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Third book in the series. Sequel to: 'Barchester Towers' (7360). Doctor Thorne adopts his niece Mary, keeping secret her illegitimate birth as he introduces her to the best local social circles. She meets and falls in love with Frank Gresham - heir to a vastly mortgaged estate and looking for a wealthy wife. He is unaware that Mary is to inherit a large legacy that will make her acceptable to the middle-class society to which he belongs.