Best Trollope book for a newbie

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Best Trollope book for a newbie

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elokuu 18, 2010, 12:05 pm

What title would you recommend for a Trollope newbie to start with? I got about halfway through Can You Forgive Her? a couple years ago and just couldn't sustain my interest. But I don't usually have a problem with longwinded Victorian authors (Dickens and Collins are favorites). I want to give Trollope another try and would appreciate the expert advice of the Trollope lovers here. Thanks in advance! :)

elokuu 18, 2010, 4:24 pm

I'd probably recommend The Warden, which is the one I started with. It isn't my favorite, but I don't think that Barchester Towers (which is my favorite) would be nearly as good if I hadn't read The Warden - same characters, etc. The Warden also has the benefit of being short (much shorter than the rest of the Barchester books, and way shorter than Can You Forgive Her?). Or maybe one of the standalones? But I've never read any of those so I can't advise you one way or the other about them.

Anyway, that's what I'd do. If you like Dickens and Collins, I'm sure you'll find a Trollope you like!

elokuu 18, 2010, 5:29 pm

My vote is Barchester Towers. The Warden is synopsized within it, and you really don't need to read it first. BT is one of my favourite books ever. Great characters, lots of humor.

If you like politics, you might enjoy Phineas Finn.

If you want to know how little has changed in economics in 150 years, try The Way We Live Now.

elokuu 18, 2010, 8:30 pm

I'm still a recent ex-newbie. I began my Trollope journey with The Warden and it was rather a chore for the first two thirds. But I loved Barchester Towers, which was my second Trollope.

Still, it seems rather a pity to read BT without having read The Warden first - it gives such a lovely introduction to the Archdeacon, the Proudies and Slope.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 18, 2010, 10:24 pm

Rachel Ray is a lovely book, and not too long (by Trollope's standards). Otherwise, Dr Wortle's School or The Warden + Barchester Towers duo.

More dramatic novels such as He Knew He Was Right or Lady Anna could be also be good places to start if you want something longer.

Personally, I wouldn't start with Can You Forgive Her? - too slow, as is The Way We Live Now. And The Vicar of Bullhampton should be avoided IMO.

elokuu 19, 2010, 6:23 am

If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice then try Framley Parsonage. It does contain some of the characters met in earlier books, but reads very well as a stand alone.

elokuu 19, 2010, 8:35 am

Thanks everyone. I love hearing different recommendations.

So The Warden is best as an introduction to what is probably a more enjoyable book, Barchester Towers? I own The Warden and have just requested Barchester Towers from a swap site.

Hasn't The Way We Live Now been adapted as a miniseries? Does anyone know if it's good? I think I've seen a trailer for a miniseries of He Knew He Was Right as well.

I'm a big fan of Austen and I do own Framley Parsonage. That might be my next read after The Warden and Barchester Towers.

I will let you know what I think. Thanks again (and please feel free to add more recommendations if you have them!).

elokuu 19, 2010, 8:48 am

I thought that the miniseries of He Knew He Was Right was very good - especially w/ David Tennent in a minor role (yum). I haven't seen The Way We Live Now, but I got it as part of a Trollope DVD package set thingy.

elokuu 24, 2010, 12:59 pm

I finished The Warden and enjoyed it very much. My copy of Barchester Towers was mailed today, so I hope to start it soon. I appreciate everyone's input here; this was definitely a better place to start than Can You Forgive Her? (which I'm sure I will come to enjoy one day).

So after I finish Barchester Towers I'll probably make Framley Parsonage my next Trollope, and will try to mix in some miniseries too. Fun!

elokuu 24, 2010, 5:23 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

elokuu 24, 2010, 5:24 pm

#9 OOOH, don't forget Doctor Thorne! All the Barset books are great, but that one is exceptional, imo, and you will be spoiled if you read it out of order. Some great characters there.

elokuu 24, 2010, 5:24 pm

I concur with those who nominate The Warden as the best book with which to begin. It's relatively short, and if its charms don't appeal, it's an indication that the reader does not have a Trollopian sensibility. If it is appreciated, readers can continue to explore the Barsetshire series or go on to something else, according to their inclination -- but they're in for a treat no matter which direction they choose.

I admit it's not the one I began with, though. I first read Framley Parsonage, but that was after having watched the 1974 TV series "The Pallisers" circa 1977. (Susan Hampton was unforgettable as Lady Glencora!)

elokuu 27, 2010, 5:57 am

#2: If you like Dickens and Collins, I'm sure you'll find a Trollope you like!

(Back in this group after a very long time.) I thought that it was usually said that you couldn't like Trollope if you liked Dickens. This is true for me. I only read BT, which is of a striking realism and very modern. Although I've read many Dickens, I cannot find the same fascinating power in his books.

elokuu 27, 2010, 11:14 pm

Yeah, I love Trollope and Collins and Austen and Eliot, just can't get into Dickens, though I have tried.

elokuu 28, 2010, 2:05 am

#13 I love both Trollope and Dickens, though I do find their styles so different that my brain hurts when I go from reading a Trollope to a Dickens and vice versa!

lokakuu 25, 2010, 4:09 pm

I'm about halfway through Barchester Towers and am wondering if things are going to pick up soon. But we did just have the marital showdown between Dr. and Mrs. Proudie, so I'm thinking all the leisurely relationships that have been set up will start fermenting.

I'm surprised at all the Dickens-dislikers. So far I like Trollope, but love Dickens.

marraskuu 22, 2010, 11:46 pm

Recently tried Brown, Jones and Robinson but couldn't get much past the first 30 pages or so. It struck me as Trollope trying to be Dickens: broad, labored humor laid on with a trowel by pointedly quirky characters.

joulukuu 9, 2010, 3:25 pm

The only Trollope I've read are the Pallister novels. I bought all 6 as a boxed set, and read them one after the other, in every spare, non-working moment of my time. If I remember correctly, it took me 6 weeks to complete them. I always meant to buy more of his books, but for some reason never got around to doing so. But, my interest is once again peaked. Maybe I'll ask Santa for some. :-)

helmikuu 6, 2011, 9:35 pm

When, as a Trollope freak, I've been asked this question, I always answer Barchester Towers. This is not my favorite Trollope (although I do love it), but I think it is very accessible for someone who is not a frequent reader of Victorian literature.

I started with The Eustace Diamonds, which, although I am very fond of it, I don't think was the best to start with.

I would also recommend that anyone who has not read a lot of Victorian literature check out What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew. It helps to answer a lot of questions. It took me forever to figure out the British peerage system on my own!

helmikuu 6, 2011, 9:40 pm

Brown, Jones and Robinson is one of my least favorite Trollopes. I agree that it is very different from his regular style.

huhtikuu 29, 2011, 12:25 pm

This is off topic, but having read all the Palliser novels, and enjoyed them so much, yesterday I treated myself, and bought the complete Palliser series on DVD. I can't wait till it gets here.

toukokuu 31, 2012, 12:04 pm

As a new member to this group I felt that I must comment as someone who has read some of the Palliser novels and all of The Barchester Chronicles but although enjoying these was knocked sideways by The Way We Live Now I was impressed enough to add a review; I really feel that this is the one for the new Trollope reader. The plot is so strong and so relevant to the here and now with all that materialism and greed swimming around, and there are some wonderful characters. My favourite is the distinctly wild American, Mrs Hurtle, whose past includes taking a pistol to her husband. I also like the fact that unlike the series name checked above one does not need to know anything about the Anglican Church or the intricacies of the houses of Parliament.

joulukuu 9, 2012, 3:49 pm

J just started and the teo I have read seem to be a food place to start. I started with The Warden and just finished with Barchester Towers

joulukuu 9, 2012, 3:54 pm

I do like Trollipe, but I certainly like Dickens. Of course I really like Sir Walter Scott, but I don't know that really means anything.

toukokuu 5, 2013, 11:25 pm

Late to the party. I have two favorites: Barchester Towers and The Last Chronicle of Barset. Can't understand why no one has mentioned the latter -- a very great book. I read The Warden after BT; it did nothing for me. The first half of The Eustace Diamonds is marvelously funny and absolutely worth reading. Then it gets bogged down in the minutiae of the British legal system.

toukokuu 6, 2013, 9:58 am

>25 MShulgasser:
True, reading The Warden after Barchester Towers could be a mistake, not least because you'll know the whole story before you start...

Last chronicle is a great novel, the best of the Barchester series to my mind, but I think one of the great things about it is the way its rather bleak tone contrasts with the lighter mood of the earlier books in the series. I think you'd miss out on that if you read it in isolation. But I also enjoyed the legal quibbling in The Eustace diamonds, so I'm probably not the best placed to give advice...

toukokuu 6, 2013, 1:55 pm

I adore the whole Palliser series. Better than the Barset series, Heretic that I am.

toukokuu 6, 2013, 4:50 pm

I too like the Palliser books more than the Barset books.

toukokuu 6, 2013, 5:21 pm

#6, puddleshark: "If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice then try Framley Parsonage."

This is my rather late endorsement of Framley Parsonage as a good place to start.

toukokuu 7, 2013, 9:39 pm

I thought The Last Chronicle of Barsetshire had some very moving bits, particularly the chapter outlining Mr. Harding's decline. I found his wrap-up of the Proudie thread a bit shocking, though.

After slogging through about a dozen Trollopes (I know there are many more to go), I have to say The Eustace Diamonds is still my favorite.

I am saving The Way We Live Now for summer. I've seen that and He Knew He Was Right in BBC adaptation.

They were good, but The Trollope Experience requires Trollope the Narrator, I think. He's often the best character in his own books, telling you what's going to happen in advance and explaining what literary device he's going to employ.

toukokuu 8, 2013, 12:58 pm

I also love Trollope the Narrator. I love everything about Last Chronicle, and while I personally think it is my favorite, I wouldn't recommend it to a newbie for the very reason nohrt4me2 mentions: how can we be moved by Mr. Harding's decline if we didn't already adore Mr. Harding from The Warden and Barchester Towers? Or care about the Proudie wrap-up? Etc?

I'm sort of a completist, though, and can't imagine reading a series out of order. I've been dreading finishing the Palliser series because I read the table of contents of The Dukes Children and found out that my favorite character dies in the FIRST CHAPTER. Tell me the rest of the book makes her loss worth it, please, so I can just finish the thing already.

kesäkuu 1, 2013, 10:39 pm

Dr Wortle's School might not be a bad choice, as it has an interesting plot, and isn't all that long.

As for "least approachable" Trollope, of the ones I've read Linda Tressel comes out ahead for that honor.

elokuu 28, 2015, 12:50 pm

I am new to Trollope this year, 2015, and read the six novels in the Chronicles of Barsetshire, and love this set. I suggest beginning with The Warden and reading them in order. I purchased a nice Kindle set of all 6 for 99 cents, what a bargain. This is the best series I have read in my life. The next Trollope I will read is Orley Farm, and I welcome suggestions for what to read after that.

syyskuu 1, 2015, 4:36 pm

>33 hangen: Yes, I think that reading The Chronicles of Barsetshire in order is the finest introduction to Trollope. I'm glad you think so highly of them. Mrs Proudie is one of the great characters in English literature.
If you had the stamina you could start Can You Forgive Her? it's the first of six novels in the "Palliser" series. Or, for a one-off, how about The Way We Live Now? This is one of Trollope's most ambitious books.

syyskuu 13, 2016, 5:29 pm

After having read the Palliser and Barchester novels, I'm working my way through the Trollope canon chronologically. Circled back to Brown, Jones, & Robinson, after jumping ahead to Rachel Ray - can't believe I was going to skip it. Loved it - I thought it really allowed Trollope's satirical skills to shine in a way his straight novels can't. Also, the shorter sketch length served this purpose as well.

Worst Trollope for me so far is La Vendee. I know it's early on in his craft but, ugh, his attempt at historical fiction is painful.

P.S. Couldn't read Dickens after discovering Trollope.

syyskuu 13, 2016, 5:42 pm

The Way We Live Now was the first I read, and I got totally and completely hooked.

I'm not a big Dickens fan, though Bleak House appealed to my love of convoluted legalities. But he couldn't write a female character to save his life.

helmikuu 22, 2017, 2:53 pm

Probably a little late now, but for some of the funniest scenes in Trollope read The Claverings. But don't miss the Palliser series. Read them in order. I