Anthony Trollope -- Barsetshire Chronicles, Palliser Novels, and more

Discussion in 'Literary Fiction' started by Extollager, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    The 29 March 1974 issue of the Times Literary Supplement contains (p. 341) a letter from William barker, Department of English, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Prof. Barker writes, "Sir, -- Good things seem to be coming out of the present troubles. Trollope's novels are becoming more and more available. / Is it too much to hope that the current interest in Trollope will lead a publishing house at last to make all of his work available? Perhaps the edition begun by Michael Sadleir and Frederick Page could now be completed."

    Happily, everything or just about everything by Trollope is available. He's in Penguin Classics and Oxford World Classics for those who, like me, enjoy books, and I suppose everything is available on Project Gutenberg, etc. Just yesterday, by the way, I saw that the Folio Society is releasing a restored version of one of Trollope's Palliser (or Parliamentary) novels:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/...41632/The-exhumation-of-Anthony-Trollope.html

    This author was abundantly productive in his own time, and I'm glad that his work is abundantly available now. I generally find it better "escape" reading than a lot of sf and fantasy. And he reaches some pretty impressive heights at times. I am finishing his Orley Farm, which has had a buildup of some 700 pages or so to the trail of Lady Mason. Trollope's accomplishment seems commensurate with that "buildup" -- though I am being a bit misleading, because this is not a novel that is "about a trial" and with a very lengthy prologue. It's a novel about people and a fairly particular time and place. I imagine that the people, time, and place are -- though inventions -- rather reflective of the milieu in which Trollope and his first readers lived.

    Here then is a place for Chronsfolk to go who would like to talk about this contemporary (1815-1882) of Dickens. In the next posting, I provide Michael Sadleir's list of recommended Trollope novels, i.e. those that received, in his commentary, one or more asterisks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  2. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    TROLLOPE NOVELS RECOMMENDED BY MICHAEL SADLEIR in his Trollope: A Commentary (Third Edition, 1945)

    Sadleir marked novels that he recommended with one asterisk, a few with two or even three asterisks. I haven't listed the novels that Sadleir didn't mark with an asterisk. These include one additional Barchester book, The Warden (1855), which inaugurated that series, and one Palliser/Parliamentary/Political novel, Can You Forgive Her? (1864), the first book in that series.

    I.Chronicles of Barsetshire
    *Barchester Towers (1857)
    ***Doctor Thorne (1858)
    *Framley Parsonage (1861)
    *The Small House at Allington (1864)
    **The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867)

    II.The Political Novels
    **Phineas Finn (1869)
    **The Eustace Diamonds (1873)
    **Phineas Redux (1876)
    *The Prime Minister (1876)
    *The Duke’s Children (1880)

    III.Novels of Manners, Convention, and Social Dilemma
    *Orley Farm (1862)
    ***The Belton Estate (1866)
    ***The Claverings (1867)
    **The Vicar of Bullhampton (1870)
    *Ralph the Heir (1871)
    **Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite (1871)
    *The American Senator (1877)
    **Is He Popenjoy? (1878)
    *Ayala’s Angel (1881)

    IV.Social Satires
    *Rachel Ray (1863)
    ***The Way We Live Now (1875)
    **Mr. Scarboorough’s Family (1883)

    V.Irish Novels
    *The Macdermotts of Ballycloran (1847)

    VI.Australian Novels
    *John Caldigate (1879)

    VII.Historical and Romantic Novels
    *Nina Balatka (1867)
    *Linda Tressel (1868)

    VIII.Psychological Analyses and Stories of Single Incident
    **He Knew He Was Right (1869)
    *Cousin Henry (1879)
    ***Dr. Wortle’s School (1881)
     
  3. hitmouse

    hitmouse Well-Known Member

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    There was a fantastic BBC adaptation of the first 2 books of the Barchester Chronicles about 30 years ago, with Alan Rickman as the odious Mr Slope. It is available on DVD. Highly recommended.
     
  4. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    I've read about a dozen of Trollope's novels, and assure those who've enjoyed such adaptations as these, that you may find him worth reading. His pace is leisurely, which is actually one reason he's worth reading by us living in the time we do.

    When I decided to introduce Trollope to the reading group I used to host, we read Doctor Thorne, which might be recommended as a first AT to read.

    By the way, we also read Anthony's mother's Domestic Manners of the Americans -- that was a good 'un too!
     
  5. Ray McCarthy

    Ray McCarthy Sentient Marmite: The Truth may make you fret.

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    I dunno, Dr Thorne is one of my least favourite Trollope. I think it needs an edit. The Warden and the Towers much better?

    The Way We Live Now: So topical about the Sub Prime lending led 2008 crash ...

    The Eustace Diamonds: Hilarious. BBC R4 repeated it last year I think.
     
  6. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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  7. Ray McCarthy

    Ray McCarthy Sentient Marmite: The Truth may make you fret.

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    There is I think a TV version too.
    Quite fun to read even if it wasn't still so apt.
     
  8. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw that same series when I was young. I remember it well because the entire family used to look forward to seeing it on TV. It was one of my viewing highlights as a teenager. It was based on the first 2 books The Warden and Barchester Towers. The character who struck in my mind the most to this day was Mr Harding played by Donald Pleasance (his daughter played a role as well) and that might have been because Pleasance was playing the role as much as anything else. Nigel Hawthorne played Archdeacon Grantly and Geraldine McEwan played Mrs Proudie and Clive Swift played Bishop Proudie. I vaguely recall Rickman playing Slope as you now mention it and Susan Hampshire playing Signora Naroni. Quite a cast.

    Anyway I have NEVER read anything by Trollope. I knew about Barchester and the author, probably from that series but for whatever reason did not take up on it at the time. I recently bought a penguin edition of book 1 The Warden. I am yet to read it.

    Interesting to note the 'correct' (I assume) name of Barsetshire. I have only ever known it/seen it as Barchester.
     
  9. galanx

    galanx Well-Known Member

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    Have read the Barsetshire Chronicles (and you're right, I always think of them as "Barchester", too), but my favorites were the political novels, especially the two Phineas Finns- some of the greatest (and funniest) political writing ever.
     
  10. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    I have copies of The Warden and now Barchetser Towers. Doctor Thorne was never released to my knowledge in the Penguin Black Classic series which is annoying although there is a penguin release. From what I have read the final installment The Last Chronicles of Barchetser seems to be the best regarded in the series.

    I recently re-watched the BBC series from the 1980s based on the first 2 books The Warden and Barchester Towers. It has lost none of its appeal. Thoroughly recommended if you can get hold of a copy!
     
  11. Max Marble

    Max Marble New guy

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    I've only ever read The Warden, about six years ago. I remember that I enjoyed it but can't remember any specifics about it.

    It might be time for me to read another Trollope novel.
     
  12. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    The Trollope novel I just finished, Miss Mackenzie (1865), didn't make Sadleir's list--he didn't give it even one star. It wouldn't be my recommendation for someone's first novel by Trollope unless one had a special interest in Victorian fiction about women who have passed prime marrying age (Miss Mackenzie is in the second half of the thirties) or in exposes of religious hypocrisy. I think Dr. Thorne, for example, would be a better choice. But for confirmed Trollopians, Miss Mackenzie will be worth reading.

    It's long been my belief that a skilled 19th-century novelist could convey sexuality without requiring the literary license to which we're accustomed today. (This was also the view of Isaac Bashevis Singer, memorably expressed in a Dick Cavett interview around 1980, in which Singer cited Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.) In Chapter 9 of Trollope's novel, Miss Mackenzie has had an offer of marriage from a widower of about 50. She doesn't accept it, but she has been stirred.


    …she got up and looked at herself in the mirror. She moved up

    her hair from off her ears, knowing where she would find a few that

    were grey, and shaking her head, as though owning to herself that

    she was old; but as her fingers ran almost involuntarily across her

    locks, her touch told her that they were soft and silken; and she

    looked into her own eyes, and saw that they were bright; and her hand

    touched the outline of her cheek, and she knew that something of the

    fresh bloom of youth was still there; and her lips parted, and there

    were her white teeth; and there came a smile and a dimple, and a

    slight purpose of laughter in her eye, and then a tear. She pulled

    her scarf tighter across her bosom, feeling her own form, and then

    she leaned forward and kissed herself in the glass.
     
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