Framley Parsonage: Firm Name Change?; The Forms of Human Passion; No Going Back, or Irretrievable Choices in Framley Parsonage; Miss Dunstable as Mrs Thorne? How Trollope Gets Us to Accept it through the Effective Letters; Trollope's Occasional Inconsistencies in Names for Minor Characters; Sowerby and money (Mark's bills)

Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 11:07:16 -0600 From: "Jill D. Singer" Reply-to: Subject: [trollope-l] Framley Parsonage: Firm Name Change?

From: "Jill D. Singer"

In Ch. 27, "South Audley Street," Sowerby meets Fothergill at the offices of the Duke's London law agents, Gumption and Gagebee in South Audley Street. This is appears to be a change of the firm's name and address from what it was in Dr. Thorne, where Mortimer Gazebeee was a junior partner in Gumption, Gazebee and Gazebee, then located in Mount Street.

Has anyone read anything about this alteration? I don't see "Gagebee" listed in either the Gerould Guide or the Oxford Companion. I'm trying to keep close track of Trollope's lawyers as we go through the books, so I would appreciate any information on what appears to be a minor discrepancy (perhaps similar to the change in the prebendary from Bursom to Stanhope).

Jill Singer

Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 11:29:02 -0600
From: "Jill D. Singer"
Subject: [trollope-l] FP: Chs 26, 27, and 29: This & That

From: "Jill D. Singer"

A few more personal observations re this week's installments:

1. Ch. 26: Lucy sounds wonderful and her ability to (tearfully) laugh at herself with clever irony in her heart-to-heart with Fanny highlights how smart Lufton is to prefer her over the dress-fixated Griselda. Her lively candor also contrasts sharply with Griselda's frustrating refusal to confide in Lady Lufton. (Which one would make the more pleasant daughter-in-law? Now that I have two, I can tell you that cozy little confidential chats are delightful.) It also raises my opinion of Trollope even higher (if possible) that he so markedly loves Lucy more than the stunning Griselda. As I age, I always like to see a man value brains over beauty. Also, it is quite a contrast to compare his heroines like Mary Thorne and Lucy Robarts, with their sass and vitality with Fanny Trollope's more traditional sweet and melodramatic miss in The Widow Barnaby (the only Fanny Trollope I have read [and enjoyed]). Speaking of Fanny, certainly Lucy and Mary sound much more like Anthony's lively Mom than Griselda does.

2. Ch. 27: Trollope shows us the food chain in operation. We saw Sowerby manipulate and triumph over the younger, more naive Lufton and Robarts. Now we see the Duke and Fothergill hand out even nastier treatment to Sowerby. What goes around comes around. And, following up that cliche, this chaper shows how skillfully Trollope can turn a cliché into something with real meaning, e.g., repeated use of "have his cake and eat it too" along with made his bed and must lie upon it; race has been run; swept into the dung heap. The cliches in this context somehow make Sowerby's predicament more real and even in an odd way more sympathy-inducing.

3. Ch. 29: I relished the meeting of Lady Lufton and the Duke. Trollope's description of the face-to-face encounter was very Rape of the Lock-ish. He also conveyed clearly the Lady Lufton's not-so-secret exhilaration at coming off the best in the subtle contest with her arch-enemy. Haven't we all felt some secret satisfaction at meeting an enemy we have repeatedly criticized without confronting and then snubbing same politely (i.e., without making a silly scene). Figuring out how to do that is gratifying (if petty). Anyway, I think Trollope enjoyed depicting the "fight" as much as I enjoyed visualizing it.

Jill Singer
Overland Park KS

To Trollope-l

January 30, 2000

Re: Framley Parsonage, Chs 25-27: The Forms of Human Passion

Like Jill Singer, I liked Trollope's depiction of the scene between Lucy and Fanny Robarts. I have been thinking about why I like these earlier chaste model heroines in the Barsetshire books and find that later ones in the non-Barset and non-Palliser books so hard to take: it's that Mary Thorne, Lucy Robarts, Lily Dale, and (to name a few of the Palliser heroines) Alice Vavasour, Glencora Palliser, Lucy Morris, Laura Kennedy all are passionate and adult. They are not coy. They also are not innocent of all the motives a man might have to marry a woman: to gain sex and money and position. There is an intensity, frankness, and self- directed irony about all Lucy says that gives her presence vital life. Especially the self-directed irony which Fanny Robarts doesn't understand and makes me think Trollope meant us to see Lucy as smarter than Fanny. When Mrs Grantly doubts that Lord Lufton cares about brains, that is a signal he does care. She underestimates him -- although spiteful about women like Lucy, the cold selfish Griselda understands Lord Lufton's tastes better than her mother, though she resents them. Lucy's irony about her enthrallment (to use Freud's words) makes it more acceptable to the reader -- for there is intense romance here. The following paragraph reminded me of the song, 'He's just my Bill' from Jerome Kern's Showboat:

"I know what you are going to say, and I admit it all. He is no hero. There is nothing on earth wonderful about him. I never heard him say a single word of wisdom, or utter a thought that was akin to poetry. He devotes all his energies to riding after a fox or killing poor birds, and I never heard of his doing a great action in my life. And yet ... " (Penguin FP, ed DSkilton, Ch 26, p. 317).

This scene contrasted to the mercenary ruthless urge, the exploitation of others and lack of any idealism of Sowerby's life which led to the scene between himself and the Duke's man of business, Fothergill. I wonder what implications 'South Audley Street' had for the 19th century Londoner. (I bet Bill Streeter could tell us where it is.) I looked it up in the Geroulds' Guide and found nothing more than a neutral description. Like Jill I was puzzled by the change from Gazebee to Gagebee. The Geroulds spell the name in FP Gazebee, but in the Penguin it is clearly a 'g'. Was this some misspelling in the Cornhill (The Penguin edition is based on the Cornhill text.)

The scene between Fothergill and Sowerby dramatises how people can scourge one another (Fothergill scourges Sowerby) and still regard themselves as just and decent people. Our society has a whole bunch of mores about contracts and money which permit this. Since we have seen how Sowerby fleeces others, it's hard to sympathise, and yet I think Trollope makes us sympathise with Sowerby, not so much as victim, but as a man who stands up to his fall (to use paradoxical language). Sowerby doesn't waste time in self-pity; he stops implicitly accusing the Duke of what it is true the Duke is guilty of (greed) when it is pointed out to him the Duke is within the rights the law permits him. He takes his punishment without flinching an iota of pride. Trollope enters into Sowerby's point of view: he has lost what was given him from across the centuries. Trollope also emphasises the way capitalist societies behave to those who lose in the economic game, be they a Willie Loman or a Nicholas Sowerby: 'Be good enough to vanish. Permit yourself to be quietly swept away into the dunghill' (Ch 27, p. 332). Those people on our list who have been fired from a job (it happens more often than people ever admit) will remember what it felt like when they read these words. I'm afraid today marriages sometimes end this way.

The first chapter of this week's instalment carries over from the political chapters. Dr Grantly was promised a bishopric if he came to town. I agree with Angela that Trollope has a lot of sardonic fun with the political sections of FP. Dr Grantly hated the Bishop's Bill when it was passed by the party to which he does not belong because then it would enable the 'other side' to place in power people who are not his 'friends' (in the old-fashioned sense of loyalists); when the parties changed, he loved it because now he will reap the place. However, it seems the powerful people in his party think this bill something to be bargained away in return for things they as individuals care about or want for themselves. He is supposed to stand still for this: it's called loyalty to one's party. How many forms the exploitation of false terms takes: Johnson says patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel; he forgot the mantra of party loyalty.

I liked the scene between Dr and Mrs Grantly because it was truthful. She is disappointed to go home. Earlier when Griselda is told, we discover she does have some passions: the desire to scorn other people is one of them. I loved when the narrator defended people who are accused of finding upon grapes as sour because they can't have them. Grantly is half-relieved not to have to take on the strained position; Mrs Grantly would never have had to work at being Bishop in quite the way he would. Trollope defends sour grapes as indications of people really looking at what is worthwhile, and facing when something is out of their reach. To look at something as beyond us or not worth it is salutary and frees us (Ch 25, pp. 303-4).

How many forms does human passion take? That's one insight we can take away from Instalment 9.

Ellen Moody

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 18:00:46
From: Ellen Moody
Subject: [trollope-l] Framley Parsonage: Gazebee to Gagebee

From: Ellen Moody

I looked up "South Audley Street" in two other editions of Framley Parsonage and can report that Gagebee is the form the name takes in the Oxford edition of FP and an old Everyman paper edition. My Penguin prints Gagebee with no comment.

Could it be that Trollope forgot the name of Mortimer Gazebee in Dr Thorne when he came to write Framley Parsonage? We who are so struck by the story of how Lady Amelia steals Gazebee from her gullible cousin, Augusta Gresham, cannot forget the form the name took. How could Trollope have?

Ellen Moody

To Trollope-l

January 31, 2000

Re: Framley Parsonage, Chs 28-30: No Going Back

As we are more than half-way through the book, it's fitting that some irretrievable choices emerge. I was thinking about Gene's wife's idea that Framley Parsonage is a plotless novel. It has a story with with allegorisable paradigms (the prodigal son, the tempted devil, the self-abnegating heroine), but the scenes themselves and the way in which final moments are experienced (such as that between Sowerby and Fothergill) have all the feel of drift, inconsequentiality and anti-climax we find in real life.

What has happened before the instalment: Dr Grantly will not get a London bishopric. He must return home. One result of this is Griselda Grantly cannot count on her position gaining her a rich titled husband. If someone asks her, she must leap like a famished dog -- of course sedately as is appropriate to her sense of her own importance. Mark Robarts has signed two bills and Nicholas Sowerby finding himself unable to cope with the second (he hopes to borrow it for Mark from Mark's banker), Sowerby relapses his vigilance about meeting the moments when he must have money to pay debts. This is partly caused by Sowerby's bad luck -- as he sees it. Sowerby has had a couple of blows: the Duke insists on getting his collerateral now, angered because some (really) frivolous wish of his to unite his property with another vast extent has been thwarted by the wealth of Frank Gresham (perhaps I should say Mary Thorne). Miss Dunstable has refused his offer of marriage through his sister.

These scenes have all been superbly dramatised and embedded in the astute disillusioned and sympathetic trains of thought of the narrator. The narrator has compassion for Sowerby and Miss Dunstable, for Lady Lufton and her son. He can enter into their cases. He cannot into Griselda Grantly, into Fothergill. Perhaps the faultine this time is compassion for others of which Griselda and Fotherfill know nothing.

Griselda gets me to the other plot turning point: Lord Lufton is pushed into telling his mother he knows nothing of Griselda inwardly, into telling her he cannot love a woman he cannot know. Lady Lufton does rise to her love for her son: he should marry for happiness. The scenes between Lady Lufton and Griselda and Mrs Grantly and Lady Lufton could be repeated today except the football would not be marriage but a place in a well-connected college or business. Everything happens slowly and seems so natural.

We are also heading into felicity through another presence: there are enough narrative hints for me to say that Trollope wants us to foresee the coming union of Dr Thorne and Miss Dunstable. When I first read FP I felt so cheated when I came up to this section where insofar as he can, the doctor turns into a romantic figure. I had been so moved by the description of Dr Thorne bursting into tears in the courtrrom, and amused by his sceptical pragmaticism and comfort with just Mary, it's hard to accept a picture of Dr Thorne married. It wouldn't be the apparently unromantic hero Brandon. We can see him moving into a hero's role Dr Thorne is too old. He is disappointed in love and we were told forever. In orther words, sometimes sequels even by the original author or fixed amounts of words are forced into violating what one thought was central to the essense of the man.

Yet I suggest Trollope pulls if off. How? By presenting the 'love' beween Dr Thorne and Miss Dunstable as dependent first on pragmatic help and second in disintersted share conversation. Trollope also moves slowly to this climax, to get us used to it. I do get used to it, even believe it after a fashion, but I think its general applicability sorely wounded because what we had expected for an imagined character is undercut by commercial needs -- the happy ending.

Ellen Moody

Re: Framley Parsonage, Chs 28-30: Miss Dunstable as Mrs Thorne?

I forgot to mention the most important factor in getting us (or me) to accept the coming love and marriage of Dr Thorne, the confirmed bachelor uncle who was forever hurt by a rejection, and Miss Dunstable, the comical sceptical semi-ugly lady who wants people to be sincere with her above all things: their loving friendship, their respect for one another. This is the chord at the heart of the novel, the chord that underlies Lord Lufton's love for Lucy, Fanny Robarts's faithfulness to Mark. It makes us accept this violation of our expectations from Dr Thorne because it has the beauty of an ideal which when found is solidly real. Better than any political construct of a Utopia I suppose.

I remember Jill Singer said she liked this novel especially for its portrait of the relationships between men and women in a successful marriage.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

From: Dagny

Miss Dunstable: "All is fair in love and war,-- why not add politics to the list? If we could only agree to do that, it would save us from such a deal of heart-burning, and would make none of us a bit the worse."

A great quote from one of my very favorite characters. Dagny

Rory O'Farrell had joined us by this time:

From: "Rory O'Farrell"

At 18:00 00\01\31 +0000, Ellen Moody wrote:

"Could it be that Trollope forgot the name of Mortimer Gazebee in Dr Thorne when he came to write Framley Parsonage? We who are so struck by the story of how Lady Amelia steals Gazebee from her gullible cousin, Augusta Gresham, cannot forget the form the name took. How could Trollope have?

Trollope was quite inconsistent with names from volume to volume, particularly names of minor characters. Also, his handwriting was not the clearest. I can remember being taught a form of "z" in script writing which was nearly identical to a "g", and it is possible that he used such a script form which confused the compositor. The typewriter didn't become available until later in the century.

You asked in your earlier posting about South Audley Street. This was quite an upmarket address (it still is!), mirroring the respectability of the firm Mortimer and Gagabee, in contrast to Slow and Bideawhile (Lincoln's Inn - down perhaps one level of respectability) and Mr Squercum (Fetter Lane - getting scruffy).

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 18:59:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Dagny
Subject: [trollope-l] Sowerby and money (Mark's bills)

From: Dagny

A couple of weeks ago we had a discussion on the two bills that Mark signed and were wondering if anyone actually received any money from the second bill or if the moneylenders themselves were running a scam.

Sowerby was planning to go and help Mark get the Barchester Bank to "take up" the last 500 pound bill. And he thinks "As to the other bill--the former and lesser one--as to that, Mr. Tozer would probably be quiet for a while."

This leads me to believe that not only does Sowerby know that the first bill is still in the hands of a money-lender but that he did indeed obtain money for the second bill and he is the one that cheated Mark by obtaining a second bill--in addition to the first one as opposed to being a slightly larger replacement bill.


Subject: Re: [trollope-l] Sowerby and money (Mark's bills)

From: "Judy Warner"

The more I read the more evil I can believe of Sowerby. I think he knows all about this and cares less.

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