And what about the Pallisers?

KeskusteluTrollope lovers unite or fight

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And what about the Pallisers?

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

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 4:21 am

After speeding through the Barsetshire novels and loving each and every one of them I have started the Pallisers and I must say that I am struggling a little bit more.

I liked Can you forgive her well enough, but I didn't like Phineas Finn all that much, leafing through the book more than reading in the end (maybe too much politics for me?).

The Eustace Diamonds were more my cup of tea again but now I am afraid that Phineas Redux will be like Phineas Finn again...

So my question is what are your favourites (and least favourites) amonth the Palliser novels and how do you rate them in contrast the the Barsetshire novels?

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 12:53 pm

I confess that I read only the first two and, like you, I liked Can you forgive her? and struggled with Phineas Finn.
Although I own the complete series, I still have to read the others. Perhaps I will tackle them over the summer, when on vacation. Maybe, with more time on my hands.....

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 6:51 pm

lesezeichen - I skimmed the last third or so of Can You ... as I became tired of Alice's vacillating. George Vavasour turned into a splendid villain, though. Alice seemed like a retread of Lily Dale from Small House, although Lily was even more annoying because she seemed to have absolutely no reason to adopt lifelong celibacy. Altogether too full of herself, I think.

I hesitate to head into Phineas Finn now that I've seen your and aluvalibri's comments. I'm sticking with the non-series novels for a while.

What are your thoughts on Eustace Diamonds compared to Thackeray's Vanity Fair?

huhtikuu 11, 2007, 4:07 pm

The Palliser books are my favorites and I read them A bit out of order as Phineas Finn was my first and still favorite, so I also liked Phineas Redux. I might also add that having read the Palliser novels helped me recognize the motive and thus the murderer in Cyril Hare's An English Murder.

While I love Trollope, Vanity Fair is hard to beat!

huhtikuu 11, 2007, 4:45 pm

Thanks for your comment quartzite, you have managed to remotivate me to go on with the Pallisers :)
And I've also noted Cyril Hare's book, I'm all too curious...

And I agree about what you say about Vanity Fair!

huhtikuu 11, 2007, 10:48 pm

To be honest, I'm not all that keen on reading the Palliser series. However, I've had a friend recommend I try The Eustace Diamonds as a stand-alone. Would you folks say that's possible without missing much?

huhtikuu 12, 2007, 11:32 am

Yes, I think The Eustace Diamonds can be read as a stand alone pretty easily.

huhtikuu 12, 2007, 11:59 am

An interesting thing about Trollope is that, as a Civil Servant, he was largely responsible for the introduction of the English `pillar box` for posting letters.

The phrase `Trollope lovers` might be a little unfortunate - in English English (as distinct from American English), it has a decidedly unliterary meaning !

huhtikuu 12, 2007, 12:06 pm

Nick -- we have the word "trollop" here, too. It's "slag" never made it.

huhtikuu 12, 2007, 12:21 pm

Thanks for clarifying that - it`s good to lower the tone once in a while !

Actually, trollop implies more of a commercial transaction over here.

Anyway, we`d better let the grown-ups get back to the sensible stuff.



huhtikuu 13, 2007, 11:10 am

You know, I just love the Palliser novels. I took them on vacation with me one year, and was just delighted to think that for once I wouldn't run out of reading material.

They gave me a window on a world I knew absolutely nothing about.

heinäkuu 19, 2007, 5:37 pm

I have just joined LibraryThing, and just finished reading The Eustace Diamonds. What a pleasure to find a group of folks who read the same things I do.

When I discover an author I like, I don't read all his/her books at once, but spread them out to savour them. I first discovered Trollope in 1996 and have only read four novels so far (BT, CYFH, Phineas Finn, TED), but I never have so much fun as when I am tucked in with a 19th-century British moralist.

Lizzie is a "nasty, low, scheming, ill-conducted, dishonest little wretch," (Mrs. Hittaway's words) but she is a great fictional character. Her lack of self-awareness is what makes her so fun to read about--she thinks she is the victim of the endless problems which she herself has created. But Lizzie is just part of the fun. There's Lucinda's utter hatred of her betrothed. The way she cringes when he gives her her first kiss convinced me she was a lesbian, and I was quite sorry to hear that she lost her marbles after calling off the marriage. And what about Lord Fawn? I wanted to like him--after all, his mother and sisters are so generous and loving to Lucy Morris, and he has identified at least some of Lizzie's many faults. But when Lizzie calls him a coward, she has him pegged. The way that Trollope shows Fawn's moral cowardice, even while Fawn's position is completely defensible, is a beautiful lesson about people, and particularly politicians.

The subplot of Lucy and Frank is a little weak--it just doesn't do to have the perfect angel end up with such a compromised fellow. We never do get to see what there is to really like about him. And he is a bit too susceptible to beautiful Lizzie's charms. (It seems to me that it never was Lizzie's money alone that turned his head; it was the dollars combined with her beauty.)

The minor characters are fabulous: Mr. Gowran, Lady Linlithgow, the police investigators--all well-drawn in their brief appearances, and oh-so-funny. Trollope's antisemitism is very hard to stomach, and it is too bad that it has to mar the otherwise entertaining portrait of the self-satisfied preacher.

I heartily concur with the earlier-expressed opinion that TED can be read as a stand-alone. I'd say that all of the three Pallisers I've read can stand alone.

I've enjoyed looking at the Neither Barset nor Palliser topic, as it gives me some ideas where I might go next. But, with all the other books out there to read, the next Trollope will have to wait.

heinäkuu 20, 2007, 1:45 pm

>12 spllover: A woman cringes because a man she loathes kisses her, and you think that makes her a lesbian? Are you serious? And here I am thinking that the belief that a woman welcomes all sexual advances lives on only in porn.

heinäkuu 20, 2007, 1:52 pm

Well said, stringcat3!

heinäkuu 20, 2007, 5:47 pm

On rereading my post, I see that the repulsion from Sir Griffin's kiss was the reason I gave for thinking Lucinda is a lesbian. But there is actually a great deal more evidence in the book that Lucinda despises not just Sir Griffin, but all men. When we are first introduced to her, Trollope describes her thus:

"It must be presumed that Lucinda Roanoke was in want of a husband, and yet no girl seemed to take less pains to get one. A girl ought not to be always busying herself to bring down a man, but a girl ought to give herself some charm. A girl so handsome as Lucinda Roanoke, with pluck enough to ride like a bird, dignity enough for a duchess, and who was undoubtedly clever, ought to put herself in the way of taking such good things as her charms and merits would bring her;—but Lucinda Roanoke stood aloof and despised everybody."

And later, when she declines to marry Sir Griffin, Trollope suggests that she will never marry him, or any man, because the prospect is too horrific.

The prudery of Victorian times often caused women to be afraid of men, but Lucinda does not appear to be afraid of anything, let alone men. Trollope repeatedly writes that, if the marriage were to take place, it would be Lucinda who gets the upper hand.

Obviously, my speculation is just that. But I think there is more basis for it than merely the fact that she cringed when Sir Griffin kissed her, even if I didn't spell all that out in the first post.

To be clear, I do not believe that a woman's rejecting of a man's kiss makes her a lesbian. But take a another look at the text, and you may agree that Lucinda rejected all men, not just Sir Griffin. Even that doesn't make her a lesbian, but it does make her a fairly unusual woman in Victorian literature. That's what I was trying, apparently unsuccessfully, to point out.

heinäkuu 20, 2007, 6:04 pm

One additional thought:

I announced myself as new to LT, and pleased to find like-minded people. I wrote a rather lengthy post addressing several characters and aspects of the book. Based on one sentence in one post, I was immediately accused of harboring attitudes found only in porn.

As is the case in so many virtual communities, we don't actually know each other, but I assumed, given our shared love, not just of books, but of a particular kind of books, we might cut each other some slack. Having found, in at least this one instance, that that is not the case, I will probably go back to the anonymity of being a cataloger only, and not a poster.

Sorry for having ruffled your feathers. Have a nice day anyway.

heinäkuu 21, 2007, 12:37 am

Yeesh, spllover, you're taking it awfully hard.
You're right, you were not successful in making your point the first time, but you came back and made it the second time. Good! OF COURSE people are going to challenge each other. That's what the boards are for. Slack is for people who can't keep up their end of the argument, and you don't seem to be one of those.

heinäkuu 21, 2007, 12:38 pm

It's true my skin is on the thin side. I'll make sure to put my helmet and shinpads on before posting again :b

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 22, 2007, 4:15 pm

>18 spllover: don't forget the mouthguard, in case you take one on the chin ;-)

elokuu 7, 2007, 2:16 am

A Palliser sighting: somehow I linked over to Oprah's website, where she has a loooong list of celebrities who give short lists (5-7) of their favorite books and explain the significance of each choice. Wonderful way to waste a good half-hour. Nora Ephron lists The Eustace Diamonds. Here are her comments:

"If you haven't read Trollope, this is a good place to begin. Along with Can You Forgive Her?, The Eustace Diamonds is among the most delicious and contemporary of Trollope's Palliser novels, and like any great classic, it's crammed to bursting with characters who are remarkably like people you know. Well, maybe you don't know anyone like Lizzie Eustace—a young woman who cares more about money and jewels than anything else—but I'm afraid I do."

Emma Thompson also claims to be a Trollope fan.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 19, 2007, 4:15 pm

Another Palliser sighting: the Wall St. Journal's Weekend Edition (August 18-19) had a short essay by Ken Emerson on Phineas Finn on its Leisure & Arts page in the MASTERPIECE column. The title was "What the Pols Should Read: Trollope's 'Phineas Finn' is still a politically savvy novel."

Emerson notes that the Associated Press asked the presidential candidates what was the last novel they'd read, and got the predictable list of current thrillers (Grisham, Patterson, etc.). "If it were up to me to assign the pols summer reading, I'd put 'Phineas Finn' at the head of the list." He calls PF"an outstanding volume in an outstanding series" and "England's greatest 19th-century political novel ... that gives every side its say."

tammikuu 1, 2008, 6:20 pm

I'm very late to this party but just want to put in another vote for the Palliser novels but not as better or worse than the Barsetshire series. Just different. I've read only the first three and I am just starting Phineas Redux, and I'll have to disagree with those who didn't like Phineas Finn. It was such a perfect parady of the political life, and also and eye-opener about the pitfalls of supporting oneself while a member of Parliament. And I think we all know characters who are just charming and benign enough to be liked by all, such as Finn. Having just finished The Eustace Diamonds I'll admit that I also thought Lucinda might be a lesbian not because of the kiss but because of all the other things she said about men. But in the end I concluded that she was just so resentful that she lacked power in society because she lacked money, and that she must marry someone, anyone, because of it. So many of Trollope's characters have a comical element and for Lucinda I felt mostly sadness. But not for Lizzie, whom one dislikes and laughs at simultaneously. Trollope's characters do not always get what they deserve, but it seemed to me that she did.

tammikuu 17, 2008, 12:46 am

Just curious: with only about 150 pages left in Phineas Finn, I was wondering: why are they called the PALLISER novels? The Pallisers have had very minor appearances in the first two books of the series. I suppose they come into their own later, but I can't imagine they have a great role in The Eustace Diamonds.

tammikuu 27, 2008, 5:58 pm


I finished THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS yesterday. AT had me wondering right to the end what fortunate (?) swain was going to land Lizzie. I agree with jyangelo's comment about Lizzie getting what she deserved, and also about the sadness for Lucinda. I was wondering, though, whether Lucinda's "madness" was feigned or real. I think she had enough strength of mind to pull off a staged breakdown (the Bible was a nice touch), and then to eventually recover once Sir Griffin was long gone. It struck me as wonderfully passive-aggressive retribution against her aunt, who was quite nasty. The whole grubbing for wedding presents episode was horrifying yet fascinating. AT shows once again he is a master of epistolary exposition. The notes to and from Mrs. Carbuncle are a hoot. His ambiguous naming of Mrs. Carbuncle was also amusing. She starts out as a valued friend (the precious stone definition) and ends as a grasping enemy (the yucky skin infection definition).

And while the Pallisers have a small role in TED, Lady Glencora certainly had her finger in the pie. What a busybody! I assume they will burst into ascendancy in the last two novels of the series and justify the eponymous title of the series.

Am now starting Phineas Redux.

Recently picked up a used Dover edition of Kept in the Dark from an independent bookstore over in Monterey (one of the last in the area!). It seems to have some elements of He Knew He Was Right, to judge from the back cover blurb.

helmikuu 16, 2008, 3:18 am

Just finished The Prime Minister yesterday. Not quite up to the two Phineas volumes. I completely understood Glencora's frustration with Plantagenet. He would have irritated a saint.

Which she certainly was not.

Am taking a short break from AT with Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 16, 2008, 10:48 am

I've read the six Palliser novels and have mixed reactions. I loved Can you forgive her? and liked Phineas Finn and Phineas redux because Phineas was an interesting character. The duke's children was disappointingly boring. The Prime Minister was even more boring, because the political situation was completely unreal. And I hated The Eustace diamonds. It took me three tries to get through it.

Plantagenet Palliser is just not an interesting character, and I wouldn't recommend the whole Palliser series unless you were interested in advanced Trollope.

helmikuu 16, 2008, 5:41 pm


>26 shmjay: I agree, although I haven't yet tackled The Duke's Children (Neil Gaiman's American Gods is excellent and I'm flying along in it). The two Phineas volumes, which AT viewed as one very, very long novel, are the Palliser series' highlights.

Like you, I made several attempts at The Eustace Diamonds but once in enjoyed it for the most part. It became overlong and then the ending felt rushed.

Planty Pall is indeed a drip. I truly felt for Lady Glen, forced into a loveless marriage with this milquetoast. What a frustration for her high spirits, ambition and talents! She steals the limelight, as well she should.

I've been wracking what's left of my brains to try to remember which other AT has a similar plot of girl marries villain, villain dies, girl marries Upstanding Former Lover and it's happily ever after. In Can You Forgive Her? we get Alice Vavasor vacillating but John Gray does land her. In The Claverings, there's no remarriage. What am I thinking of?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 24, 2008, 7:49 pm

About 1/3 into The Duke's Children, which is much more entertaining than was The Prime Minister. Silverbridge is sort of "Phineas Finn lite" but, I think, more endearing (as Lady Mab has discovered). The Duke himself is more sympathetic. In TPM Planty was either being overshadowed by Glencora or indulging in those bouts of self-pity and hand-wringing that made most everyone he knew want to slap him. He now has a world of hurt and trouble visited on him in this last Palliser novel, and deserves some measure of, if not sympathy, then at least empathy.

Mrs. Finn, previously Madame Max, gets once more to kick some Palliser butt, and it's highly enjoyable to watch (i.e., read). She reminds me somewhat of Martha Dunstable, later Mrs. Dr. Thorne, but less puckish.

Major Tifto is a quite satisfactory heel, and Dolly Longstaff, now 35-years-young, gets a few aristocratic zingers in.

helmikuu 26, 2008, 1:33 pm

I have to agree with most of you that the Palliser novels dragged a bit. The main reason I kept going was because I had read that Trollope's personal favorite character was Plantagenet. That made me try harder to see what made him tick. He bumbled horribly at being a husband and a father, but it wasn't for lack of desire to do what's right.

maaliskuu 2, 2008, 11:35 am

Ferdinand Lopez and Emily Wharton, but I can't remember which book.

maaliskuu 4, 2008, 3:43 am

> 30 Are you responding to my post #27? These are the characters in The Prime Minister, which I was discussing. My question was, what OTHER AT novel has a similar situation?

huhtikuu 11, 2008, 10:24 pm

Coup! I just bought a full set of Oxford University Press 1973 hardback edition of the Pallisers. For $6.50 a piece. They're a nice small size, too, suitable for reading in bed.

I guess God wants me to read them.

huhtikuu 11, 2008, 10:58 pm

Wow! Most impressive!

elokuu 22, 2008, 9:05 am

>32 littlegeek: I thought you'd already read the Pallisers series?

elokuu 22, 2008, 11:04 am

#34 Nope! Just the Barcester series. I'm very far behind on my Trollope.

Right now I'm listening to a Jane Austen and I'm on the penultimate Aubrey/Maturin book so I'm thinking I'll wait to start the Palliser books. I really need to finish the Patrick O'Brians once & for all (although the later books aren't up to the same standard, imho).

elokuu 22, 2008, 8:27 pm

>35 littlegeek: Sorry, littlegeek, I had you confused with stringcat. I powered through The Moonstone yesterday and my mind was all befuddled last night!

Muokkaaja: elokuu 26, 2008, 4:46 pm

> 35 OT: agree with your take on the later Aubrey-Maturin books. Patrick was getting quite long in the tooth and seemed to rely too much on letters to move things along. And the abruptness with which he dealt with Diana was rather startling. But any Jack and Stephen is better than none.

I think I actually enjoyed the Pallisers more than Barchester overall. Well, the novels focused on Phineas, anyway. The Duke was a thumping bore.

elokuu 25, 2008, 11:48 am

I totally agree about Diana. And to have it announced to the reader via some dockside gossip. That went beyond the pale.

I have to confess I'm kinda just forcing myself to finish the series for the sake of completeness. I've already decided to pass on 21, since O'Brian only wrote 3 chapters.

The Moonstone rocks!

syyskuu 12, 2008, 7:53 am

>38 littlegeek: Yeah, I really enjoyed The Moonstone too, littlegeek :)

Meanwhile, I've decided to 'bite the bullet' and order a Penguin Classics copy of Can You Forgive Her...

marraskuu 15, 2008, 3:10 pm

I started Can You Forgive Her? today. Yay.

joulukuu 7, 2008, 3:22 pm

Finally finished CYFH?. It was ok, I guess, not my fav. I wrote a review if anyone is interested.

God, that Plantagenet is a drip! How does Trollope manage to write six novels about him? I'm assuming Phineas Finn has more politics in it, and not as much women whinging. I did love Glencora, tho. I can only hope she continues to make life difficult for Planty Pal.

joulukuu 8, 2008, 2:36 am

> 41 Yes, Phineas Finn is a decided improvement over CYFH? I struggled through 2/3 of the latter then skimmed the rest.

PF, The Eustace Diamonds and Phineas Redux are the three most enjoyable volumes of the series, partly because Planty is scarce.

joulukuu 8, 2008, 1:02 pm

I've been marooned in Can You Forgive Her? for months. It seems I can't :-P

joulukuu 8, 2008, 2:48 pm

i did like the foxhunt and the scene in th ruins.

tammikuu 10, 2009, 8:34 pm

I started Phineas Finn last night an so far, I'm loving it. I just enjoy the way AT writes, his humour, his characters.

tammikuu 10, 2009, 9:49 pm

Of the Palliser series, Phineas Finn and Phineas Redux are the best, followed by The Eustace Diamonds. Madame Max certainly knows how to steal a scene.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 14, 2009, 7:14 am

I will be starting Can You Forgive Her? as soon as I finish Lark Rise to Candleford. I can't put it off any longer! And, if it gets boring I shall skim pages while watching cricket or tennis on the telly....or come here and have a whinge ;P

tammikuu 25, 2009, 10:14 pm

I'm about 1/2 way through Phineas Finn and it's just so good. I love how clueless Phineas is about so many things. He needs to watch out for those sharks.

I was just reading Phineas' rationalizations for "running" for election in a district that is basically owned by his friend the Earl. Hilarious.

tammikuu 26, 2009, 5:42 pm

>48 littlegeek: Good to know that Phineas is worthwhile. Something to look forward to if I ever complete Can You, which unfortunately is dragging already and failing to ignite my interest. I guess I can't say I wasn't warned! ;)

tammikuu 26, 2009, 6:13 pm

digi, you don't HAVE to finish CYFH if you don't want, you know.

If you're ever in the states, look me up. Between Trollope & tennis, we would have lots to talk about.

tammikuu 26, 2009, 8:49 pm

>50 littlegeek: Thanks littlegeek!

CYFH isn't not too bad I guess.... and besides, how can I achieve 'Trollope completist' status if I don't finish it? ;)

tammikuu 27, 2009, 12:01 am

>51 digifish_books: - I confess that I skimmed the last third of CYFH. It did indeed draggggggggggggg.

tammikuu 27, 2009, 1:27 am

#51 good point. I managed to finish it, but as stringcat says, it drags.

tammikuu 27, 2009, 1:35 am

maybe a brisk gallup with Surtees wd. be more to your liking. Old Anthony is after something that can't be got in a rush, as it were.

tammikuu 28, 2009, 6:48 pm

Funny, I'm stuck in Can You Forgive Her? too. Glad to know it's not just me.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 30, 2009, 6:59 pm

>54 Porius: Allow me to put in a plug for Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series. Don't let the swashbuckling put you off: there's plenty of non-military "action" in drawing rooms, at dining tables, on horseback and at large social gatherings of the Regency sort to keep any Trollopian happy. Remember, it was Jane Austen's era and she dearly loved the Royal Navy - her brothers Charles and Frank lived to become admirals. The 20 completed books are actually one looooong novel, so you start at the beginning and go in order. Keep a diagram of a ship handy and you'll be surprised how quickly you pick up the basics, and you can always skim the really hardcore nautical discussions at first. If you do get hooked, spring for a copy of "A Sea of Words" which is a companion glossary with several interesting essays. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin form arguably the best literary friendship since Holmes and Watson. I've read the entire series at least 5 times and still am entertained with each encounter.

tammikuu 30, 2009, 6:54 pm

#56 Hear hear! The bottle stands by you, sir!

tammikuu 30, 2009, 7:00 pm

Can anyone think of any naval officers in Trollope? I can't recall any.

I have a sudden craving for toasted bread & cheese. I'm uncommon hipped. Killick! Ho, Killick, there!

tammikuu 30, 2009, 10:20 pm

And don't forget the coffee.

helmikuu 1, 2009, 1:31 pm

>56 stringcat3: Well, I'm convinced. I think I have the first book around here somewhere. I like your idea of keeping a diagram of a ship handy, stringcat.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 16, 2009, 7:05 pm

Finally finished Phineas Finn. THERE ARE SPOILERS HERE. Loved it. Amazing how topical it still all is. Men of integrity don't last long in politics. And even at that, he has his moments where he goes along to get along, rationalizes, weazels out. Real people are so like this---we learn by screwing up, and then deciding against it finally.

Man, was Phinny all that and a bag of chips for the ladies, tho, or what? Every babe wanted him. And then he ends up with his childhood sweetheart, how AT is that?

helmikuu 19, 2009, 6:07 pm

> 61 Wait 'til you get to the next installment (I'd skip Eustace Diamonds and stick with Phinny me lad for now). Gets even wilder. Madame Max rocks.

helmikuu 19, 2009, 7:13 pm

#62 I will probably read Eustace Diamonds next but I won't miss another Phineas book. What's cool is how he attracts all these intriguing female characters. I LOVE Madame Max. And Laura and Ms. Effingham, as well. Kinda too bad he ended up with Mary Flood Jones, actually, she was a drip. But that's AT for you.

helmikuu 20, 2009, 12:38 am

> 63 Don't despair of PF's marital fate - read on, read on!

helmikuu 20, 2009, 12:52 am

#64 giggle, sometimes i like a spoiler...

helmikuu 21, 2009, 4:16 am

I'm about 2/3rd the way through Phineas Finn. Just why Violet has rejected Phineas I have no idea (there really IS no accounting for taste!!). Anyhow, this is a decidedly more interesting book than Can You Forgive Her, although some of the Reform Bill and other politicking is rather dull. The various romances make up for the politics and I'm listening to an audio version which I find very relaxing! The reader's accent for Madame Max is a bit weak, but oh well :) And it seems my namesake (Laura) is also a 6ft tall redhead. Kind of spooky to hear oneself described in an AT novel. Fortunately that's about where the similarities end... I am not married to a Scotsman and my husband and I don't write little notes to each other if we argue! ;)

>61 littlegeek:-64 Thanks for the spoilers you two! ;P I will give Eustace a go next.

helmikuu 21, 2009, 6:25 pm

#66 I posted a warning. Sorry you if you read the spoilers anyway. ;-)


Violet is a little inscrutable, I'll give you that, but I can understand why someone would reject Phineas. He's a little green, and Lord What's-His-Name has that bad boy thing going. I don't think we women have changed that much in the last 150 years.

helmikuu 21, 2009, 7:00 pm

>67 littlegeek: No worries, littlegeek. I only have myself to blame :)

helmikuu 21, 2009, 7:26 pm

I can't resist them either, sometimes.

helmikuu 21, 2009, 8:27 pm

LOL, neither can I!

helmikuu 24, 2009, 1:36 am


Well, AT in his autobiography, seems to regret the choice of marriage mate for PF:

"It is all fairly good except the ending, - as to which till I got to it I had made no provision. As I fully intended to bring my hero again into the world, I was wrong to marry him to a simple pretty Irish girl, who could only be felt as an encumbrance on such return."

He writes as if he were forced to have Phineas choose MFJ at the end. I mean, he could have easily changed it!!

All that being said, I did enjoy the book!

helmikuu 24, 2009, 3:52 am

"Tell me where is fancy bred: or in the heart or in the head?" I'm with Violet - I like someone who fights back (of course, I always win). Don't worry about our boy Phin, though.

I'm laid up with a newly reconstructed ankle so would appreciate as many postings as you collectively can manage as I'm already BORED OUT OF MY MIND but don't really have the concentration for taking on another AT just yet. Another 10 days of ankle elevated above the heart.

helmikuu 24, 2009, 1:16 pm

oh, stringcat, I feel your pain, buddy! I broke a bone myself in November, and the recuperation is slow. But maybe I'm just old.

I got through it with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I couldn't read on vicadin.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 24, 2009, 2:21 pm

Oh, stringcat, so sorry to hear about your ankle!!!

I'm not sure what sort of reading you like besides AT, but Neglected books is a site that can keep my attention for several minutes at a time, and also sends me off on searches for obscure books of all sorts.

Arts & Letters Daily has some short articles and links that you might find interesting.

The Victorian Web also has some interesting tidbits on AT and others.

eta: There's always BBC radio 4 .

helmikuu 25, 2009, 9:31 pm

Part of it is the narcotics (Oxycodone and Hydrocodone), which make me fall asleep frequently and at odd moments (while eating spaghetti or scratching Woodrow K. Cat). I haven't pulled my laptop into my bed yet (although I have quite a nest going by now) as it's rather awkward to deal with while lying flat. I detest being read to, so audiobooks aren't an option, although that NPR program Selected Shorts always used to hold my interest. The readers were actors so it sounded like a monologue rather than reading. Wonder whether that's on CD - I'll check the website.

We get BBC America but not the "real" BBC here.

Well, I'm supposed to be gimping along the hall to restore circulation, not sneaking in here to post. I know, I'm whining, but I feel SOMEWHAT entitled. And I'm rather miffed that everyone took me seriously when I said not to ply me with sweets, as I was concerned about larding on the pounds ;-)

helmikuu 26, 2009, 1:29 pm

Hang in there, stringcat. It does get better.

Here's hoping someone bakes you an enormous cake or batch of cookies.

maaliskuu 10, 2009, 2:22 am

littlegeek, have you started Eustace Diamonds yet..? I got my copy last week but am yet to make a start. I am tempted to make a detour with The American Senator which has been kicking around the TBR list for a while...

maaliskuu 10, 2009, 4:34 pm

Not yet, digi. My TBR is miles high and rotate Trollope in with other series and stand alones.

Right now I'm reading Golden Fool (love Robin Hobb) and after that I'll probably read the new TC Boyle, which is burning a hole in my Kindle.

I'll get to it soon, tho.

maaliskuu 18, 2009, 12:50 pm

So let me get this straight from earlier. I have only read CYFH? and loved it. I own Phineas Phinn. Am I to understand that I will not like the Phineas books and should skip to Eustace Diamonds? (I loved Glencora.) I did start the second book and found it a bit dull.

CYFH? is the only Trollope book I have ever read, but I do love the Victorians.

maaliskuu 18, 2009, 5:02 pm

I think the two Phineas books are the strongest of the series. The Eustace Diamonds, which is entertaining if a trifle overlong, can be read as a stand-alone, or you can keep the order and sandwich it between Phineas Finn and Phineas Redux. But Finn definitely has to precede Redux.

BTW - you're the only person I've seen claim to like CYFH? ;-D

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 2009, 1:59 am

I liked Can You Forgive Her?
It was my introduction to Trollope.

huhtikuu 1, 2009, 4:24 am

If you read anything at all by Trollope make it Phineas Finn, do not skip the Phineas books!

huhtikuu 13, 2009, 6:40 am

I started The Eustace Diamonds today and find it fairly palatable so far. Much to stringcat's chagrin, I am mostly reading it in on my PC in ebook format :P

huhtikuu 13, 2009, 6:04 pm

>83 digifish_books: I am much maligned - I occasionally indulge in e-reading (e.g., Seventy Years of Irish Life, Lady Anna) but find it an alternative sadly wanting those sensory inputs that add so many dimensions to the pleasurable act of reading.

BTW: highly recommend Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading.

huhtikuu 14, 2009, 6:45 pm

My Kindle rawks!

huhtikuu 18, 2009, 9:52 pm

I started The Eustace Diamonds today. Yay. On my Kindle, of course.

huhtikuu 19, 2009, 6:15 pm

My favourite quote so far:

A huge, living, daily increasing grievance that does one no palpable harm, is the happiest possession that a man can have.

This after a long discourse on the basic mindset of Conservatives. I guess things don't change much in 150 years.

huhtikuu 19, 2009, 8:24 pm


I keep getting 'Frank', 'Frederic' and the 'Fawns' mixed up! And there is still another 500 pages to go... :P

huhtikuu 24, 2009, 1:09 pm

I'm about a third of the way through Eustace Diamonds and I'm wishing AT would just get on with it, or at least supply a subplot or something. He seems to be belaboring the point a bit. Yes, I understand what a horrible beotch Lizzie is and what she is trying to pull off. I get it. Let's move on, Jeeze!

This thread is the only thing keeping me reading at this point.

huhtikuu 24, 2009, 6:42 pm

>89 littlegeek: Be brave, littlegeek! I had the same reaction to ED but it does pick up. There's some great snarkiness about wedding presents coming up later.

huhtikuu 24, 2009, 6:57 pm

Yes, hang in there, littlegeek. Personally, I had a harder time getting through Framley Parsonage; Elizabeth Gaskell once remarked "I wish FP would go on forever." As far as I was concerned, it did.

huhtikuu 24, 2009, 8:25 pm

I liked Framley Parsonage. I never got bored with any of the Barset books, but ED and CYFH have given me pause.

I will finish, just so I can get back to Phineas.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 25, 2009, 12:37 am

littlegeek, my sentiments exactly! I am up to Chapter 31 (almost half-way) and I find it rather frustrating. Apart from a little humour in Chapter 26 with Mr Gowran and the 'coosins' and then Lucy back-chatting the Fawns, it is quite dull. As you say, the same point is being laboured over and over.... Yep, can't wait for Phineas Redux!

huhtikuu 24, 2009, 9:40 pm

#92 - Yes, I know I'm in the minority there.

huhtikuu 28, 2009, 11:57 am

Half way through the book is a little late to start a subplot, but I've FINALLY reached the section with Lucinda and I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring re: her sexuality. I don't think it really matters all that much, actually. The book isn't about sex and romance, it's about money. (It's not titled "Eustace Diamonds" for nuthin'.) Whether she's turned off by hetero sex or not, what she seems mainly to be bugged about is guys twice her age sniffing around after her fortune. But I will read further and see if this notion holds.

huhtikuu 28, 2009, 8:20 pm

I'm at the end of Volume II. The 'action' involving the necklace has finally commenced.... but I'm still rather bored ;)

huhtikuu 29, 2009, 10:40 am

OK, I must have been half asleep when AT described Lucinda because apparently, she hasn't a penny. And she's forced into getting engaged to Sir Griffin by her aunt because of money. Again, because of money. The point isn't really WHY Lucinda doesn't want to marry Sir Griffin (who would, tho?), it's still just about what money makes people do.

toukokuu 1, 2009, 2:10 pm

Don't hate me y'all but I officially bailed on ED last night. I was just too bored. I might pick it back up some day, but I'll probably just read a synopsis and then do Phineas Redux later this year.

If anyone wants to point me to some decent chapters in the last half of the book that they think I must read, let me know. (Don't use page numbers, please, cuz I'm reading it on Kindle.)

toukokuu 1, 2009, 10:31 pm

>98 littlegeek: I think Mrs. Carbuncle's scheming for wedding presents in Chapter 65 is hilarious.

toukokuu 2, 2009, 5:27 am

>98 littlegeek: No hatred here, lg! I basically skim-read to the end today, just to find out what happened to Lizzie and the jewels. The book is about 400 pages too long, IMHO.

heinäkuu 30, 2009, 6:29 pm

I started reading Phineas Finn some time ago. It got a little better as I went along. However Phineas doesn't sit well with me. His passion for Lady Laura feels contrived. I felt that he woke up one morning and said, "I think I'll fall in love today." I don't know that I care very much for Lady Laura either. I stopped reading at the end of Vol I so that I could read a book from the library for which I had been waiting for a long time.

I also missed my favorites from CYFH? Glencora has made one small appearance thus far. I can't wait for Eustace Diamonds. I will probably post again when I go back to Phineas.

elokuu 2, 2009, 1:25 pm

You've pretty much hit upon Phineas' feet of clay! I have a little more sympathy for Lady Laura - she deluded herself with a "proper" marriage and now is paying a terrible price.

elokuu 2, 2009, 8:52 pm

>101 ElizabethPotter: I will probably post again when I go back to Phineas.

Please do, Elizabeth. I'll be interested to know what you think of Phineas by the end of the book.

I do think its a little odd that this is branded the 'Palliser' series since they are certainly not central to the second and third books.

BTW, I've started Phineas Redux.

elokuu 2, 2009, 9:40 pm

Ooh, I just finished a book (Stone's Fall by Iain Pears, I liked it pretty well) and I'm not sure what to read next. Perhaps I need a little Phinny action.

elokuu 3, 2009, 2:37 pm

I always forget how easy it was to get rid of people back when there were no antibiotics and childbirth was a 50/50 proposition of making it out alive.

elokuu 3, 2009, 10:52 pm

>105 littlegeek: Did I miss something? Who's being gotten rid of?

elokuu 4, 2009, 12:40 am

#106 Sorry, I just started Phineas Redux, and SPOILER I was referring to how AT gets rid of Phinny's Irish wife by killing her off in childbirth in the first chapter.

elokuu 4, 2009, 2:33 am

>106 stringcat3: Ah, yes. AT realized what a mistake he'd made and quickly corrected it, in a realistic albeit cold-blooded fashion.

I think it wasn't until the 1920s, when birth control became more available, that women's life expectancy started to gain on men's. At least in the U.S.

elokuu 4, 2009, 4:28 pm

I like that AT doesn't waste any time on it at all.

I'm finding all these political machinations so terribly topical. It's really rather depressing. Then again, I think one of the points is that no matter how incompetent and self-serving our politicians are, they're not as important as they think they are.

elokuu 7, 2009, 1:22 pm

Lady Laura is kind of creeping me out.

Phineas is such a drip that I keep having to remind myself why all these women are ga-ga over him. Right, he's supposed to be gorgeous. It helps if I cast Orlando Bloom to play him in my head - gorgeous, but vapid.

It's not just AT; most authors always remind us when a woman character is a beauty, but if it's a man, it's once in the beginning and then you have to remember it. Why is that?

elokuu 8, 2009, 2:37 am

>110 littlegeek: Perfect casting: Orlando Bloom (blond, though) as Phineas. OB was pretty hot as a blond elf - moreso than in his pirate incarnations.

Possibly the Phineas attraction is also due to his being vapid - he's not as concerned with dominating the women he encounters, unlike most of the other male characters.

elokuu 8, 2009, 4:38 pm

I'm a woman, and let me tell you, women don't like vapid. They like a man to have a bit more spine. It might be more that Phineas is so difficult to pin down. He falls in love every other day, so maybe that makes him enough of a challenge to be interesting.

Naw, I think it's his looks.

elokuu 8, 2009, 5:18 pm

Then again, at least Lady Laura has something in common with Phinny, the interest with politics. It's heartbreaking how she declines after her marriage. Her obsession with Phineas as the one that got away is horrible, but I imagine that would be something that could happen in a society that put such stumbling blocks in the way of divorce. Kennedy is wacko, tho, no doubt.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 8, 2009, 9:51 pm

>112 littlegeek: Also being in possession of two X chromosomes, I'll venture to say that vapid is certainly less of an attraction these days, but I can think of half a dozen women off the top of my head who have the clear upper hand in their households and prefer that their husbands be if not vapid then at least non-combative ;-) And let's not fall into the trap of applying today's attitudes to those of the early 19th century. I would think that especially in that era a man who obviously liked the company of women for their own sakes was of interest. They would have been a refreshing alternative to the more common run of household despots and domestic ogres such as Kennedy.

elokuu 9, 2009, 11:59 am

#114 You may be right. Then again, I always thought that Violet went for Chiltern because he had that bad boy vibe. I'm always amazed at how little things have really changed.

And then there's Madame Max. She's a feisty one, perhaps her reasons for wanting to marry Phineas are what you're talking about? I don't remember the finer points of that plot point right now.

And then there's the politics, oy. I really enjoy how AT positions Phineas as the hero, and yet he gets himself into one scrape after another and is hounded by the press. The articles that Slide publishes are essentially true, at least true enough from a certain perspective. It gives me pause about all the political sex scandalmongering going on now. It's all a big game. (Not that the scumbags cheating on their wives don't deserve it.)

And then there's the Conservative PM taking on a Liberal viewpoint in order to remain in power. Sounds like modern neoliberalism to me.

elokuu 9, 2009, 11:59 am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 9, 2009, 3:18 pm

>115 littlegeek: Exactly - a blanket statement that "women don't want vapid" does have some holes. There's definitely the bad boy thing (although I got the impression later that Violet had Chiltern pretty much tamed). Madame Max is the perfect example of the "power behind the throne" school of romantic entanglements. I think the Duke liked her precisely because she was smart and not a push-over.

I'm reminded of an incident my mother-in-law reported some years ago about my brother-in-law, a veteran police detective in a large city and Army Reserve major who has served in Bosnia and Serbia, among other hell holes. She came into their kitchen one morning to find him nursing his coffee and staring out the window. When she asked him what he was doing, he said, in all seriousness, "Waiting for (his wife's name) to tell me what to do."

elokuu 9, 2009, 4:50 pm

So perhaps it's that the women with certain ambitions, like Lady Laura & Madame Max, see the prospect of using a malleable guy like Phineas to live out their political aspirations vicariously. Phinny does show some backbone from time to time (at the end of Phineas Finn, for example), but mostly he's too innocent and clueless to really keep up with those more politically savvy than he is. As such, he makes a perfect patsy.

Still, I think their heads are initially turned by his hunkiness.

I know those kind of men you're talking about, and the women who partner them. Those kind of relationships are as creepy as when the men are too dominant.

elokuu 10, 2009, 6:24 pm

>118 littlegeek: While Mme. Max is certainly ambitious, I hesitate to apply the same description to Laura. She struck me as more interested in avoiding a fate (impecunious match) than in realizing true ambitions for herself. Your thoughts, littlegeek? Or jump in, anyone else!

elokuu 10, 2009, 6:30 pm

#119 I thought Laura married Kennedy so she could pay off Chiltern's debts. The fact that he was also in the govt. was consolation to her, as at least she could stay in the know. She actually had more interest in politics per se, having hosted a salon for the political set.

elokuu 12, 2009, 12:11 pm

I think I'm enjoying Phineas Redux even more than Phineas Finn. This book has everything. Poor Phinny, he certainly does get into trouble a lot!

elokuu 14, 2009, 4:32 pm

Chaffenbrass is using the "if it doesn't fit you must acquit" defense! Johnny Cochrane must have read Phineas Redux!

elokuu 15, 2009, 7:55 pm

I'm up to Chapter 31. I like the fact that there is a lot going on so far (I haven't been bored ;). A lot of sadness though - regrets, disappointments, unrequited love, etc.

elokuu 16, 2009, 11:00 am

SPOILERS FOR BOTH PHINEAS BOOKS: Finished Phineas Redux last night. Really, really enjoyed it. Here's the thing, tho, I'm not sure I actually "get" Phineas. Am I supposed to think he's a young man of integrity, or just a clueless oaf who judges others too harshly for his own good? In both books he goes his own way in the end because of some idea of rightness or goodness, but he still takes the cushy government appointment in Phineas Finn and marries the heiress in Phineas Redux, keeping his seat in Parliament. If the other politicians are really so beneath him morally, why does he still want to be there at all? Perhaps we are meant to see how the special hypocrisy of the politician is born? Or that, despite appearance, some politicians may actually be innocent and well-meaning inside? If you didn't know that Phineas really is a good guy, you'd probably think lots of unsavory things about him, including that he was Lady Laura's lover, that he married Max for her money, etc. etc. I mean really, what difference did it make to Laura that he technically didn't sleep with her? He still ruined her life by trying to hard to be "nice" to her and leading her on and everyone believed she was his lover anyway.

Frankly, I see Max getting pretty bored in a couple of years.

elokuu 24, 2009, 6:05 pm

I just bought Eustace Diamonds at a used bookstore. I hoped I might find it, but figured I wouldn't. I was so excited! However, looking at the chronology it says it is a novel in three volumes. However my copy only has two volumes. It's the oxford hardback 1983 edition. Does it seem a little strange to put the first two volumes but not the third? The last chapter is 80 "What was Said about it all at Matching." Do I have it all or not?

elokuu 24, 2009, 7:45 pm

>125 ElizabethPotter: Elizabeth, glad you found a copy :) Chapter 80 ('Matching') is the last chapter of Eustace Diamonds. I think the chronology should be two volumes, not three.

elokuu 28, 2009, 7:29 pm

Thank you!

syyskuu 13, 2009, 5:20 pm

I finished PF last night. The book did grow on me a little. However Phineas still bothers me a little. His real love seems to be politics. (I won't say Parliament because of the ending.) The book tries to be about both love and politics, and it doesn't quite work.

Madame Goesler had real romantic feelings. One could make a case for Mary, but her love for Phineas started with the teasings of Phineas' sister Barbara. I never could quite feel empathy for her. Mme Goesler, on the other hand, suffers and hopes as she writes the letter to the Duke. Her feelings felt genuine.

syyskuu 13, 2009, 8:07 pm

Just finished CYFH? and quite enjoyed it. I found the political aspects very interesting and informative about the working of parliament and English elections. However, I am put off by Trollope's ideas about the very rich being the best people to lead society - rather obnoxious to this democratic chap.

Word of warning, don't read the introduction - ever. Why do introduction writers feel they have to tell you what the plot of the book is before you read it? I have learned from experience to read the introduction only after you finish the book. I did that for this one (penguin classics) and it not only contained spoilers for CYFH? but for the following Pallliser novels. I quit as soon as I saw it coming; but, how stupid is that?

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 13, 2009, 8:48 pm

>129 Clarencex: I've been caught out on Penguin's introductions before. Yeah, don't read them til after you've read the whole series. Even some of their blurb on the back cover has spoilers, it is rather annoying!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 25, 2010, 5:26 pm

You know, when I heard that Obama liked Phineas Finn I assumed he identified with Phineas. Turns out he was taking notes on how to twist arms within your own party.

Unless I'm totally misreading current events.

btw, I voted for him. I just wish the health insurance bill did more for regular people.

maaliskuu 27, 2010, 2:11 am

>131 littlegeek: Where did you hear that Obama like PF?

maaliskuu 27, 2010, 3:10 pm

#132 Man, I can't remember....

heinäkuu 7, 2010, 6:49 am

Gosh, it's almost a year since I finished Phineas Redux. Time to move The Prime Minister further up the TBR pile before I completely lose track of who's who in this series.

heinäkuu 7, 2010, 7:54 pm

I just don't know if I have the wear withal to read any more Pallisers. There are other Trollopes that interest me way more than PlantyPal.

heinäkuu 20, 2010, 1:19 pm

Oh Happy Day!

The Eustace Diamonds is finally available at Audible!

heinäkuu 20, 2010, 8:49 pm

>136 Seajack: Indeed! I wish I had listened to The Eustace Diamonds rather than read it. I could have got some housework done while waiting for Trollope to get to the point with Lizzie!

Can You Forgive Her is also available (at Audible UK and iTunes, at least) and The Way We Live Now. I love Timothy West's narration.

heinäkuu 20, 2010, 11:15 pm

Somewhat OT ...

I first heard Timothy West read Injury Time by Beryl Bainbridge earlier this year, and loved it, so was even happier that he reads The Eustace Diamonds.

kesäkuu 20, 2011, 1:11 am

I'm half-way through Timothy West's narration of The Prime Minister. Wow, there is an awful lot of marital/familial conflict in this one! And, is it just me, or is Glencora much more meddlesome than she was in the Phineas novels? ;)

lokakuu 14, 2011, 7:45 pm

I finished reading the series! I read The Duke's Children pretty much straight after finishing The Prime Minister. I didn't find it as entertaining as The Prime Minister or the Phineas novels. Perhaps it was the lack of Lady Glencora.... or the plot - parent dislikes child's choice of marriage mate (again!) ;)

lokakuu 14, 2011, 8:03 pm

I stopped reading The Duke's Children after reading the table of contents, when it became clear that my favorite character in the whole series (yes, she is meddlesome and obnoxious but I love her to pieces) was getting killed off. I'll get back to it eventually.

lokakuu 15, 2011, 4:01 am

Indeed. Trollope should have left Glencora in til the end. The Duke's Children definitely lacked the meddling element :)

In The Prime Minister I found the Mr & Mrs Lopez situation interesting, albeit a tad depressing. But in The Duke's Children I thought the various romances where rather dull...

tammikuu 25, 2012, 12:45 am

>142 digifish_books: Hey, digi. Agree that by the time AT got to TDC, he seemed to have run out of steam. Or steaminess.

tammikuu 25, 2012, 8:12 pm

syyskuu 12, 2012, 12:38 am

Just finished CYFH, and I loved it, mostly--although the last 50 or so pages seemed to drag a bit. I hope to read more into the series during this election season--just seems fitting and will put a different spin on things.

syyskuu 14, 2012, 9:44 am

My husband and I read two or three Phineas Finn novels years ago as a set. They were good read-alouds.

Last year, I listened to The Eustace Diamonds and Can You Forgive Her as stand-alones, and they worked fine as stand-alones.

I really enjoy the legal imbroglios, and I confess that that's what is most memorable for me in the books. "Diamonds," with its hairsplitting over the legal definition and status of heirlooms was especially fun.

I just downloaded the Barsetshire novels, and plan to read those in sequence. Maybe a good Christmas break project.

Alternate doses of Mrs. Gaskell and Trollope are an interesting combination.

elokuu 12, 2014, 2:39 am

Super late to the Trollope party. I was busy with those Viragos. :) I read the Barchesters recently, after finding a nice pile of those little blue Oxford Classics editions. I'm about to delve into Phineas Finn, without having read Can You Forgive Her?. I'm not making a mistake, am I? I'm in Sweden and it's hard to get books in English. I just don't have CYFH yet.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 12, 2014, 3:07 am

>147 booktruffler:
I'm sure you'll be fine. The main story is independent of the previous book, and Trollope tells you what you need to know about the characters who have appeared before. If you don't know much about Victorian politics, you might find the parliamentary stuff a bit baffling, but a quick read-up on the background to the 1867 Reform Act (Wikipedia, or something) should be enough to make sense of it all.

syyskuu 1, 2015, 9:29 pm

maaliskuu 3, 2017, 6:43 pm