TV Mini-Series | TV-14 | | Drama, Romance
At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... See full summary »
Mrs. Hurtle indicates that the year is 1870. Trollope did his homework creating the fictional railroad enterprise. In 1870 Salt Lake City had almost three times the population of either Los Angeles or Denver, benefiting from the post-Civil War expansion westward and the booming silver and copper mines in the Intermountain West. Also by 1870 Salt Lake City was connected by rail to the Union Pacific Railroad and other smaller regional lines connecting to the mines. Building a railroad to haul ore from the US Rockies to a Mexican seaport on the Gulf of Mexico and to return with goods, supplies, and homesteaders made commercial sense and could easily have been supported in principle by a US Congress governed by America's Manifest Destiny.
Sir Felix Carbury:
I may not be possessed of great wealth or property, but I am a baronet and a gentleman.
Augustus Melmotte: And I'm not, you imply.
Sir Felix Carbury: No! No, that's not what I meant at all!
Augustus Melmotte: I think we understand each other very well. You're to provide the rank and position and I am to ...