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The American Senator is a novel written in 1875 by Anthony Trollope. Although not one of Trollope's better-known works, it is notable for its depictions of rural English life and for its many detailed fox hunting scenes. In its anti-heroine, Arabella Trefoil, it presents a scathing but ultimately sympathetic portrayal of a woman who has abandoned virtually all scruples in her quest for a husband. Through the eponymous Senator, Trollope offers comments on the irrational aspects of English life.The novel is largely set in and near the town of Dillsborough, in the fictional county of Rufford. The two principal subplots centre on the courtship behaviour of two young women.The heroine, Mary Masters, is the daughter of an attorney, and has been raised as a gentlewoman. Her stepmother is from a lower social order; believing it best for Mary, she pressures her strongly to accept a proposal from Lawrence Twentyman, a prosperous young yeoman farmer with aspirations to gentility. While Mary respects Twentyman for his excellent qualities, she feels that she cannot love him as a wife should a husband. She admires Reginald Morton, whose cousin is the squire of Bragton and thus one of the two major landowners of Rufford. Reginald admires Mary as well; but for most of the novel, each is ignorant of the other's feelings: Mary, as a gentlewoman, cannot take the initiative in such a matter; and Reginald, misinformed that Mary loves another, is unwilling to make an offer and have it rejected.

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