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An Eye for an Eye

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An Eye for an Eye is a novel by Anthony Trollope. Fred Neville, a lieutenant of cavalry and heir to the earldom of Scroope, woos and then seduces the beautiful Kate O’Hara. Kate lives with her mother in genteel poverty in an isolated cottage near the cliffs of Moher in western Ireland. News of the romantic entanglement quickly reaches Scroope Manor, and Fred is summoned back to Dorsetshire where the earl extracts a firm undertaking that Fred will not marry Kate O’Hara under any circumstances, despite any promises he has made to the girl. Once back in Ireland, Fred is confronted at his barracks by Mrs. O’Hara, demanding to know when he intends to marry her daughter, who is carrying his baby. He is shamed into agreeing to visit Kate, but that evening word arrives that the old Earl has died, and that Fred is now the Earl of Scroope. Fred realizes that marriage to Kate O’Hara is out of the question as her background would make her quite unacceptable in society. He resolves to confront Mrs. O’Hara and her unfortunate daughter. The climax of the novel takes place between the young earl and Mrs. O’Hara on the cliffs above the cottage.

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