"What a villain you are...a villain and a poor weak silly fool. She was too good for you". Engaged to the ambitious and self-serving Adolphus Crosbie, Lily Dale is devastated when he jilts her for the aristocratic Lady Alexandrina.
Although crushed by his faithlessness, Lily still believes she is bound to her unworthy former fiance for life and therefore condemned to remain single after his betrayal. And when a more deserving suitor pays his addresses, she is unable to see past her feelings for Crosbie. Written when Trollope was at the height of his popularity, the Small House at Allington contains his most admired heroine in Lily Dale - a young woman of independent spirit who nonetheless longs to be loved - and is a moving dramatization of the ways in which personal dilemmas are affected by social pressures.