At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city', but the "something" part is not always clear. Within weeks of arriving in London, he announces a new company and promises instant fortune to those who join him in this scheme. Melmotte is surrounded by a circle of decadent aristos, scheming widows and nouveau riche businessmen, all trying to get a piece of the financial pie. His disobedient daughter, Marie, is played by Shirley Henderson, while Cheryl Campbell, Matthew Macfadyen and Paloma Baeza bring to life the aristocratic but impoverished Carbury family.
Did You Know?
Mrs. Hurtle indicates that the year is 1870. Trollope did his homework creating the fictional railroad enterprise. In 1870 Salt Lake City had almost three times the population of either Los Angeles or Denver, benefiting from the post-Civil War expansion westward and the booming silver and copper mines in the Intermountain West. Also by 1870 Salt Lake City was connected by rail to the Union Pacific Railroad and other smaller regional lines connecting to the mines. Building a railroad to haul ore from the US Rockies to a Mexican seaport on the Gulf of Mexico and to return with goods, supplies, and homesteaders made commercial sense and could easily have been supported in principle by a US Congress governed by America's Manifest Destiny. See more
Sir Felix Carbury
I may not be possessed of great wealth or property, but I am a baronet and a gentleman.
And I'm not, you imply.
Sir Felix Carbury
No! No, that's not what I meant at all!
I think we understand each other very well. You're to provide the rank and position and I am to provide the money. That's the bargain. I buy my daughter a place in society by paying you to marry her.