Varying Shifting Kaleidoscopes: Dr Thorne and Framley Parsonage Compared; A Book About Marriage, Maps & Chronology; The name Crawley; Lady Lufton and Dr Thorne: Comparable Roles?; The Rev Mr Slope Replaced by the Rev. Mr Crawley? Likeness and Difference; Friendship + Respect = Love + Marriage; Close Reading, Observations and Vocabulary Comments; Chaucer's Parson in Barsetshire; Crawley and Mark's Conversation; Female Friendship in across Trollope's Novels: The Place of Framley Parsonage in This Continuum; The Use of Letters in Framley Parsonage: Was What we Assume were Personal Really meant for the Family's Eyes and the Equivalent of our Private Letters Burnt?

To Trollope-l

January 16, 2000

Re: Framley Parsonage: Varying Shifting Kaleidoscopes

In response to Jill and Catherine, could we not say that the mark of a great writer and a masterpiece is intricate patterning which can be read in a variety of ways, depending on how you hold you camera? I was looking from the most abstract point of view, not taking into account themes or subject matter, just positioning of characters with respect to the narrator's point of view and how much or little the character's mind and actions dominate the storyline. Move the camera in closer and see more from the angle of fairytale v the realities of love and marriage in this period, and you get another pattern. I suppose we could shift our camera eye and come up with other patternings for the relationships between just the men between Dr Thorne and Framley Parsonage or just the women.

Is Framley Parsonage_the greater book or more Trollopian in any way from a number of his previous? I see its multipatterns in Trollope's first two books. The mood, autobiographical roots, concerns are those of these first two books, but in England. In my book I argued in The Macdermots of Ballycloran Trollope wrote a rare great tragic novel for the Victorian period and quote a slew of critics who liken it to Wuthering Heights and a few other tragic novels of the 19th century. I also like Dr Thorne for its tightness; for the flow and serendipity of climactic dramatic scene after scene. It has some great characters Trollope never outdid: Sir Roger and Lady Scatcherd, Thorne himself.

Yet I agree Framley Parsonage is one of Trollope's finer books, a subtle piece of art. I am enjoying it immensely. I like Jill's comment about how nothing is black and white. I also love the complex kindly yet disillusioned mood of the book. A strong sense of true integrity hits me as I read. Trollope is one of those rare spirits in the world who really values truth and the work ethic. Few really do I often think. He can forgive a good deal for someone's good nature, but not a structure based on egregious lies and inhumanity & injustice. This week we had a great great chapter in the introduction of Rev Josiah and a burning indignant sermon by Trollope against the exploitation and misery of the man who is paid so little for such hard work and who is so demeaned. Maybe I'm just in the mood for this book. When we read _Rachel Ray_ I found I liked it so much more than the first time round; I am liking Framley Parsonage this time round more than I ever have before. I like the calm of the approach.

Ellen Moody

Re: Framley Parsonage: A Book About Marriage, Maps & Chronology

I am wondering if Framley Parsonage is not the first of Trollope's books to dwell at length on the inner workings of marriage and what it takes to set up a lasting relationship between a man and woman. Jill's commentary on the development of Lord Lufton's and Lucy's friendship and its slow ripening into love and how their relationship is compared to others in this and later books does reveal a terrain in this book not in the earlier ones, a terrain Trollope returns to throughout the Barsetshire and Palliser books. Maybe this attention to intimacy in domestic relationships and private experience is what makes people find them so rich.

They are also about politics. I can't answer Jill's query on 'them' but was wondering if there was any special reference in Trollope's use of 'Lord Petty Bag's' office. Is he just mocking the patronage system in general or does he have some specific target in mind?

The new Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope, general editor R. C Terry has a another map of Barsetshire. It also has maps of those imagined and real places in Ireland the Irish books are set in, and the actual places Trollope travelled through in his travel books. I don't know of any book on the history of Barsetshire cartography. I wouldn't be surprised if Mullen's Penguin Companion didn't have an article on it. He know the novels very well. There are individual essasy on the individual Barsetshire novels which try to connect the development of the landscape across the novels; there is one which connects all of them them chronologically and through the depiction of groups of characters and houses: Frank E. Robbins, 'Chronology and History in Trollope's Barset and Parliamentary Novels', Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 5 (1951), pp. 303-17. There's also Ronald Knox's Barsetshire Pilgrimage which has family trees for the characters.

One thing I discovered in doing my book is that nowadays there is an intense interest in the Palliser books as a whole and you can find a number of wide-ranging books on the series, and many essays on individual books. There is much less on Barsetshire. It's a new kind of snobbery: Barsetshire is thought to be a more complacent set of books, but as we read FP it seems to me we have the same sort of complex text we find in the Pallisers, The Small House and The Last Chronicle.

You don't go on too long at all, Jill. The fun and learning is in the talk.

Ellen Moody

To Trollope-l

February 14, 2000 Re: Framley Parsonage: The name Crawley

Wayne, I have always thought Trollope remembered the Crawleys from Vanity Fair when he used the name again. However, there seems to be no allusion to Vanity Fair through the name: the Rev. Josiah Crawley does not in the least resemble any of the Crawleys nor is there any overt reference of the kind that authors sometimes play with. Simply, he just remembered it. I can't prove that; I just agree that I can't think he wouldn't have remembered it.

I would see the use of Crawley in both Thackeray's great book and the Barchester Towers in a few ways. Trollope loved Thackeray's work. The use of names that have allegorical resonance without going overboard is shared by both novelists; it goes back to Fielding (Mr Allworthy). Another thought is there is a literary terrain of the imagination in which many characters exist and mix in people's minds.

Crawley also makes a good match for Proudie. One so proud, the other hating to crawl. Then there's the Grantlys. All these 'ee' sounds. Throughout the Barchester series we get resonant, semi-allegorical names for many of the characters: Slope'; Thumble (under Mrs Proudie's thumb). There is a fine line which moves into the more comic caricature names for less realistic and more minor characters: Nearthewind and Closerstill (campaign managers), Fillgrave. Thorne brings us back to a less direct form of resonance.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

From: "Jill D. Singer"
Subject: [trollope-l] Lady Lufton and Dr Thorne

From: "Jill D. Singer"

Ellen's discussion of the relationships between Dr. Thorne and Framley Parsonage shed new light on Trollope's authorial craftsmanship and a very intriguing way to look at both books, as well as their series predecessors. As she describes, in a way, Framley Parsonage is simultaneously a synthesis and an updating of the Dr. Thorne story, which strayed away from Barchester Close, and the Barchester Towers saga, also with an update.

If Miss Dunstable is a wild card, albeit a good one, so might Mr. Sowerby be treated as her "evil twin" or wicked mirror image. In Dr. Thorne, Frank, much against his own will but at the behest of family, goes to his high-and-mighty aunt's "castle" to connect with Miss Dunstable, a rich but not-quite-our-class heiress, to try and solve his family's financial woes. In Framley Parsonage, Mark goes, much against the will of friends and and family, first to Sowerby's but then on to the Duke's castle, where he connects with Sowerby, definitely upperclass and owner of ancient estate but financially bottomed out, and creates financial woes for his family.

Jill Singer
Overland Park KS

From: Sigmund Eisner

Ellen, with her usual critical acuity has offered us parallels between Framley Parsonage and Dr. Thorne and between Framely Parsonage and Barchester Towers. This, I think, is literary criticism at its best, and not the left-field ramblings of the deconstructionists, whose time, I'm happy to say, is withering away. But I must part with Ellen on one statement. I do not see Mr. Crawley as replacing Mr. Slope in the patterns of narration. Both, of course, are clerics. But we already see in Mr. Crawley the firmness of purpose that will serve him so badly in the forthcoming Last Chronicle. Mr. Slope was self-serving and slimy. Mr. Crawley serves others without the least bit of slime about him. Mr. Slope wanted to marry for the worst reasons. Mr. Crawley is well married to a loyal and devoted wife. Mr. Slope had a deficiency of honor, as did Falstaff. Mr. Crawley has an excess of honor, much like Hotspur. We shall see no more of Mr. Slope, but we are going to see lots of Mr. Crawley as time goes on.


Subject:: [trollope-l] FP: Chs 13-18 Dr. Thorne + Framley Parsonage

From: "Jill D. Singer"

I read these chapters keeping in mind Ellen's posting about Trollope's manipulation of patterns in Dr. Thorne and Framley Parsonage. Her comments and these installments made me recall that what originally drew me to Trollope as an author was the way he used his series of novels to repeatedly examine the same basic middle-class joys, woes, problems and solutions but from a variety of angles, sometimes involving very subtle but significant shifts between books. (This is all of a piece with his general avoidance of black-and-white characters, morals or answers.)

Ellen suggests we could treat Lady Lufton and Dr. Thorne as playing comparable roles. This is certainly true. However, it may also be possible to shift the character "playing pieces" about in other ways, too. For example, the corresponding cast members of the Dr. Thorne-Framley Parsonage Cinderella story themes could be grouped as: Frank/Ludovic (Prince) + Mary/Lucy (Cinderella) vs. Lady Arabella/Lady Lufton (wicked mother-in-law) with intermediaries (if not fairy godmothers) Dr. Thorne/Fanny Robarts (at least in these chapters). Trollope has taken the basic major problems facing Frank and Mary, i.e., Frank's families money problems + Frank's need to marry for money, coupled with Mary's questionable birth, and examines it from a different perspective through Ludovic and Lucy, i.e., Ludovic has no significant money problems but Lucy's "pedigree" and appearance, although good, are not quite good enough to suit Lady Lufton. In these chapters, we can then compare and contrast (a) Lady Arabella's tactless attempt to have Dr. Thorne intervene in the Frank-Mary romance, met by Dr. Thorne's vigorous refusal with (b) Lady Lufton's slightly more tactful request to Fanny Roberts, who does make an effort to warn Lucy away from a fairy-tale romance.

Obviously, we could push the playing pieces about in a number of ways. However, the really enjoyable thing that Ellen has done is open the door for us to comparatively view these novels at the same time on separate "screens."

Jill Singer

From: "Catherine Crean" I just read Jill's insightful post on Ellen's comparison of Doctor ThorneFramley Parsonage and I must say I agree with Jill. Ellen has indeed given us a new way to look at both novels. I feel like rereading Dr. ThorneDr. Thorne and Framely Parsonage. Others have said how much more they enjoy Framley Parsonage as compared to Dr. Thorne. I find that this is the case with me. It is no accident that Framley Parsonage was the book that *made* Trollope as a writer. Do we not see Trollope coming into his own in this wonderful book?

Subject: Re: [trollope-l] FP: Chs 13-18: Friendship + Respect = Love + Marriage

From: "Jill D. Singer"

By this point in the novel, Trollope has implicitly repeated yet again his views on what it takes for a successful romance-marriage: friendship and respect. As Fanny observes to Lucy, "intimate friendships between young gentlemen and young ladies may be dangerous things." Lord Lufton first "learned to like" Lucy and then thought "that she was very pretty." He "found out that it was very pleasant to talk to her; whereas, talking to Griselda Grantly, and, indeed, to some other young ladies of his acquaintance, was often hard work. The half-hours which he had spend with Lucy had always been satisfactory to him. He had found himself to be more bright with her than with other people, and more apt to discuss subjects worth discussing; and thus it had come about that he thoroughly liked Lucy Robarts."

This friendship and respect theme permeates Trollope's analysis of love and marriage throughout his books. The closeness resulting from these ingredients is exactly what Alice Vavasor consciously or unconsciously wanted to be sure of before she married; what Glencora sought (with mixed success) in her marriage with Plantagenet; what was absent in Lady Laura's marriage (driving her out of the marriage); and is perhaps best exemplified in the courtship and marriage of Phineas Finn and Mme. Max. In these chapters, the absence of life in the courtship of Griselda and Lord Dumbello is funny but its hollowness also sad.

Trollope also shows that the respect must flow both ways, using Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Proudie as examples of what happens when the wife fails to respect her husband. Given Mark's somewhat soft character, we can't help but wonder whether Fanny's ability to continue to respect her spouse is in peril. However, at least at this point in the novel, we see her respect in her stout loyalty.

Soft words are not all that prevalent in Trollope's wooing scenes; but the things that count come across clearly.

Jill Singer


Subject: [trollope-l] FP: Chs 13-18: Observations/Vocabulary Comments

From: "Jill D. Singer"

1. Introduction of Dr. Arabin: Trollope's first oblique reference to Rev. Crawley's friendship with Dean Arabin in this book in Ch. 14 was interesting because it mirrors the reference to Rev. Crawley (although not by name) in the Barchester Towers introduction to Francis Arabin (BT Ch. 20) noted by Jill Spriggs last August. (Further aside re Rev. Crawley: the depression scene was so real; it must have come from Anthony's memories of his mother coping with such days with Anthony's depressed father.)

2. Another comparison: the semi-lavish but warm breakfast at Framley Parsonage (Ch. 15) with the more opulent but less warm morning meal at Plumstead.

3. Yet another comparison: Ice-Princess Griselda's manipulative use of sofa space with La Neroni's sofa skills. (Angela Thirkell's novels carrying Barsetshire and Co. forward to 20th century England (1930's on) also has a sofa maven: Lavinia Brandon, who excels at "fluffling" her cocktail dresses to control who sits by her.)

4. Construction Query: Can someone enlighten me on what Trollope meant by the following sentence in Mrs. Grantly's letter to Lady Lufton: "I could not refuse her as to Lady Hartletop's first ball, for there will be nothing else this year like them . . . ." What does the plural "them" refer to?

5. Barsetshire maps: I have found several maps of Barsetshire and environs, including the one by Trollope himself (in the new Oxford Companion); the one by Mrs. Ewing in the Gerould Guide; and a modern one for the Thirkell series, incorporating both Trollope's and Thirkell's sites (created originally in 1947 and then updated in 1997 and distributed by Moyer Bell in connection with its Thirkell republication project). Is anyone aware of other maps and could anyone point me to an article discussing the history of Barsetshire "cartography?"

5. Vocabulary comments: (a) "racy": In Ch. 16, Trollope describes Lucy as giving Lord Lufton he "old genial, good humoured, racy smile." I found this an odd use of "racy" because I tend to think of "racy" as synonymous with risque or suggestive, which is one dictionary definition of the word. However, the OED enlightened me by providing a more apt usage: "Having a distinctive quality or vigour of character or intellect; lively spirited, full of 'go'. Example: 1864 Blackmore Clare Vaughan: 'That genial, racy smile, which very few could resist.'" [Blackmore must have been a contemporary Trollopian. :-) ]

(b) "lifts": I also had to look up what Mark's brother meant in Ch. 18 when he "used up three lifts of notepaper" in turning down requests for the lobby messenger position. Per the OED (def. 14): quantity or weight that can be lifted at one time, spec. paper. Example: this same sentence from Framley Parsonage!!

Finally ending my unwonted (and probably unwanted!) verbosity (but I love this book),

Jill Singer

Subject: [trollope-l] Framley Parsonage: Mr. Crawley

From: Sigmund Eisner

In this week's assignment we have the scene between Mr. Crawley and Mark Robarts. It is in miniscule one of the themes we see throughout Trollope: the contrast between the person who has an easy-going approach to his lifetime work with the person who takes that same work very seriously. Mark, as we know, rides with the tide. He accepts the gifts offered to him by Lady Lufton without much thought. In a sense he is like Harry Clavering compared with Mr. Burton, his eventual brother-in-law. Harry wants to be a great engineer, but he's not prepared to do the hard work to get there. Mark wants to be an honest and worthy clergyman. Mr. Crawley is right when he says that Mark is not a hypocrite nor an outcast. In fact, Mark is reduced to tears when he sees himself as Mr. Crawley sees him. We can't dislike Mark for moving with the tide. Too many of us see ourselves in that position. It is possible, however, to dislike Mr. Crawley for bucking the tide, wherever the tide appears. People who are holier than thou rarely win our affection. Whatever a fulfilled person is, however, Mr. Crawley is a fulfilled person. He tolerates no backsliding from anyone, especially himself. He knows what a minister of Christ is, and he is one. In many ways he is like Chaucer's Parson, who chides the Host of The Canterbury Tales for his blasphemy. One might compare Mr. Crawley with Louis Trevelyan. Both men have an idee fixe, but Mr. Crawley's is built on goodness and truth, where Trevelyan's is built on a scaffold of sand. Neither man will give an inch in his beliefs. That is, neither Crawley nor Trevelyan rides with the tide as do Mark Robarts and Harry Clavering. Neither Crawley nor Trevelyan is especially likeable, but we can see inside Mark's and Harry's skulls and like them both for what they do well and what they do badly. Trollope understood both forms of people very well. That is why we are encouraged to have some tolerance for both the successes and failure of all four of them. Trollope, I think, is telling us that all people, the flexible and the inflexible, are capable of suffering, and that both types, in one way or another, bring the suffering upon themselves.


To Trollope-l

January 18, 2000

Re: Framley Parsonage, Chs 14-15: Chaucer's Parson in Barsetshire

I'd like to add to Sig's posting about the dramatic scene between the Rev Mark Robarts and the Rev Josiah Crawley that a curious comedy cuts across the seriousness of the scene. We haven't had that many encounter scenes in the manner of Dr Thorne (which seemed to be made up of encounter scenes). Fanny versus Lady Lufton, Sowerby versus Mark (when he demands Mark's signature), Lord Lufton versus Lucy (wherein I think most of us might agree he is the winner as she has to resort to a lie to protect herself from him), and now Crawley versus Mark. I don't think there is much comedy in any of the above. The comedy seems reserved for the group scenes which move in serpentine fashion from one couple to the next: as in those which take us through Gatherum Castle by the side of Miss Dunstable as she talks to this person and then that, and ends up blowing bubbles. There is also not much merriment in the scenes of Harold Smith's and Mark's lecture where they are sharply mocked by their auditors.

I thought we were supposed to laugh, if not merrily, at least ruefully at Crawley's innocence. We are supposed to see why he can't get anywhere in the world: he's too direct. Yet we are to sympathise with Crawley because he means so well. So there's a slight pathos to the scene too. Take the moment just after Mark thinks Crawley has somehow or other come to scold him about Sowerby's bill:

Mark's mind immediately flew off to Mr Sowerby's bill, but he could not think it possible that Mr Crawle could have had anything to do with that.

'But as a brother clergyman, and as one who esteems you much and wishes you well, I have thought myself bound to take this matter in hand.'

'What matter is it, Crawley?'

'Mr Robarts, men say that your present mode of life is one that is not befitting a soldier in Christ's army'.

'Men say so! What men?'

'The men around you, of your own neighborhood; those who watch your life, and know all your doings; those who look to see you wlaking as a lamp to guide their feet, but find you consorting with your horse jockeys and hunters, galloping after hounds, and taking your place among the vainest of worldly pleasure-seekers. Those who have a right to expect an example of good living, and who think that they do not see it'.

Mr Crawley had gone at once to the root of the matter, and in doing so, had certainly made his own task so much the easier. There is nothing like going to the root of the matter at once when one has on hand an unpleasant piece of business' (Penguin FP, ed DSkilton, Ch 15, p 198).

The joking line is the last one: the joke is in what Trollope doesn't say. Yes there is nothing like going to the root of the matter like the honest man of integrity determined to uphold an absolute standard, but this will not get him anywhere. Who will listen to such broad denunciations? What's needed in this world are 'delicate hints' -- and that's the name of the parallel chapters wherein we see Lady Lufton hint delicately to Fanny and then Fanny hint delicately to Lucy. Doubtless the Rev Crawley would tell us delicate hints never got anyone anywhere for real, and life is a Very Serious Business and Mr Robarts's very soul in danger. But the reader -- and our narrator -- knows this will not do; it will not suit, no ambassador talks this way today.

I agree with Sig that Crawley is a variant on Chaucer's Parson. He is a 19th century variant: he is presented as a man who has become what he is not only as a result of his nature but his circumstances and history which have exacerbated and rigidified his original moralising tendencies. After all, what else has he to take pride in? The narrator admires Crawley's wife's flexibility and lack of false pride, but he feels for Crawley intensely and tells us 'The man must be made of very sterling stuff whom continued and undeserved mistfortune does not make unpleasant' (Ch 14, p. 192).

Crawley is also comically unpleasant and hopelessly out of his element or inadequate as an ambassador as seen through 19th century society's eyes. Trollope has gone to great trouble to build a subtle world before introducing Crawley into it. Some instinct led Trollope to put such a figure into such a world. The result is Trollope throws into high relief a relativistic morality and sophisticated psychological interplays between people that make up the 19th century gentry world. There is nothing funny about Chaucer's Parson in quite the way Crawley's behavior can be undercut by the narrator.

Yet another angle turns the humour back into something grave. In Chapter 14 the narrator also told us that 'Robarts was a man who made himself pleasant to all men' (Ch 14, p 193). By the time we finish the encounter, we are to think what this quality of pleasantness means and leads to in our world. It means you are compliant, you will be coopted; you can be rented. Is not Mark now rented? And getting deeper in by the minute? He wants the horse. What a bargain, says our Mephistopheles-Sowerby. Yes, yes, says our Mark-Faustus. Longingly.

It also means if you are lucky and have backing you may rise to the Top. On the other hand, remember what happened to Phineas by the end of Phineas I? Phineas was also said by everyone to be such a pleasant man, so likable ... There is a strong parallel between Mark and Phineas and it's not only in how they are hounded by debt-collectors for their sins. Imagine had there been debt-collectors in the Canterbury Tales instead of the Pardoner and the Summoner and Friar (who I take to be originall meant to be read as evil figures even if nowadays there is sympathy abroad for the Pardoner).

Ellen Moody

From: "Judy Warner"
Subject: [trollope-l]: Framley Parsonage: Crawley and Mark's Conversation

From: "Judy Warner"

In response to the posts about the scene in which Crawley talks to Mark--- I listened to this scene today on the audio tape I have, Cover-to-Cover read by Timothy West. Crawley's speech to Mark had a very strong impact on me when I heard it, much stronger than when I read it. I heard the voice of God and the voice of Mark's conscience in one, as I'm sure Mark heard, and I too, felt like putting my head down and crying. I do think it has an effect on Mark--of course it doesn't cause Mark to change totally in his character or his actions, but it causes a period of self-evaluation and reflection. Mark is certainly chastised in a way that more subtle talk could not accomplish.

The scene before this, when Lady Lufton urges Crawley to speak to Mark, and winds up being chastised by Mr. C, I though was a masterpiece--Lady L gulping down her anger at being judged and rebuked by Crawley as she prompts him to judge and rebuke Mark---

Crawley feels everything so much more than Mark --and life has been hard on him. Mark is one of the lucky and Crawley so much the opposite. I suspect most of us would identify more with Mark than Crawley--am I right?

I too listen and read and want to say Mark! Don't. Don't. And for heaven's sake, tell Fanny now, before it gets worse. I also find Sowerby a thoroughly credible, thoroughly nasty type of smooth swindler---preying on much younger men.

Judy Warner

To Trollope-l

January 19, 2000

Re: Female Friendship in across Trollope's Novels: The Place of Framley Parsonage in This Continuum

As I was reading Framley Parsonage this weekend, it struck me there is an area in Trollope which you might think feminists today would explore but haven't, at least not in Trollope: female friendship. Most, if not all, of the explicitly and implicitly feminist treatments of Trollope I have come across deal with the relationship of women to men in Trollope. These new scholars and critics are ever trying to show how against men, Trollope's women are independent, aggressive, demanding fulfillment for themselves as individuals. The common 'way into' feminism is through the Palliser books and through the treatment of women in marriage in these books and how women seek to have power outside their individual circles. Sometimes -- as in Jane Nardin -- one reads of how women are oppressed and manipulated by men. I can't think of an essay on female friendship and female bonds apart from men in Trollope.

Yet it is as an important theme as it is in Austen. I would go further and say Austen often shows older wealthy or simply mean and domineering women poisoning the lives and bullying younger women. Trollope has no such sexual animus. If anyone poisons someone else's life or bullies them, it is usually because he or she has an economic and social advantage to gain. In Framley Parsonage we get a typical pairing: Fanny and Lucy Robarts sustain, confide, help, are central to the strength of their home to one another. Lady Lufton and Fanny Robarts have created a world they are comfortable in. Lady Lufton and Mrs Crawley continually thwart the Rev Crawley in ways no male manages. I suggest this foursome of women are central to FP with the men the weaker vessels :).

Trollope is also subtle in the ways he shows women interacting. We have this week had a couple of chapters of delicate hints. It is the women who delicately make their will felt, and act quietly but definitely in relationship to one another. (Not that I care for Lady Lufton or Griselda.)

There are number of female pairs subtly presented in Trollope's other novels. One of my favorite pairs appear in The Vicar of Bullhampton: Mary Lowther and Janet Fenwick. They are not idealised: Janet's advice to Mary to marry Walter Marrable seems to Janet advice given for Mary's sake: in fact, it is in Janet's interest to keep Mary with her, Janet. In life people often can't distinguish when they are giving advice to others which is in their own interest and against the deeper needs of their friend. Another deeply felt pair is Lady Mason and Mrs Orme: when they bid adieu, Millais drew a moving picture which is not quite justified by the text. Trollope has made us imagine a scene he never quite dramatised. Austen does have beautiful pairings of women, but most of the time we do not see them using, occasionally sternly judging and manipulating one another while they are also loving friends. A good example of realism and confidence is that between Caroline Waddington and Adela Gauntlet in The Bertrams.

Trollope also likes to take pairs of women and put them in virtual charge of what's happening. The women in Trollope are often very strong -- though the men don't realise it. This is true in Framley Parsonage, numbers of the short novels, The Way We Live Now (Lady Carbury and Mrs Hurtle). Trollope likes to study destructive and vindicative women (Lady Ball in Miss Mackenzie, Mrs Bolton in John Caldigate, Aunt Staubach in Linda Tressel), but he also shows women whose strength is important to their men's future: Lady Glen.

He likes to have older and younger women interacting. In this novel we have Lady Lufton and Fanny Robarts. In HKHWR there is Aunt and Dorothy Stanbury. Very moving is the friendship between Clara Amedroz and Mrs Askerton in The Belton Estate because Clara is almost driven to reject Mrs Askerton but in the end does not even if Mrs Askerton is a 'fallen' woman.

Trollope can show deep sympathy for the seduced woman. His first heroine, Feemy Macdermot, dies of a miscarriage on a concrete floor outside the courtroom where her brother is on trial for murdering her lover. Carry Brattle is one of the most poignant of his portraits of woman driven to nervous collapse, and half-madness through the world's shaming and ejection of her. She does not have a woman friend. That's part of Trollope's moral: women themselves are the worst punishers of other women out of sexual jealousy and fear of contamination. This underlies the treatment of Mrs Peacocke in Dr Wortle's SchoolKept in the Dark.

I haven't mentioned sister relationships because this e-mail would never come to an end. Just think of Ayala's Angel.

Much more could be done by looking at women themselves apart from men in Trollope's novels. Here in Framley Parsonage we have an interesting text with a number of strong active women: Mrs Grantly, Griselda; Mrs Proudie; Miss Dunstable come into this too.

We ought to watch how Trollope treats the women in this book. It was thought that the majority of readers of the books rented out of circulating libraries and the less learned periodicals were middle class women. So Trollope was writing to this audience when he sat down to Framley Parsonage.

Cheers to all,

Subject: [trollope-l] Framley Parsonage: Letters

From: "Angela Richardson" After attending Ellen's lecture on letters I have become more attentive to them and want to draw attention to an aspect about the letters, so far, in Framley Parsonage. I thought it was interesting that Fanny showed her letter from Mark to Lady Lufton. She kept back the more personal (and revealing) footnote. Even Lady Lufton said Mark had not expected her to hand over the letter.

Later on, Miss Dunstable promises to show her letter from Dr Thorne to Mary, but not to Frank.

In Gaskell's Wives and Daughters there is a lot of sharing of Roger's letters both at the Hall and amongst Molly and Cythia.

I was wondering whether to deduce from this that personal letters were not as personal to Victorians as they are to us, even seemingly personal ones from husband to wife. That there was an expectation that a letter would be shared. Perhaps those letters they burned were those which were the equivalent of our personal letters.


From: "Catherine Crean"
Subject: [trollope-l] Framley Parsonage: In Response to Angela on Letters

From: "Catherine Crean"

Angela's comment on the use of letters in Framley Parsonage was of great interest to me. I , too, attended Ellen Moody's lecture on the epistolary Trollope. As was the case for Angela, Ellen's marvelous lecture raised my level of awareness. Thank you, Ellen, for adding a new dimension to my reading of not only Trollope, but other authors as well. I hope that Ellen will comment on Angela's post because I had the very same questions! As the book progresses letters become almost like characters. Letters are messengers to be awaited with dread or excitement. Letters are signs and tokens. Letters become the symbolic presence of a person far away. In Ellen's lecture she pointed out that when a character reads a letter from another the character, the writer of the letter is "present and not present." We see this often in Framley Parsonage. I am very curious to know what the etiquette was with regard to sharing letters, and what the letter writer presumed about letter sharing when the letter was written. Good question, Angela!

To Trollope-l

January 15, 2000

Re: The Rev Josiah Crawley replaces the Rev Obadiah Slope

This is written in response to Sig's posting. We are more in agreement that it appeared.

Slope and Crawley are poles apart as characters. With Crawley Trollope begins to take a quantum leap in depth of perception; Trollope moves inside this man's mind to sympathise and be him while remaining sufficiently outside to show us how the world sees him; we are to recognise the tragic waste, feel anger at a world which so abuses, underpays and despises a man with intangible gifts, someone who really knows what integrity is and is willing to live by truth, say it, live it. At the same time we are to see how Crawley overreacts; why his vulnerability is partly his own doing. This is just one way of saying it; there are so many, and there is much more to the character than I've barely outlined here.

Nonetheless, what I've said is sufficient to suggest the distance between him and Slope: Slope is a caricature; Slope is a character you could find in Smollett -- the difference being that Anthony Trollope does sympathise just a bit, he does humanise Slope. Also Trollope uses Slope for his ecclesiastical satire in the book: Slope is to be contrasted to Dr Grantly on the one side (high v low church, establishment complacency v the new whigs and liberals of the church), and to Madeline Neroni & Mrs Proudie on the other (the issue being different forms of hypocrisy).

So the characters in and of themselves are different. As are Lady Lufton v Dr Thorne; or Frank Gresham and Mary Thorne v Mark Robarts and Lucy Robarts.

As in Framley Parsonage Lady Lufton takes over the place or position in the plot that in his book, Dr Thorne occupied; and as Mark and Lucy Robarts take over the place or position Frank and Mary occupied; so Crawley takes over the spot that had been Slope's. In Dr Thorne Trollope wrote a tight book woven around social and economic issues. In Framley Parsonage he is opening up to have several different groups of characters not connected to one another. In Dr Thorne as with The Claverinngs all is intertwined, and the church characters hardly appeared at all. They are back in full force.

How does Crawley occupy Slope's place? He is another underdog. But while before the underdog and his view of the world were stigmatised as hypocritical, coarse, and an attempt at tyranny of people's minds, now the underdog's view of the world will be partly or strongly validated. Why should Crawley make so little money? This issue of the unfair distribution of salaries in the church is one which burns through Trollope's fictions. Why should a man who has no religious feeling get a fine plum as if it were some piece of property to be given out? In The American Senator Trollope points out other professions promote people in accordance with their fitness for the job, their skills. How is Mark fit? What are his skills? The opposition between Mark, our subhero, and the underdog, Crawley replaces the opposition between Dr Grantly and Slope.

It's not the characters in themselves or even the specific themes that count here, it's the way they function in the plot. As figures in a designed carpet, Crawley takes Slope's spot. Lady Mason occupies this spot in Orley Farm; to some extent Mr Harding occupies it in The Warden -- or he comes to occupy it through his choices which are a result of his personality. The marginalised, the outsider.

For all I so enjoyed Barchester Towers, I find it nowhere as deeply interesting or satisfying and true a work as Framley Parsonage. The humanity of this fourth Barset book comes out of an adherence to a deeper sympathy with the human condition; Trollope cared about his religious and other themes in Barchester. But he was also playing. He kept things at a distance. He was our Fielding narrator. Now he is himself as he was in The Macdermots and The Kellys (which are multiplotted), with the important difference he has relocated himself in the middle class world of the English gentry. So now the circulating library will take his stuff and he will grow rich (partial joke alert).

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

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