Neither Barset nor Palliser

KeskusteluTrollope lovers unite or fight

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Neither Barset nor Palliser

Tämä viestiketju on "uinuva" —viimeisin viesti on vanhempi kuin 90 päivää. Ryhmä "virkoaa", kun lähetät vastauksen.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 10, 2007, 2:30 am

I'm going to throw in a plug for what I consider to be one of the more "approachable" of Trollope's other works: Dr Wortle's School. Short, and to-the-point, with a terrific hero, Mr Peacocke!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 10, 2007, 2:13 am

Thanks for starting this thread seajack! Outside of the series I've only read The way we live now so far and I am currently plugging through He knew he was right, which are probably the most obvious choices. Actually I was wondering with which book to continue - and your choice sounds good. I've heard good things about Orley Farm as well - some people compare it to Bleak House, one of my favourite books...

Edited to say that I loved The way... and that it has become one of my favourite classics.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 10, 2007, 2:32 am

Don't have Dr. Wortle's School yet. Was rather pricey (for my Yankee blood) on both abebooks and alibris. I would like to mention The Claverings as one of the most cynical and riveting novels of 19th century mores I've ever read.

Recently Orley Farm was listed as one of the top 5 books about the law in the Wall St. Journal. Having a mind like a sieve these days, I cannot for the life of me remember whose list it was (a famous jurist), but if you have access to the online Journal you could track it down.

Is it just me, or (outside of the two series) are used volumes of Trollope rather expensive and many of his lesser known works tough to find?

"The Way..." is in my staging area. I'm halfway through The American Senator at the moment. I'm puzzled about the eponymous character, as he seems to be tangential to the main action. Perhaps his role becomes more central. The most striking thing about TAS is the blunt criticism and mockery of hunting, AT's passion (next the the Post Office, of course).

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 10, 2007, 2:45 am

I can recommend Is He Popenjoy? as being suspenseful; more so I thought than Orley Farm, although that one wasn't bad. The Popenjoy villain's come-uppance is rather sudden; I listened to it on audio, and looked up exclaiming: "Whoa!"

S'cat: I've never bought a Trollope book - they've all been library borrowings. (I'm a combination of Yankee, Dutch, and Scottish!) If you're a member of Borders Rewards (no fee unlike B&N), they have regular coupons of 20% - 30% off any book in stock, and I believe I've seen Dr Wortle for sale.

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 3:19 am

Unfortunately, our local library is extremely limited in its Trollope, and the nearby Borders stocks none, the philistines. Yards of Dickens, of course. Trollope I esteem enough to buy only in hardcover! I bought the newer Everyman's Library editions of the Barset series. Now I'm looking for those blue cloth Oxford World Classics from the '50s. Delightful to have a hardcover book that will fit into a pocket.

Curiously enough, the library did have a Franklin Library edition of some of Trollope's short stories (donated by someone). They have the Barset series but none of the Palliser novels. No matter - I lost patience with Can You Forgive Her? about 2/3 of the way through and skimmed the rest. Wanted to slap the heroine (as did many of the characters). The Eustace Diamonds is sitting on the shelf in a pristine Everyman's Library edition, but besides The Way ... I have The Three Clerks and Orley Farm waiting too.

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 5:11 am

Yes, my local bookstores and libraries also have VERY little to offer in the way of Trollope (or Dickens). Now, I know there are some who feel its not the same as the 'real thing', but Project Gutenburg has quite a good list of Trollope's works in e-book format at It was from Gutenburg that I was able to access The Warden, while simulatenously listening to the rather delightful audio version from LibriVox :)

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 7:25 am

The Bertrams is an excellent stand-alone novel from Trollope.

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 11:44 am

Don't your libraries have an Inter-Library Loan request feature? That's how I got most of the unabridged audio versions of Trollope I've read.

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 11:51 am

I think Dover publications has a few of his novels, and they are quite inexpensive. I have The Claverings and Ralph the heir in that edition.

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 6:59 pm

There is indeed interlibrary loan. The problem with ordering library books is the time limit. I don't always feel like reading what's come just at the moment, but I have to as it has to go back. Given the length of most of AT's novels, and the fact that there is the day job, a husband, cats and volunteer work in the mix, I'd rather just buy a used hardcover to keep. Does anyone remember that Churchill passage when he talks about his books - sometimes he just looks at them on the shelf? I wish I could find it again - it was perfect.

I've tried reading books online - Don Quixote while I was down with a bad sprain. Despite dragging the laptop into bed, it was awkward and very hard on the eyes. Books are so much more gemutlich (sorry, no umlaut available!).

huhtikuu 11, 2007, 4:02 pm

I also was thinking of Dover which put out a lot of the lesser known and non-series books. Penguin also has good paperback editions that shouldn't be too tough to find.

huhtikuu 12, 2007, 2:42 am

True, but I don't want softcover. So I scour the used book sites. Orley Farm in particular is hard to come by in decent condition at a reasonable price.

The Trollope Society does have a uniform complete edition (everything he wrote!) but you have to join to buy it. Strange that that there really isn't one for general purchase. The Oxford World Classics come close, but I think there are some works omitted.

BTW: I do recommend the biography by N. John Hall. Has anyone read AT's biography? It's supposed to be quite good.

huhtikuu 19, 2007, 7:31 am

So in the meantime I’ve finished He knew he was right - and after a difficult beginning I liked it nearly as much as The way we live now... One thing that I appreciated was the book is not so much about jealousy, Louis does never seriously suspect his wife of being unfaithful, it is more about her unwillingness to submit to his unreasonable requests, which I find courageous, refreshing and modern...It was also fun to follow the lives and fates of their family and friends. And I did not expect the end at all... All in all a little bit less poignant than TWWLN, but still an extremely good read.

huhtikuu 19, 2007, 6:11 pm

I'm surprised at your saying that Louis doesn't really think his wife is unfaithful. In the film adaptation (was it Masterpiece?) his insane but unfounded jealousy was depicted as the driving force of the tragedy. So that would be a major shift in motivation from the book to the filmed version.

I'm poised to start TWWLN, having just finished Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower (highly recommended - did you know 10% of Americans are Mayflower descendants?). Made it through the intro and note on the text and then it was 1:30 am.

huhtikuu 20, 2007, 1:02 pm

That is interesting. In the book the jealousy is important of course and the driving force especially in the beginning, but in the course of the novel the focus switches more and more to Emily's unwillingness to submit herself unconditionally to her husband and to the unreasonable conditions set by him (and his inability to go back on them). At least that is how I saw it.

Anyway I have already ordered the DVD, so I'll be able to see if in my opinion the focus has changed in the adptation...That'll be interesting!

toukokuu 4, 2007, 12:58 am

I'm just under a hundred pages into The Way We Live Now and am struck by how relentlessly AT hammers away at the fact that pretty much everyone involved with the railroad deal knew that it was probably a swindle. Even the "hero" Paul Montague develops a convenient blind spot. Doesn't exactly make for much suspense. And did he have to make Felix Carbury so completely a sociopath? The lack of complexity isn't exactly encouraging me to plough through the next 700 or so pages.

toukokuu 4, 2007, 1:11 pm

stringcat, just like you it took me some time to really get into TWWLN, the characters being all so terribly frustrating. But as the story continued I felt that I was drawn in: if I did not deeply care for all those people I was for sure interested in what happened to them! And for example you will see that Marie is more than she appears to be, you will probably be more ambivalent than you think at the moment about what happens to Melmotte... (I do not want to give too much away)...

One thing that could be interesting for you. The Yahoo trollope group is currently reading TWWLN and maybe their comments might motivate you to continue with the book.

toukokuu 4, 2007, 2:29 pm

I'll throw in my nomination for least impressive of his non-series works: Alice Dugdale.

toukokuu 4, 2007, 3:52 pm

>17 lesezeichen: thanks for Yahoo tip, lesezeichen. I'll go see what's going on over there.

I'm trying not to just pitch TWWLN for The Three Clerks which is in the on-deck circle.

toukokuu 11, 2007, 2:59 am

Where is everybody? No posts here in almost a week!

I have weathered the rocky start of TWWLN and am now well into the narrative. I'm still frustrated by the unsympathetic characters, especially the annoying Felix and his pals. They remind me of nasty versions of Bertie Wooster and his buddies - airheads without the Wooster mob's humor, joie de vivre and and basic good intentions. (And no Jeeves, of course, to bail them out of trouble). Even the "hero" Paul Montague makes me want to give him one upside the head for having no spine where the dangerous Mrs. Hurtle is concerned. There's no one to root for. Hetty Carbury is such a doormat! A poor excuse for a heroine.

It's Trollope's genius that he can have a gaggle of characters who at best are irritating, and are often scoundrels with no redeeming charm, and still have us turning the pages to see what happens to them.

toukokuu 11, 2007, 12:15 pm

The one to root for would be the villian's daughter. I have only seen the television production, and never read the book; I understand that was a bit different. My favorite character was Mrs. Hurtle.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 11, 2007, 7:19 pm

That's a tough one. Marie is an amorphous blob thus far. I imagine her anachronistically reading Harlequin romances up in her room.

The thing that makes Mrs. Hurtle, and others of her ilk among his female characters, absolutely nails-on-the-chalkboard to me is that Trollope continually has them flinging themselves at someone's feet or knees and looking up imploringly/longingly/tearfully. Aside from the fact that a properly corseted woman isn't exactly limber, I wonder how much of this flinging actually went on. It's a rare false note, for AT had the gift of showing us real women looking life in the face with resolve: Lady Ongar and the deliciously nasty Sophie Gordeloup in The Claverings, Arabella Trefoil in The American Senator, Mrs. Kelly in The Kellys and the O'Kellys and of course the inimitable Mrs. Proudie.

toukokuu 11, 2007, 7:41 pm

Nails-on-the-chalkboard award from me would go to Lily Dale; if I recall correctly, Miss Mackenzie was a pretty resolute character. Just plain nastiest persona candidate would be The Marquis of Brotherton from Is He Popenjoy?.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 12, 2007, 1:37 pm

I don't remembering getting quite that reaction to the tiresome Lily. I just wanted to slap and shake her. On the other hand, Johnny Eames was just as irritating as she, so maybe I can't blame her. To martyr herself for a total jerk ... she needed some serious shopping therapy and a night out with the girls with plenty of Appletinis. But I kept getting the feeling that she had some other Deep Dark reason for her actions and was merely handed a convenient cover story. If the book were written today there'd be repressed memories of child molestation involved.

Haven't read Popenjoy yet. Orley Farm is on order, and Three Clerks is waiting, but I'm only 1/3 through TWWLN. I've been slowed down by a charming Michael Chabon novel for young adults (as the book trade says) called Summerland and a history of The Templars that refreshed beautifully my sketchy recall of ancient Jewish history.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 26, 2007, 2:58 am

In a marathon session yesterday I finished TWWLN and am still trying to digest it. I've noticed this pattern with several of AT's novels that have been excruciatingly slow to start, then pick up steam and about halfway through it becomes a wild ride to the end. The fall of Melmotte seemed rather abrupt, given how much time had been spent building up his villainy. Very roller-coaster, with that sloooow pull to the top of the first "hill" and then WHOOSH. Perhaps it's a question of pacing - we know that AT rarely edited himself. He would go on at a leisurely pace for the better part of 2 volumes and then suddenly realize he was running out of "room," e.g., pages. So he rushes to resolutions, sometimes with less than satisfactory results, as in this novel.

Roger Carbury's sudden change of heart seemed completely artificial and introduced solely so that AT wouldn't have to discuss what Paul Montague and Hetty would have to live on. Despite Fisker's assurances that business in San Francisco was proceeding regardless of events in London, we don't quite know whether Paul will ever see any of his money again. AT was rather sloppy with this point, indeed as he was with Croll marrying Mme. Melmotte, even after it was mentioned that he had a family. Maybe he was a widower?

I was also rather squirmy about Ruby Ruggles being pushed into marrying John Crumb. Supposedly she has a change of heart at the wedding and decides she'll be the best wife she can be, but there's a scene at the very end where it's clear she doesn't have any regard for him whatsoever. To paraphrase the divine Oscar, be careful about what you wish for, John, you may get it.

Would dearly have loved AT to return to Marie, Fisker and Mrs. Hurtle with an account of their adventures in later years, after their arrival in San Francisco. No need for an extended saga such as Barset or Palliser, but I wasn't ready to leave them just as they got really interesting. Seajack was right about rooting for Marie. She finally came into her own, in every sense, at the end.

toukokuu 20, 2007, 5:15 pm

A quandry!

A friend has a choice of either "The American Senator" or "Ralph the Heir" to read soon. Has anyone read both? Or at least has thoughts on one of those options? I've read neither.


toukokuu 21, 2007, 10:58 pm

I've read only The American Senator; I consider it B-list Trollope. The scenes with the Senator seem intrusive and awkwardly didactic.

kesäkuu 4, 2007, 5:54 pm

I've just begun Orley Farm - only 4 chapters into it. What struck me immediately is how AT jumps right into the plot, without mucking about with lots of exposition (The Kellys and the O'Kellys about drove me mad with all that Irish politics up front).

There's a quote on the DJ flap that AT considered Orley Farm to be his best-plotted novel. But didn't he say that about Last Chronicle of Barset as well?

kesäkuu 4, 2007, 6:47 pm

I have just finished The Claverings and loved it. He doesn't dither about too much in the beginning here either.

The introduction begins, "The Claverings has been authoritatively ranked as one of Anthony Trollope's three faultless books." The other two are later stated to be Doctor Thorne and Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite(!). Has anyone here ever read HH of H?

kesäkuu 6, 2007, 12:35 pm

I do rank The Claverings very high as well. There's a certain cold-eyed brutalilty in that society's dealings with "transgressing" women which AT captures extremely well. He doesn't indulge any mawkish inclinations the way he did at the end of TWWLN.

Not yet up to HH of H. Now that I think if it, what's with AT the alliteration? There's also Harry Heathcote of Gangoil.

kesäkuu 6, 2007, 1:45 pm

Also, I thought Sophie Gordeloup was delightfully wicked.

kesäkuu 7, 2007, 1:52 am

Wasn't she though! Remorseless, single-minded and utterly unscrupulous.

kesäkuu 9, 2007, 2:43 am

Okay, now well into Orley Farm, and I'm not loving it; as it's so plot driven, the characters seem rather dull for the most part. The only good flare-up so far was the first encounter between the lawyers Matthew Round and Duckworth. Lady Mason is another overindulgent mother, a paler version of Lady Carbury from TWWLN. Her son is a self-centered, self-important bore. And 17 chapters in and we're just meeting the heroine? Pish tosh.

heinäkuu 10, 2007, 12:10 pm

We don't have a General Message thread for this group, and I really didn't feel like starting one for the following, so am posting here as (in my opinion) the most "catch all" discussion.

I've finished 2/3 of the Victorian lit "puzzle" books by John Sutherland, and greatly enjoyed them. Bringing them up as recommendations as folks here are likely to be fans of Victorian Lit in general; even so, several of the articles are Trollope-specific: "Is Melmotte Jewish?", "The Barchester Towers That Never Was", "The Phantom Pregnancy of Mary Flood Jones" and other discussions.

heinäkuu 26, 2007, 12:10 pm

Where is everyone?? Today I finally got a copy of Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite and also Ralph the Heir. On the cover of HH of H it says it is "one of the great exceptions to the rule that Trollope's long novels are his best."

It is near the top of the TBR stack.

heinäkuu 26, 2007, 1:03 pm

My favorite Trollope was one of his shortest: Dr Wortle's School.

heinäkuu 26, 2007, 2:29 pm

My favorite, so far, The Claverings is not a long one either. I wonder who makes up these "rules?"

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 26, 2007, 6:14 pm

I have Harry Heathcote of Gangoil yet to read, so we'll see how that stacks up. You'd think with only 125 pages I would have powered through it by now ...

But The Claverings is 514 pages in the Oxford World Classics, which takes it well out of the "short" category. Yes, indeed, it was excellent. Superb female characters in Lady Ongar and the deliciously detestable Mme. Gourdeloup. Enjoyed it much more than the last 2 Barset novels (House and Last Chron). That Lily Dale was insufferable.

I have ordered Dr. Whortle - am itching to read it. Also have The Belton Estate on its way and will see how it stacks up to Orley Farm.

I buy Trollope in the OWC "blue cloth" editions, and they get rather pricey for the non-Barset or Palliser works, so I must pace myself.

heinäkuu 26, 2007, 6:38 pm

I am envious of those OWCs stringcat3! My Claverings was just an old Dover trade paperback, so maybe that's why I didn't realize it was longer. Plus, I liked it so much I read it rather quickly. :-))

heinäkuu 31, 2007, 2:36 pm

The latest OWC acquisition, The Belton Estate, arrived yesterday, and I'm about 80 pages into it. Once again, AT gets off to a slow start with a repetitious first chapter, then plunges into the story: a most satisfactory love triangle, with an inheritance gone wrong to boot. The plot seems more straightforward than many other AT novels, with fewer side excursions (I make no complaint in either direction - merely an observation).

These convoluted or opaque first chapters put me in mind of someone who is getting settled to tell a story- slapping pockets looking for his cigar, loosening his tie, searching for matches - all the while paying only half-attention to the tale he's begun (thanks, I will have a glass), leaving his listeners impatient around him. Much "now where was I" and "as I was saying," false starts, and no one wanting to interrupt because he'll lose his place again.

The situation in The Kellys and The O'Kellys was different, as there we were treated to several chapters of Irish politics that are incomprehensible to most modern readers.

heinäkuu 31, 2007, 2:49 pm

I wonder if people of Trollope's time minded those slow first chapters. Maybe they were more patient than we are. At any rate from now on, I will picture the scene you describe above and smile to myself as I slog through those passages. It will help...

The Belton Estate with its love triangle, etc., sounds great. Another title for my wishlist! :)

Muokkaaja: elokuu 7, 2007, 2:42 am

So I stayed up until 2:15 last night to finish The Belton Estate. Quite satisfying (the book, not the blearyness today). Sort of AT lite, as I posted in #40. It's not as wrenching as many of his other books, much less biting social commentary - he seems to be having more fun here, especially in the latter part of the book in bantering scenes between the heroine, Clara, and her best/only friend, Mrs. Askerton. The most entertaining character is the appalling mother-in-law-to-be, Lady Aylmer, who is on stage for a very short time but makes up for it with odiousness of a high degree.

On to Dr. Wortle!

elokuu 7, 2007, 2:42 am

Just finished Dr. Wortle's School, which was enjoyable to a degree but left me vaguely dissatisfied. Much like eating fruit for dessert when what you wanted was a hunk o' fudge cake. DWS was pure Victorian melodrama, albeit with plenty of Trollope's relentless ridicule of the society's hypocrisy and lack of Christian charity. After the initial description of the good doctor I was prepared to dislike him intensely, no matter how benevolent his depotism. Then came the description of him as being "in no respect a wicked man, and yet a little wickedness was not distasteful to him." We should all be so lucky, to be described thusly. By the end I was wishing to have such a friend by my side, should I ever encounter misfortunes on the magnitude of those besetting the perfect Peacockes.

Mr. Peacocke was almost unforgiveably a paragon, yet what he undertook on behalf of his wife was the embodiment of romance. Forget poetry, roses, sweet nothings: the labors of Peacocke eclipse them all.

All that being said: this book was another "AT lite" effort. He did uncharacteristically get on with matters right from the start, and in a mere 273 pages tied up everything neatly. No subplots, no lover's quarrels, no triangles, no legal wrangling over an estate. Would make a very nice TV movie, for the Hallmark channel or Lifetime.

Okay, I need something with more meat. I'm going to reread this thread and see what everyone says. I recall "Is He Popenjoy" and "Ralph the Heir" having staunch advocates.

elokuu 7, 2007, 2:58 am

Sorry you weren't more "taken" with Dr Wortle. IMHO, Popenjoy has one of the best come-uppance scenes going, with quite the deserving villain.

elokuu 7, 2007, 1:01 pm

I was taken with Dr. Wortle, hold the italics. He was one of AT's most realistic characters, amid the sea of vividly-drawn, believable characters. The problem is, I think, that I've been spoiled by the likes of Barchester Towers and The Claverings (the latter still much underappreciated, I think), even The Way We Live Now, so breezing through an AT seemed wrong. I was, as I said, prepared for heading into the wind, and instead found mere breezes, delightful though they may be.

I'm on the track of Popenjoy.

elokuu 7, 2007, 1:10 pm

I'm in the habit of using italics to set off book titles, nothing to do with content/tone of posts.

elokuu 7, 2007, 3:22 pm

>46 Seajack: Seajack, what I meant was: I'm now referring to the character, not the book. No criticism of the italics implied - apologies for the misunderstanding.

To quote the dastardly Al Swearingen of DEADWOOD: "I'm never so stupid as when I'm trying to be funny."

elokuu 13, 2007, 1:53 am

I just read Lady Anna online - quite a gripping romance. I'm surprised it's not one of the more popular novels. I really wasn't sure where AT would finally bestow the young lady's hand. And then the drama with the Countess toward the end! Personally, I think she should have "screwed her courage to the sticking point." Well, probably would have been too shocking. No shillyshallying in the early chapters, and a good smart pace all through. I enjoyed it more than The Belton Estate, which had that paragon of a hero. Daniel Thwaite was a more believable, if antiheroic, character, and the heroine has a good deal more backbone than one would have suspected. But the apple didn't fall too far from the tree.

The leveling views of the radical younger tailor must have been very disturbing back in the day. AT's criticism of society is every bit as scathing here as it is in TWWLN. The legal wrangling is more interesting than that in Orley Farm, and the villain, while only invoked in memory for much of the action, was truly villainous. I'm tempted to give a 4-star rating.

elokuu 13, 2007, 10:37 am

Sounds like a great read! Another Trollope on my TBR list...

lokakuu 12, 2007, 8:43 am

All right, well, I've finally taken the plunge and made a start with The Way We Live Now, let's hope I can last the distance, lol! Two main motivations were (i) I don't have a copy yet of the Last Chronicle of Barset, to wrap things up with my reading of the Barset series, so I can take a little detour from there for a while, and (ii) my husband keeps asking me 'when can we watch the DVD of The Way We Live Now?' which we've had for several months now. Of course, I can't watch it until I've finished the book! :D

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 12, 2007, 1:02 pm

> 50 About a month ago my husband and I watched TWWLN. He's not at all a novel reader, never mind Trollope fan, so he had no background at all. He enjoyed the production tremendously. The actor playing Melmotte is perfect. I think Mrs. Melmotte is played too much for laughs - from the book I had had the impression she was pathetic rather than ridiculous, but I could be wrong there. It's unfortunate that this novel couldn't have been filmed in a longer version (as was the Pallisers series) as many delicious little side plots and scenes have to be cut. But it's a fine production overall and made me appreciate the novel more.

The one drawback, for me, is that the actress playing Marie also later played "Moaning Myrtle" in the Harry Potter movies, so I kept flashing on her in hornrims and an academic gown (or "batrobe" as we used to call them as undergrads) and plunging headfirst into a toilet.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 27, 2007, 7:01 am

Having not seen any Harry Potter movies I didn't find 'Moaning Myrtle' getting in the way in the TV production of The Way We Live Now. However, I think Marie Melmotte was over-dramatised in the movie, too hysterical, irritatingly so. And I agree with stringcat, Madame Melmotte was wrongly cast as some sort of dumb clown, scoffing turkish delight (or was it glace ginger?). Overall, though, the movie was excellent but could have been longer. The last episode could easily have been made in two more rounded out episodes. The story was wrapped up too quickly in the last 10 minutes or so.

Oh, and the book was excellent! But I admit to blasting through a few of the less interesting pages in the first half. Hope to reread it more carefully one day.

*Edit to add that Aussie Miranda Otto's Southern US accent as Mrs Hurtle in the movie was really lame! Yuck. *

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 18, 2007, 4:01 pm

Am well into CASTLE RICHMOND now and wondering where AT is going with the subplot of the deadbeat husband who ain't really dead. Mr. Prendergast is about to come on the scene and take charge of the sordid matter.

I wonder why AT employs this device repeatedly. Was it only because it was a Victorian melodrama standard? I vaguely remember something of the sort in THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL, and I'm sure there are other examples. So far I've encountered it in TWWLN, DR. WORTLE, and LADY ANNA (actually a wife who wasn't dead, there) of the novels I read thus far. If my middle-aged memory serves, there's nothing in AT's biography that suggests this theme would be of such high interest on a personal level. Maybe it's just because bigamy is a double whammy for AT's audience: social scandal and serious legal fallout for heirs hit the Victorian reader with his/her most engrossing subjects.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 15, 2007, 7:49 pm

Am reading a charming pastiche: Barchester Pilgrimage by Ronald Knox. Not quite up to the master, but very entertaining. Any recos for other AT pastiches, besides the Angela Thirkell Barsetshire series? Are there any such things?

joulukuu 15, 2007, 8:02 pm

>54 stringcat3: I've only heard of the Thirkell series. Haven't read any of them yet, however... so I'm not much help there I'm afraid.

Up next for me is He Knew He Was Right. And I also have the DVD. Next year will be Lady Anna, Rachel Ray and possibly some ebooks such as Harry Heathcote (i.e. out of print versions).

joulukuu 17, 2007, 5:13 pm

I can't even remember how I ran across the Knox book. I can take Thirkell in small doses - but when I'm in the mood for her, she's just the thing.

I read an e-version of LADY ANNA a few months ago and was quite engrossed by it. Often AT telegraphs where he's going with a story, but I wasn't sure where he would dispose of everyone until the very end. I downloaded LA free from the University of Adelaide at They have 18 of the non-B or P novels, plus the autobiography, some of the travel and most of the short stories. I have the Dover edition of RACHEL RAY and the OWC paperback of COUSIN HENRY with me now in Boston,and will be prowling the used bookstores of Cambridge this week to hunt down more elusive prey. Will put a hurt on my plastic, and have to ship a big box back to CA, but I feel as though I've just come down off the mountain in spring (despite the 8* wind chill here on the water). Even with many of the stores I remember from lo these many years before now gone, there are still enough left to make the store crawl worthwhile. And they stay open late late late! Makes me almost want to move back. Ten days with the relatives will fix that.

joulukuu 28, 2007, 6:36 pm

So, back from Boston and now 150 pages into Rachel Ray, which I started on the plane. Have NO idea where AT's going to go with this one. Seems deceptively straightforward, but I'm waiting for a big blow-up. Dorothea as the widowed Church Lady is especially well-drawn. I kept thinking of how Dickens would have played her for laughs - what was his character's name who dragged her neglected kids all over while she was handing out improving pamphlets? Mr. Prong, the weak-mouthed cleric, seems to have great possibilities. He's made his declaration to Dorothea - I wonder that he had the nerve to go all the way through with it, considering how she sat there a sphinx.

Spent a pile in the Brattle Book Shop in downtown crossing, where I bought no fewer than 11 Trollope volumes: 4 later Oxford Pallisers, the Glendinning bio, Sir Harry Hotspur in a nice Folio Society slipcased edition, The Newzealander, Clergymen of England, and three volumes of the complete short stories, with the latter five titles in Trollope Society editions. I overheard Ken Gloss, the proprietor, tell a customer that the only reason the shop is still located in a prime retail space in downtown Boston (1 block from the Common, on West Street at Washington) is that they own their building. For those of you who haven't been there in a while, they still have the outside book cabinets and carts. One of the great used book destinations.

Also picked up Trollope and Comic Pleasure at MacIntyre & Moore up in Davis Square, Cambridge. I remember when Mike MacIntyre first opened up down on Plympton Street in Harvard Square a good 25 years ago. And fortunately, Redbones, home of soul-shaking BBQ, is still there up the street from M&M. I think I hurt myself powering through the rib trio (Arkansas, Memphis and Texas-styles), which comes with a couple of slices of brisket draped on top. I had the minimal restraint to save one massive rib and the brisket for next day's breakfast. Thank you, God, for giving us incisors.

Having not been in downtown Boston for many years, I was saddened to see that the old Globe Corner Bookstore is now a frou-frou beauty products store. It faces the gigantic Borders at the corner of School and Washington Streets. But Commonwealth Books still has its location in the basement of the Old South Meetinghouse. The barbarians are held at bay a little longer ...

joulukuu 30, 2007, 5:10 am

>57 stringcat3: Do you mean Mrs. Jellyby in Bleak House with her 'Borrioboola-Gha' venture? The kids were neglected. Don't know if pamphlets were involved though....

I got a copy of Rachel Ray last month but haven't started it yet. I'm about 6 months behind schedule having just started He Knew He Was Right, which I bought in May!

joulukuu 30, 2007, 12:38 pm

In the mystery that I am reading, after a tough day the heroine says "I tried to read Trollope that I had begun reading some evenings ago. But even Trollope did not calm me."

Now that's a rough day.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 2008, 3:08 am

> 58 Yes, Mrs. Jellyby! Perhaps I'm erroneously supplying the pamphlets. It was a good 23 years or so ago that I read BLEAK HOUSE during my finance classes at NYU's business school, while my pal Alex, a financial whiz, kept hissing, "You're going to get a Z in this class!" Nonsense - he did my cases for me, so I squeaked through with a B-, and I've been in marketing ever since.

While reading RACHEL RAY I kept thinking, what a perfect novel for Masterpiece Theater to film. I was thinking specifically of their wonderful adaptation of Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, of which AT's novel did strongly remind me. Unlike many of AT's works, RR has a very strong central plot, which filmmakers adore. Neither the Dorothea/Mr. Prong sidebar nor the election is treated extensively enough to be considered a parallel or sub-plot. We have love difficulties, the ball scene, local gentry, kindly yeomanry, the comic relief of Tappitt and his lady, a dithering mother (albeit not silly like Mrs. Bennett of P&P), the "raven" Dorothea and her Dorcas Society, creepy Mr. Prong and icky Miss Pucker - plenty of juicy stuff. Overall, I'd say Trollope as been sadly neglected as a source for films or mini-series.

So if you're interested, please join me over in the "Trollope adaptations - what do you think" thread where I throw out the question: which AT works seem the most adaptable for the screen (large or small) and why?

(Edited for typos)

joulukuu 31, 2007, 1:42 am

>59 quartzite: hehe... :D

tammikuu 8, 2008, 4:39 pm

> On the cover of HH of H it says it is "one of the
> great exceptions to the rule that Trollope's long
> novels are his best."

Love that quote. I'm *assuming* HH of H is a smaller-ish novel, but if you didn't know better, you could also read the above quote as, 'This book sucks.' :)

tammikuu 11, 2008, 8:35 pm

I'm about half way through He Knew He Was Right, in amongst all the little sub-plots, which are great. Some pretty amusing stuff here - Miss (Aunt) Stanbury vs. Mr Gibson, for example. And then there is the little matter of Bella French's monstrous headdress... :D

tammikuu 13, 2008, 4:55 pm

Am literally halfway through Phineas Finn, and am quite relieved that it's worlds away from Can You Forgive Her?. I gave up on the latter 2/3 into it and skimmed for the resolution. Am on proverbial tenterhooks to see whether Phinney me lad snags Vi, who's quite a piece of work (in a good way) or whether the insufferable Mr. Kennedy meets with some quintessential Victorian accident to release Lady Laura from her bondage. I was glad to read, at the end of Volume I, that she had started to defy him on the topic of Sunday visitors.

> 63 I think I'll keep my eye out for a copy of HKHWR. When I saw the TV adaptation, the story rather repelled me, but it seems there's much more worthwhile in the book that had to be dropped for the dramatization (as is the case with such things).

tammikuu 13, 2008, 6:39 pm

>64 stringcat3: stringcat - I have the DVD of He Knew but am determined to finish the book first for exactly the reasons you mention. At least a third of the book deals with characters other than Mr & Mrs Trevelyan and their problems. With The Way I read the book and watched the movie in parallel and it sort of spoiled the book a little because of the way some of the characters were portrayed. So I didn't want that to happen with this one :)

huhtikuu 5, 2008, 6:57 pm

In C.P. Snow's Trollope: His Life and Art, I ran across a reference to a previously unknown work, "The Three Clocks," mentioned on page 39. I immediately sat up and wondered how I could have missed one of the novels, then I realized the intended reference was to The Three Clerks. The index is correct, so I can only imagine that Snow dictated his text and the transcriber heard "clocks" for "clerks" and the error passed unnoticed.

A small chuckle, but I'll take 'em where I can find 'em.

huhtikuu 5, 2008, 8:51 pm

> 66 hehe... nice bit of trivia!

I guess it depends on how he pronounced 'clerks'. It could have been 'clerks' as in 'works' or 'clerks' as in 'sparks'.

huhtikuu 9, 2008, 2:54 am

>67 digifish_books: I assume he gave it the British pronunciation of 'clarks', as the lips are in nearly the same position to pronounce 'clarks' and 'clocks' but with 'works' the lips have to pucker.

huhtikuu 9, 2008, 3:11 am

I've just read the first 12 chapters of Lady Anna. There is a sort of hysterical tone to this book which I find a little unsettling. Mention of old hags and the nasty Earl are quickly followed by 'Countess Lovel' bullying her daughter over the arranged marriage proposal and Anna's poutiness and dramatic confinement to bed with a headache. Its as if everyone seems to have a short fuse here. I feel like I am being rushed through the story without getting to know the characters. Nevertheless, its Trollope so I will read (and enjoy) it! :D

huhtikuu 11, 2008, 4:05 pm

Has anyone read The Fixed Period? I found it at a branch of our library today and when I tried to check it out, it wouldn't scan. Turns out it had been scheduled to be culled from the collection and put in the next sale, so I bought it for 50 cents!

Described as "an exercise in Swiftian irony combined with a love story in a futuristic setting...Trollope's least realistic work...strangest and most chilling."

Apparently the reviews were rather mixed in 1882!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 15, 2008, 9:20 am

>70 marise: I haven't read The Fixed Period marise, but have only heard that it is among AT's more "unusual" works :) I will be interested to know what you think of it...

I'm almost finished with Lady Anna, with just a few chapters to go. I can see now why it was not "well received" in its day. The frenetic tone and rather despicable characters (some of whom are like 'stuck records' with their opinions) must have put many of his fans off. However, unlike much of his other work, this is quite a page-turner. But I have to wonder why AT considered it his "best novel" !? And where is the humour?!

huhtikuu 15, 2008, 11:20 pm

> 71 I downloaded Lady Anna from U. of Adelaide's site about a year ago and remember it also as "quite a page-turner." It was one of the few AT's in which he doesn't telegraph, or just plain announce, the ending. Genuinely suspenseful. But a laff riot - definitely not.

Speaking of humor - am taking a break from AT to indulge in Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crimes. Am halfway through The Big Over Easy, and it has plenty of chuckles and groaners (there is no pun to which he will not stoop).

huhtikuu 15, 2008, 11:35 pm

>72 stringcat3: Indeed, I now see your message at 48 about Lady Anna! Daniel Thwaite (and Anna, for that matter) seemed unbelievably forgiving in the final chapters, given what occurred. The countess makes someone like Mrs Proudie look like a meek little kitten.

Is the 'Nursery Crimes' series better (funnier) than the Thursday Next series? I read The Eyre Affair last year, immediately after reading Jane Eyre and found it to be just 'OK'. It didn't quite live up to the hype, for me. I fear all this AT has made me a too fussy!

huhtikuu 16, 2008, 12:48 pm

>73 digifish_books: Indeed the countess was scarier than Mrs. Proudie, as the latter was "merely" strong-minded while the former was out of her mind. I think Daniel and Anna made the best of things and decided to get on with their lives.

I enjoyed the first few Thursday Next books but the series is getting tired. The last installment was virtually incomprehensible, and the humor is becoming rather arch. The Nursery Crimes are much more straightforward but still clever.

Come to think of it, I wonder why AT didn't attempt any children's books? I suppose his realistic style and often scathing societal observations were ill-suited to the treacly literary fare served up to Victorian children.

huhtikuu 16, 2008, 7:13 pm

>74 stringcat3: Come to think of it, I wonder why AT didn't attempt any children's books?

Wasn't he overworked enough as it was.. 48 novels and 12 other books, etc, etc ?! ;)

The 'Nursery Crimes' are children's books?

huhtikuu 16, 2008, 11:41 pm

I think they're technically classified as "young adult" but I find nothing childish about them.

huhtikuu 30, 2008, 4:08 am

My next AT will either be Rachel Ray or The Vicar of Bullhampton.

I see from previous threads that stringcat3 enjoyed Rachel Ray. But there is not much said about The Vicar with only 73 copies on LT and no reviews, but an average rating of 4. So I guess I'll just have to take my chances with it!

toukokuu 1, 2008, 11:30 am

>77 digifish_books: I haven't found a reasonably-priced copy of Vicar, or I'd have read it by now, as it sounds intriguing. It was the supporting characters in RR that made the book enjoyable - the plot is typically AT.

toukokuu 2, 2008, 2:53 am

>78 stringcat3: I got my copy from the Book Depository for around £5.50 (including delivery).

toukokuu 26, 2008, 2:00 am

Just finished AT's novella Kept In the Dark, which was sort of He Knew He Was Right-lite. Not exactly one of his best efforts. Very repetitive to the point where I could skip an entire page and not miss anything. Endless hand-wringing over a trivial episode. Well, it was a paycheck, and that was what AT was looking for, I guess.

kesäkuu 15, 2008, 2:12 am

Woo hoo! Scored little blue Oxford editions of AT: Ayala's Angel, The Vicar of Bullhampton and He Knew He Was Right. For a measly six bucks each at the Friends of the Library sale in Palo Alto. They're now added to the pile of things to read on a plane, which will be needed in July when I'm off to Orange County (nice but plastic) then Atlanta and Detroit. In July. When the humidity would make a snake sweat if it had armpits.

kesäkuu 29, 2008, 4:30 pm

Well, The Vicar of Bullhampton is second-string AT, mainly because of the tiresome parallel crime plot. The romantic heroine is another of AT's resolute but much-harassed women - nothing new there. The feud between the Vicar and the Marquis is the best part of the book. AT does nerve and indignation particularly well (I'm thinking of The Kellys and the O'Kellys as well as The Eustace Diamonds).

heinäkuu 1, 2008, 5:08 am

I managed to get through The vicar of Bullhampton but found it quite dull. It's only for the completists.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 26, 2008, 9:18 am

Persistence does pay off with The Vicar of Bullhampton. I found the tone of the first half to be pretty flat, but the story did pick up in the second half (though its not exactly a page-turner!). Apart from the Vicar/Marquis falling out and the silly match-making attempts of Janet Fenwick, there is very little of the usual wit or humour in this story.

Oh, and I've just found an interesting essay on Trollope and Women (N.B. - contains spoilers!)

elokuu 6, 2008, 1:16 am

I've started Rachel Ray. Now this is more like it!! :)

elokuu 11, 2008, 1:33 pm

> 85 Yup - I think RR is very underrated AT. I posted on it above in 57 and 60.

elokuu 11, 2008, 6:57 pm

>86 stringcat3: Indeed, it's a little gem with great characterisation. I loved the description of Mr Griggs - "...a man very terrible in his vulgarity, loud, rampant, conspicuous with villainous jewellery, and odious with the worst abominations of perfumery.... Of all men he was the most unconscious of his own defects." I've finished it now, but I kept wondering what would have happened to dour Dorothea. And how things went at Torquay. Why wasn't there a sequel !?! :)

I only have Ralph the Heir to read next. Or one of a growing number of Trollope e-books I've collected which I eventually want to replace with printed copies.

elokuu 12, 2008, 1:14 am

>86 stringcat3: Ralph the Heir can become quite confusing because of the name situation (you'll see!). No more than one sherry or you'll be hopelessly befuddled.

I've lined up Sir Harry Hotspur as my possible next AT. Everything else is packed up for several weeks - we're getting ready to start painting next weekend, so the room had to be emptied. I held Sir Harry (in one of those nice Folio Society editions) out at the last minute. It's odd how one immediately feels the need of a certain volume once it's buried beneath five boxes of books, even though it hadn't rated a second glance for months while on the shelf.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 12, 2008, 1:44 am

>88 stringcat3: I will probably be hopelessly befuddled without the sherry!! I'm thinking I'll hold off on RTH while I catch up on some Barbara Pym books and Jeeves audio stories.

Take care you don't get paint on that Folio edition! ;P

elokuu 16, 2008, 3:00 am

Huzzah! Found a Dover edition of The Macdermots of Ballycloran today at the Carmel CA book sale for all of $3. It may edge out Sir Harry for my next AT, but I'm still in ghost story mode: also got The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories for $2, and a copy of Du Maurier's Rebecca, as the Wall St. Journal has recently admonished us to take her more seriously. I've never actually read it - apparently Hitchcock changed the end for the movie.

Wonder what Trollope would have done with a ghost story? I'm somewhat surprised, come to think of it, that he never attempted anything in the vein of a humorous ghost story with an Irish setting, such as Le Fanu's "The Ghost and the Bonesetter." AT has such a dry sense of humor and great control over his plots - it seems like a natural for him. He certainly would have been familiar with Le Fanu.

syyskuu 15, 2008, 2:01 am

Well, The Macdermots of Ballycloran has nearly defeated me. It is dismal beyond bearing - I struggled through about a quarter of it and it's sinking ever lower in the stack of "in progress" books. I'm leaving for 9 days tomorrow and it's definitely not going with me.

syyskuu 15, 2008, 11:07 pm

Now you know why Trollope’s writing career had difficulty taking off.

syyskuu 16, 2008, 7:10 pm

>92 shmjay: and yet his next novel, The Kellys and the O'Kellys, was delightful. Also set in Ireland, I see flashes of its wonderful idiomatic dialogue in The Macdermots.

syyskuu 27, 2008, 5:33 pm

Way OT but relevant:

I'm (happily) in the midst of the highly readable "Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England" by Judith Flanders. Norton trade paper 2006 ISBN 0-393-327639. 500 pages including extensive notes and bibliography, the latter breaking out primary and secondary sources. Very well illustrated in B&W with 24 color plates.

Flanders takes us through (primarily) the typical middle-class Victorian home. She makes thorough use of primary sources including letters, memoirs and diaries, women's magazines and their advertisements, period pamphlets addressing social issues, cookbooks and home management manuals such as Mrs. Beeton's, home decor books and of course, contemporary literature. Trollope and his works get 32 mentions: Small House, He Knew He Was Right, Last Chronicle, The Way We Live Now, Miss Mackenzie. Barchester Towers, Dr Thorne and Framley Parsonage.

In the introduction, Flanders says " I have shaped the book not along a floor plan but along a life span. I begin in the bedroom, with childbirth, and move on to the nursery, and children's lives. Gradually I progress through the kitchen and scullery to the public rooms of the house drawing room, parlor, dining room, morning room and with those rooms the adult public world, marriage and social life, before moving on, via the sickroom, to illness and death. thus a single house contains a multiplicity of lives." She concludes with a chapter on "The Street."

syyskuu 27, 2008, 6:35 pm

Sounds fascinating, stringcat3! It's on the wishlist, now.

syyskuu 27, 2008, 8:47 pm

>Not too OT (if it mentions Trollope's books) :) Thanks for reviewing it! Inside the Victorian Home has been on my wishlist for a while now. And I recently added Flanders' other book, Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain.

lokakuu 7, 2008, 2:12 am

I'm reading The Struggles of Brown, Jones and Robinson, which I borrowed from my local library. It's a satire on advertising and Victorian haberdashery companies, but is decidedly 'B-list Trollope' so far. The narrator is supposed to be the character George Robinson but AT keeps taking over as the narrator, making for a rather disjointed feel.

lokakuu 8, 2008, 3:39 pm

Don't we have a resources thread? These might be good to put in there.

lokakuu 8, 2008, 6:08 pm

>98 littlegeek: littlegeek ~ The Struggles of Brown, Jones and Robinson is a Trollope book. I finished it yesterday and have to give it 3 stars only :(

'Useful Resources' thread has commenced here:

lokakuu 9, 2008, 4:57 pm

I was talking about the books mentioned above. And I guess I was thinking of the resource thread over on HMS Surprise.

thanks for starting one, digifish!

lokakuu 9, 2008, 4:59 pm

The resource thread is a great idea! Thanks!

lokakuu 10, 2008, 3:09 pm

I remember finding the debating club scene in Brown, Jones, and Robinson funny.

lokakuu 10, 2008, 5:10 pm

It just occurred to me that India, that is, the British Raj, seems to have very little mention in Trollope. Or is my recollection faulty? One would think that the great Indian fortunes made, and lost, would be more in evidence.

lokakuu 19, 2008, 5:13 pm

Just started Mr. Scarborough's Family, AT's last book, yesterday - all the principal male characters seem to be quite ... I guess 'unworthy' is close enough. If they were alive today they'd be on the Jerry Springer Show.

lokakuu 20, 2008, 10:09 am

LOL, stringcat3, I can just visualize these 19th century gents on Springer!!

lokakuu 27, 2008, 1:44 am

MINOR SPOILER AT END: About halfway through Mr. Scarborough's Family, and the mud is being slung in every direction. It's turning out to be one of the more enjoyable AT's for several reasons: it's not just another romance, I can't quite predict where it's going, and the main characters are, for the most part, unapologetic scoundrels or at least somewhat ethically challenged (that goes for Mrs. Mountjoy). The minor characters are greatly entertaining (Sir Magnus with his compulsory daily rides, Lady Mountjoy and her waddle, the infighting Brussels legation staff, Dolly Gray and her steadfast devotion to duty, the odious Carroll sisters). The chapter devoted to Mr. Prosper's wife-hunting was hilarious - my guffaws disturbed the cat, who has no sense of humor. Unless the whole thing falls apart in the second half, I'd consider it A-list AT.

lokakuu 27, 2008, 1:55 pm

Ok, I'm convinced, and now off to find a copy! Thanks!

lokakuu 30, 2008, 1:27 am

>107 marise: I ain't in marketing for nuthin.

By page 256 the plot has, as they say, thickened. Of all the AT I've read so far, MSF is the most ingenious. It also has a curiously modern feel in its unflinching at how unabashedly ugly people can get over money. Even more appalling than The Way We Live Now. There, Melmotte was a crook and knew it. Here, Scarborough pere is a liar, cheat and abusive parent and considers himself a stellar gentleman.

lokakuu 30, 2008, 1:39 pm

Having some trouble finding a copy around here. May have to do an interlibrary loan or I could go to Project Gutenberg. Sounds worth it!

lokakuu 30, 2008, 5:40 pm

I've just commenced listening to an unabridged audiobook version of An Old Man's Love, read by Tony Britten. Quite charming so far :)

lokakuu 31, 2008, 3:52 pm


Polished off Mr. Scarborough's Family this morning - engrossing right to the end. Like the ancillary characters, I was wondering what other tricks the squire of Tretton had up his sleeve (he did have another big shocker about 1/4 from the finish line, for which his hapless attorney Grey will never forgive him, as the chapter title "Mr. Grey's Remorse" hints.) Altogether A-list AT, marred only a smidge by the periodic plot recaps necessary for a novel that first appeared as a magazine serial (AT didn't live to see the final numbers published). But they were a minor nuisance. And like several of the characters, I did end up with a begrudging liking for Mountjoy, despite all the misery he brought on himself.

Be warned of the overt anti-Semitism of the era herein: the "Jew moneylenders" are not treated kindly. There is, however, a plug for the contemporary American girls who "carry latchkeys" and meet their young men at will, yet are no less virtuous than are their fair English cousins. Perhaps AT is thinking of his American friend, Kate Field? In any case, a generous nod across the pond.

marraskuu 12, 2008, 2:54 pm

I'm back, yet again ... Brought He Knew He Was Right on the road with me.

>13 lesezeichen: lesezeichen, I see that you said you had a "rocky start" with He Knew. I'm surprised as I was thinking that unlike many of AT's other novels, he dives right into the meat of the story right on the first page, and the pace is, for him, quite snappy. Look at, say, The Kellys and the O'Kellys or some of the Pallisers (I wish I could consult my shelf here) where you see a chapter or more of pre-mumble. As I recall, The Way We Live Now had the same pattern.

marraskuu 12, 2008, 8:15 pm

>112 stringcat3: I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of He Knew, stringcat3 :)

I bought Orley Farm yesterday. And I still have Ralph the Heir and The American Senator to tackle.

marraskuu 13, 2008, 12:34 pm

So far, enjoying it quite a lot - the plot "fair cracks along" as Patrick O'Brian's characters would say. I had noted somewhere that the mini-series didn't underscore that Louis never really believed that his wife was unfaithful, while in the novel it's clear that jealousy is the problem. That's holding true.

I need to think about whether Louis is just unstable, and this jealousy is the random manifestation of his mental problems. That is, if he had remained unmarried, would he have gone ballistic over something else?

marraskuu 13, 2008, 1:47 pm

I will be interested in your conclusions about Louis, stringcat3!

I still have Ralph the Heir on mount TBR as well, digifish. Hoping to get to it before the end of the year.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 13, 2008, 2:00 pm

>112 stringcat3: Oh my, that was a long time ago... And then my memory has been 'spoilt' by the adaptation which I have watched several times since. A reread is called for I assume ;-)

I am looking forward to your comments on the book anyway!

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 13, 2008, 2:40 pm

>113 digifish_books: Orley Farm has been called one of the five best novels ever to address the law and legal processes (someone in the Wall Street Journal last year).

I'm in Ann Arbor and just panting to race off to the used bookstores when I'm done with my work here (tomorrow!). AT turns up in the most unexpected places, but with the nice cluster of stores here, I'm hoping to fill in my holdings. Would be nice to find John Caldigate, Miss Mackenzie, Is He Popenjoy, or The Bertrams.

Am now in a Robertson Davies mode as well. A researcher I just started working with is a huge RD fan and encouraged me to take a look at him as I was urging her to discover AT. I found a copy of The Salterton Trilogy that had a cover blurb along the lines of "Davies has done for Salterton what Trollope did for Barchester" and I was a goner. Finished Leaven of Malice a few days ago and it was, indeed, a hoot.

marraskuu 14, 2008, 1:21 am

> 117 "113 Orley Farm has been called one of the five best novels ever to address the law and legal processes..."

OK, so could be pretty boring then?! ;0

marraskuu 14, 2008, 6:48 am

LOL!!! I admit I had a similar thought!

marraskuu 14, 2008, 9:15 am

#118, 119: Well, considering that Bleak House is probably in that list too, I'd say don't jump to conclusions. :)

marraskuu 17, 2008, 1:57 am

Well, slim pickin's in Ann Arbor - just a Dover edition of Lady Anna. I know, I know - I turned my nose up at softcover AT, but I do replace them when I get the chance. I was tempted to drop $25 on a Folio Society edition of La Vendee but restrained myself - loaded up on Robertson Davies paperbacks at the Dawn Treader instead (what a fine establishment!). It's a reasonable price, but is the novel itself worth it?

Thoughts, please - I'll be back in Ann Arbor in January so I could trot over and get it (something tells me it will still be there).

joulukuu 3, 2008, 11:10 pm

The Dawn Treader? There is a CS Lewis theme park in Ann Arbor? Or have I missed some earlier citation that would instantly give me context, and I should simply slink away now?

joulukuu 3, 2008, 11:20 pm

I managed to snag a cheap 2nd hand paperback of Sir Harry Hotspur yesterday. The book has been out of print for donkey's years and I couldn't track down an e-book version anywhere.

joulukuu 7, 2008, 3:59 am

> 122 No slinking required. The Dawn Treader is an excellent used book store in Ann Arbor. Now straighten that spine.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 31, 2008, 2:23 am

Somewhat OT: Just finished Robert Davies' Salterton Trilogy yesterday (Tempest-Tost, Leaven of Malice and A Mixture of Frailities) and am happy to report that it does, indeed, do for Salterton what Trollope did for Barchester. More gently comedic than much of AT - Barchester Towers fans will love it. Occasionally breaks into true hilarity, with some mild bawdiness, and while Mrs. Bridgetower is perhaps not quite in Mrs. Proudie's league, one must remember she's an invalid (with a reach beyond the grave, as you'll discover in the third installment). Tempest-Tost is probably the weakest of the three, but it suffers only in comparison. And I have to find and post the short description therein explaining book-lust. Something about buying books you aren't going to read right away the way a Turk keeps concubines in a harem - just to have them on hand in case the mood strikes.

joulukuu 12, 2008, 11:38 am

Oooh. Now I feel justified in my purchase of Salterton's trilogy at a thrift store awhile back. I knew nothing whatsoever about it, but it just looked promising.

*bumps it up the massive to-read list*

joulukuu 12, 2008, 4:20 pm

>124 stringcat3: a bookstore called "The Dawn Treader"! I think Ann Arbor contains depths previously hidden from me. I like the store already!

joulukuu 13, 2008, 7:20 pm

There are several very good used book stores in Ann Arbor. David's Books (owner rather surly, in best used book store tradition), the Dawn Treader (best of the lot), and West Side Book Shop, which leans toward rare, collectible and prints but has some nice lit and lit crit as well as a very gentlemanly proprietor.

joulukuu 21, 2008, 3:51 pm


Finished Miss Mackenzie en route from Boston to Phoenix (via Atlanta, of course). Quickie review: solid AT but one of his most melancholy novels. The dreariness of our heroine's life made me a bit heartsore, having experienced some of her plight from time to time as a superfluous (i.e., unmarried) female who didn't marry until age 35. Okay - I wasn't nursing an invalid brother, wasn't sheltered and wasn't penniless, but our society still believes people should come in pairs. And I don't mean twins.

Surprise cameo by Lady Glencora late in the novel was a nice little extra, sort of like Sean Connery turning up as Richard the Lionheart at the end of the movie "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves."

joulukuu 22, 2008, 4:41 am

just how i felt 35 yrs. ago when i spied my first RD in a bk. store in ferndale, mi. since. i've read all of his work. always immensely satisfied. i love his collections of book reviews, etc. his reviews have introduced me to John Cowper Powys, Gwyn Thomas, And Mervyn Peake, i'm very grateful for this, and i will always spread the word whenever the chance comes my way.

joulukuu 28, 2008, 9:33 pm

Just finished Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite. A short novel but quite intense and tragic. It would appeal to readers who like shorter Trollope without sub-plots and humour.

maaliskuu 10, 2009, 12:38 am

I'm about 3 chapters into An Old Man's Love. Not, as the intro says, classic AT. The heroine sounds drippy. Not like our Miss Mackenzie!

maaliskuu 10, 2009, 2:17 am

>132 stringcat3: ... which reminds me, I meant to post my review comments about An Old Man's Love and don't think I did, so I will rectify this, pronto. The book was 'average', but not terrible...

maaliskuu 12, 2009, 4:14 am

>133 digifish_books: please do, digi. I've not been able to whip myself back to it. Did watch a 2-hour version of The Mill on the Floss today, with Emily Watson as Maggie. Have never read it. Ending was a shocker - quite abrupt.

toukokuu 3, 2009, 12:15 am

Last night I started The Bertrams. As the intro says, it's very unTrollopean but very modern. Its principal theme seems to be: what does one with one's life after college/university? A dilemma nearly all of us have faced. Some are fortunate enough to come marching out, sheepskins in hand, and into careers with nary a missed step.

Not I!

toukokuu 6, 2009, 5:24 pm

A very interesting essay on e- versus physical editions of books, with an Oxford World's Classics edition of Ayala's Angel used as an example.

http://www.altx. com/ebr/ebr7/ 7miller/index. html

toukokuu 14, 2009, 3:42 am

About 2/3 through The Bertrams and finding it more entertaining than many of AT's other B-listers. Yes, at the beginning there's too much travelogue, but he calms down and gets steadily down to work. Features a miserly rich uncle who won't name his heir, lovers' quarrels, a domineering mother tormenting her son the vicar and a less than admirable friend. The heroine isn't as icy as Griselda Grantly, later Marchioness of Hartletop, but her chilliness causes much grief to herself and the rather nebbishy hero. No hunting scenes yet, I'm NOT sorry to say, but a wicked depiction of a buncha old ladies at a whist party in a watering hole that's a few rungs down from Bath. Quite satisfactory.

toukokuu 14, 2009, 7:30 am

>137 stringcat3: Sounds very interesting, and fun! I will have to move that one up the TBR list (of e-books, that is ;D !

I think my next stand-alone novel will either be The American Senator or Orley Farm.

toukokuu 15, 2009, 6:13 pm

>138 digifish_books: I mentioned both TAS and OF earlier in this thread (3, 33). Neither would be on my A-list. The character of the senator in the first was almost completely extraneous to the main action of the novel. Scenes in which he appears are intrusive and didactic. In OF, AT had the male characters turning to goo as soon as the heroine lifted her veil or got a little misty-eyed. Quite tiresome.

OF was named in The Wall Street Journal as one of the five greatest novels about the law and lawyers. Mebbe so, but there's a good reason I didn't go to law school. And I thought the legal questions in Ralph The Heir, Lady Anna and Mr. Scarborough's Family were more interesting.

Still enjoying The Bertrams.

kesäkuu 3, 2009, 3:11 am

O frabjous day! Gimped into The Book Haven in Old Monterey this lunchtime and discovered the elusive Is He Popenjoy? in a Folio Society edition, excellent condition but missing the slipcase, for just $10. Now am missing only Golden Lion of Granpere.

Read An Eye For An Eye last week. A solid AT effort, again with no hunting scenes (no complaints here), rather short and with a swift, focused plot with many of the usual: scapegrace heir to an earldom, society's hypocrisy and the unequal standards that excused men and crucified women who formed unsuitable attachments. Rather a shocker ending. Would have been an excellent novel to adapt to TV - Masterpiece Theatre, where are you?

Maeve Binchy wrote the intro to the Folio Society edition - has a legitimate complaint about AT's insistence on writing the priest's dialogue in dialect. My favorite: she points out that writing "shure" for "sure" is ridiculous - how else would you pronounce it?

lokakuu 30, 2009, 8:49 pm

I have made a start on The Claverings and find it very appealing so far. The plot gets going relatively quickly and there are some great female characters (as mentioned by marise and stringcat3, above. And what a pleasant surprise to see the Proudies mentioned in Chapter 2!

tammikuu 5, 2010, 12:07 am

I've stalled on The Claverings. I need an e-reader device thingy. Reading pdfs on my PC doesn't cut it :)

tammikuu 5, 2010, 11:47 pm

Fie, woman! back to paper and glue!

tammikuu 12, 2010, 1:08 am

Commenced Orley Farm on the weekend. An Oxford paperback version, that is! :)

tammikuu 12, 2010, 4:15 pm

digi, get a Kindle already! They're great!

Open starts Monday, aren't you psyched?

tammikuu 25, 2010, 1:20 pm

Digi, did you ever get back to the Claverings? I think there is an inexpensive Dover edition, if you don't get an e-reader thingy. (I may ask Santa for a Kindle next Christmas.)

tammikuu 25, 2010, 4:45 pm

>146 marise: Hi marise, no, I didn't get back to The Claverings. I have since acquired a widescreen monitor for my PC which makes reading pdfs and ebooks even better (and clearer) so I will give it another go later this year.

I finished Orley Farm and found it really dragged in places, esp. in the first half. A good story but way too long (again!). Next up is Linda Tressel (Norilana edition) followed by The Kellys and the O'Kellys (Dodo Press edition).

tammikuu 26, 2010, 12:51 am

Loved The Kellys and the O'Kellys. Just started the Irish novel at the other end of his career, The Landleaguers. It was unfinished when he died but his son Henry added a postscript with disposition of the major characters, according to conversations he'd had with his father.

maaliskuu 10, 2010, 8:08 pm

>145 littlegeek: OK, I finally succumbed and my Kindle has been shippped!! Should be here around March 16 - I'll be loading a ton of eTrollope onto it :)

maaliskuu 14, 2010, 7:13 pm

#149 Make sure you get them from Project Gutenberg. No need to pay for public domain!

maaliskuu 20, 2010, 5:38 am

>150 littlegeek: Indeed... most of my files are from Gutenberg. I've also tried a few free Amazon sample books to see how they look. All up, I am still getting used to the Kindle. I find the e-ink wonderfully easy to read but the background e-paper is the colour of grubby recycled newspaper. The white of the surrounding case contrasts with the dull screen - perhaps Amazon will release a black version one day? Meanwhile I will dig out a brighter reading lamp from the cupboard and see if that helps.

Back to Trollope.... I have to say that Linda Tressel is one of the weirdest AT novels I've ever encountered! No wonder he published it anonymously :0

maaliskuu 20, 2010, 2:47 pm

Have you read Nina Balatka yet? Often paired with Linda Tressell, and also highly un-Trollopean.

toukokuu 16, 2010, 6:01 am

>152 stringcat3: I haven't read Nina Balatka yet. And after three failed attempts to read The Kellys I decided I can't get past Chapter 3 and have moved on to another short AT, The Golden Lion of Granpere. In July, I will attempt Ayala's Angel.

toukokuu 17, 2010, 11:35 pm

>152 stringcat3: Granpere is on my "to read" list. I'm at the tail end of AT, with some of the more challenging items left. I'll look into Granpere and see whether it grabs me. I tried An Old Man's Love last month but abandoned it quickly.

toukokuu 18, 2010, 5:45 am

>The plot is very Linda wants girl to marry Mr A. Girl prefers Mr B., guardian puts pressure on girl to choose Mr A., etc. etc.

toukokuu 21, 2010, 1:54 pm

> 155 digi, I was thinking the same thing. You inspired me to pick up Granpere again. I've made it through only three chapters (damn day job) so far. It was also obvious that AT was in travel writer mode with that opening description. The Folio Society edition's intro says he wrote Granpere after a trip with his wife to the area. Also that Granpere, Linda Tressel and Nina Balatka were written anonymously and in a very different, "non-AT" style (his three so-called "continental" novels) so he could judge whether it was his name alone selling his post-Barset novels. In psycho-babble terms, he was seeking validation. Rather an odd level of insecurity for a mature, well-established artist. Makes me think of Sally Field's "you like me, you really like me" speech at the Oscars.

On the other hand, it's not uncommon for writers who achieve great success in one genre to start to chafe under the public's demands for more of the same with each book, or to wish to experiment. Our hometown boy, John Steinbeck, was a great experimenter, which I think has hurt his legacy. You know what you're in for when you pick up Twain, Faulkner, Hemingway, etc., but Steinbeck's books were all over the place as he tried new approaches, genres and forms.

heinäkuu 7, 2010, 6:40 am

I think I've had enough of these 'Continental' novels for now ...... I'm starting Ayala's Angel tonight; it is rated quite highly on LT (4.5 stars from stringcat3) !

heinäkuu 8, 2010, 2:04 am

>157 digifish_books: The Trollope group has just started their reading of Ayala's Angel - first 4 chapters to be read by next Monday.

heinäkuu 8, 2010, 2:11 am

>158 stringcat3: Indeed, that is why I'm reading it. Thanks :)

heinäkuu 10, 2010, 10:31 pm

Lucky folks, reading Ayala's Angel! I just wanted to note that there is a fine, free, unabridged audio version of the novel. I listened to it (in parallel with reading it) in June, while destroying invasive ivy and knotweed and blackberry, and it has remained in my mind as a highlight of my reading/hearing life. If you don't ask anything more of the novel than delight, AA is a fabulous book. For the MP3 audio download, see It is narrated very well by tabithat and will bring the voices of this voiciest of books to life.

heinäkuu 20, 2010, 1:30 pm

Re: Linda Tressel

I found that one quite dull I'm afraid, apart from the religious fanatic old lady.

elokuu 10, 2010, 4:19 am

>160 davidcla:, 161 Linda Tressel was way too dreary! Ayala is much more fun....Tom Tringle and the diamond necklace, for example. I couldn't help but laugh at his lame attempt to win Ayala :)

Thanks for the LibriVox link, david.

elokuu 23, 2010, 9:54 pm

I haven't read Trollope in a while, but I just started Orley Farm and it's so yummy, solid and nourishing. Trollope is literary comfort food.

kesäkuu 20, 2011, 1:12 am

Ugghh, I found The American Senator a bit tough to get through... the chapter on the talking parrot and occasional silly comment from Gotobed were amusing, otherwise too much waffle in this one for me...

kesäkuu 23, 2011, 4:42 am

Agree, digifish. TAS was very choppy especially toward the end.