-law, living on their money, and compelled by circumstances to adapt himself to them' (I, 129). He is much given to thoughts about 'the grandeur of his family' (I, 250), and to this vanity he adds convictions about 'his divine superiority' as a husband (a phrase oft-repeated in the novel). Among the stipulations the Dean makes before the marriage is one that the married couple are to spend several months of the year in a house provided in London.
The work which most epitomises these concerns, linking the interpretation of a sordid crime with legalistic arguings, epistemological uncertainty, and the deceptive nature of language, is Browning's masterpiece, The Ring and the Book. A work in which Trollope shows similar interests is He Knew He Was Right. 27 Interpretation, often bizarre, about each other's motives, character, and actions, abounds between the protagonists as their marriage disintegrates. Louis Trevelyan hires an expoliceman, Mr Bozzle, as a private investigator to spy on his wife.