Inspired by the financial scandals of its era, The Way We Live Now is a portrait of a society corrupted by greed that continues to resonate with modern readers. Taking place in 1870s Victorian London, the characters are comprised of a motley cast of financiers, investors, and determined social-climbers. Despite rumors of an unsavory past, Augustus Melmotte is so vastly wealthy that the London society receives him with open arms. In addition to furthering his schemes of railway fraud, the ruthless financier's entry into society launches his daughter into the matrimonial market. Her preferred suitor, Sir Felix Carbury, is a penniless wastrel whose mother aspires to literary and financial success not so much by writing good books but by using her feminine charms to get ahead. A host of other bounders and rogues populate the pages of this tale, which begins as a satire and concludes as a delicious social comedy. Rejected by critics upon its 1875 publication, The Way We Live Now is recognized today as Anthony Trollope's masterpiece.