John Caldigate.

A romantic evening second-class deck conversation between a disinherited young gentleman and a mysterious widow (Mrs Smith) in some form of trouble. The talk turns to books, starting with John Caldigate, the deprived gentleman:

p. 41: ‘I don’t like being idle. I read a good deal. Do you read?’
‘I have but few books here. I have read more perhaps than most young women of my age. I came away in such a hurry that I have almost nothing with me.’
‘Can I lend you books?’
‘If you will. I will promise to take care of them.’
‘I have The Heartbroken One, by Spratt, you know. It is very absurd, but full of life from beginning to end. All that Spratt writes is very lively.’
‘I don’t think I care for Spratt. He may be lively, but he’s not life-like.’
‘And Michael Bamfold. It is hard work, perhaps, but very thoughtful, if you can digest that work of thing.’
‘I hate thought.’
‘What do you say to Miss Bouverie’s last—Ridden to a Standstill; a little loud, perhaps, but very interesting? Or Green Grow the Rushes O, by Mrs Tremaine? None of Mrs Tremaine’s people do anything that anybody would do, but they all talk well.’
‘I hate novels written by women. Their girls are so unlovely, and their men such absurdly fine fellows!’
‘I have William Coxe’s Lock Picked at Last, of which I will defy you to find the secret till you have got to the end of it.’
‘I am a great deal to impatient.’
‘And Thompson’s Four Marquises. That won’t give you any trouble, because you will know it all from the first chapter.’
‘And never have a moment of excitement from the beginning to the end. I don’t think I care very much for novels. Have you nothing else?’

Caldigate had many other books, a Shakespeare, some lighter poetry, and sundry heavier works of which he did not with specially to speak, lest he should seem to be boasting of his own literary taste; but at last it was settled that on the next morning he should supply her with what choice he had among the poets. Then about midnight they parted,…

[Appropriately enough, all of Caldigate’s titles are Trollope’s fictional creations.]