J. D. Watson, "The Aspen," Good Words, 18631
It was in mid-September 1999 that our Barsetshire Marathon reached
Dr Thorne. We had our conversation between then and
early December when when we took off a month until New Year's Day. People had been
invited to read Christmas and other short stories by Anthony
again each week I wrote an essay or essays in the form
of postings to Trollope-l on the chapters we had read for that week.
These "facilitating" postings of mine continued to be close readings of
the text whenever I could, with some also simply in response to others,
some on Trollope's sources and attitudes, some on the contemporary
scene. Once again the conversation slowly emerges and moves
back and forth on all sorts of things: character, scenes, personal
impulses when we read. I have included many postings by other
members as I could find and threaded them in according to a
date or where they seemed to make sense. There were
far fewer and somewhat different individuals posting for the third
book of the Barsetshire series than there had been for the first two.
It was also a quieter read: there was much less controversy. Sometimes
this happens after a previous book has sparked strong
controversy and participation. Some of us were exhausted
after The Warden and Barchester Towers.
So the group of people now participating included: Catherine Crean,
Sigmund Eisner, Jeremy Godfrey, Laurie Guilfoyle, Beth J, Penny Klein, Patricia Maroney,
Howard Merkin, Michael Powe, Duffy Pratt, Teresa Ransom, Angela Richardson,
Jill Spriggs, Gene Stratton, Tyler Tichelaar, Natalie H. Tyler, Judy
Warner, Dagny Wilson, Robert Wright, and Todd Yelrom. I also include parts of
three "journal-essays" written by my daughter, Isobel Alice
Moody, when she was about 14.
- Introduction and Explanation of Calendar: An Explanation of the Calendar; The Place of
Dr Thorne in Trollope's Life and Career; Translations; Trollope a Landscape
Novelist: Dr Thorne and the First Detailed Emergence of the Barsetshire Map.
- Chapters 1-4: The Maligned Prologue; The Prologue: A Masterful Daring Story Rooted in
Time, Memory, Culture, Circumstance; A New and Distinctly Different Book; Beatrice & Mary: Is
it Gush, Is it Bearable?; The War of Wit Between Drs Fillgrave & Thorne -- in the Newspapers!;
Wet Nurses; Dr Thorne's Fee; Don't Send for Dr Fillgrave; Dr Thorne as Trollope's Alter Ego.
- Chapters 5-9: A Full Realistic Book; The Doctor's Garden; Hats and 'The Two Uncles'; Top
Hats in Trollope; Sir Roger Scatcherd, Bart & Ugly Class Bias in the Portrait of Sir Louis; Roger
Scatcherd and Augustus Melmotte; Farming Children Out and The Profession of Doctor.
- Chapters 10-14: Dr Thorne at the Center of the Novel; A Novel Unfolding Dramatic Scene
By Dramatic Scene; Roger Scatcherd's Alcoholism and Social Despair; Dr Thorne v Dr Fillgrave;
Dr Thorne and the Lady Arabella; Mary Thorne & Lady Arabella's Illness; Mary's Illegitimacy.
- Chapters 15-19: A Novel with Two Heroes?; A Novel of Symbolic Houses and Landscapes; The Perceptive Miss
Dunstable: An Ironic Festival Figure.
- Chapters 20-23: Depth of Characters: The Proposal (of Frank Gresham to Miss Dunstable(; Sir Roger
Scatcherd's Alcoholism (and the Immediate Cause of Death, An Election); "Retrospective":
Mary and Being Beneath Consideration; Dr Thorne & 18th Century Mock-Heroic
Novelists (Fielding); Mr Moffat Falls into Trouble; Frank as a Bully; Male Violence in Victorian
Culture (Regulated Hatred); The Frank Greshams and Harry Claverings of Trollope's World.
- Chapters 24-27: The Strong Dramatic Scenes Continue; Dr Thorne and Pride and
Prejudice: Parallels between the Central Married Couple; Fathers and Daughters, Fringe
Gentry: Dr Thorne and Wives and Daughter; Miss Thorne Goes on a
Visit; We Meet Louis Scatcherd and Crass Class Bias; Caste Arrogance, Bullying and
- Chapters 28-30: A Second Climax; Love Scenes in Trollope, and A Donkey Ride; Miss Dunstable's Letters; What
Was the The First Novel by Anthony Trollope that People Read?
- Chapters 31-35: Lady Arabella and Mr Oriel, Interesting "Minor" Characters; Dr Thorne as Practitioner; The
Depiction of Sir Louis's Alcoholism; Mary as Tabooed Heroine; Internal Conflicts (between Dr
Thorne and Roger Scatcherd over Mary; within Dr Thorne); Mr Gazebee replaces Mr Moffat; The
World of the Servants (Downstairs).
- Chapters 36-39: Told In Strong Scenes, Meditations
and Letters; An Epistolary Chapter; Amelia and Angela; The Mayor of Casterbridge and
Hardy's Art in the light of Trollope's; The Group Meeting in November as Described and
Remembered by Some of Those who Met: Our Adventures; Sutherland on Hardy.
- Chapters 40-43: Contrivance Beside the Point: Hardy and Trollope Again; Epistolarity used to create Emotional
Suspense; Mary Thorne's Letter to Frank Threatened with Extinction, and then Delayed by Lady
Arabella, his Mother; The Best Moment in the Book Led Into by Mary's Delayed Letter:
- Chapters 44-47: The Definition of Duty; : Having It Both Ways; The Best Moment in the Book Led Into by Mary's
Delayed Letter: Plangency; Final Assessments?; In the Sutherland Style: Why does no one ask
who is Sir Roger Scatcherd's heir?; Anthony Trollope's Dr
Thorne: A Critique and Explanation
of Sutherland's Methodology in his "Can Jane Eyre, Was Heathcliffe and Who Told" Books.
- A Description of Four Illustrations in Contemporary Editions of Dr Thorne
Journal-Essays on Dr Thorne
by Isobel Moody, with some
help from her mother, Ellen.
- Journal-Essay #1: What kinds of conflicts are depicted? People against
people, meaning Dr. Thorne against Dr Fillgrave.
- Journal-Essay #2: Point of View and Setting, Rank and Money, and
especially the exchanges of letters between Augusta Gresham and Lady Amelia
- A Guide to the Classics in the Barsetshire Novels of Anthony Trollope: an informative easy-to-use online guide created by students at Hendrix College and Professor Rebecca Resinski.
J. Pettie, "The Country Surgeon," Good Words, 18621
1 As there aren't any good original illustrations for Dr Thorne, I have chosen pictures for this conversation in the "idyllic style," the one Millais used and Trollope seems to have strongly preferred for his books.
Contact Ellen Moody.
Page Last Updated 4 February 2004