Introductory: Calendar and This Edition from the Cornhill; Other Available Editions; Translations: Even into Norwegian!; The Central Place of Framley Parsonage In Trollope's Career as a Financially Successful Writer: Opportunity Knocking and Hard; John John Sutherland's Victorian Novelists and Publishers: An Analysis of Trollope's Career, the Only Victorian beyond Dickens and Eliot to turn out First Rate Novels and get high payment from them; Framley Parsonage: The Art of this his First Serialised Novel; Small Instalments are Hard to Keep in One's Mind with Too Much Time Interveningl; Mary Hamer's Writing by Number Shows Trollope did write with Serial Patterns in Mind

To Trollope-l

December 10, 1999

Re: A Seasonal Christmas Interlude & Framley Parsonage

We will soon embark on what for Trollope as a commercial professional writer the most important book of his career. It made him a Name to conjure with, to lure people into stores through, to get them to buy or subscribe to your periodical or circulating library. He became known to his literary peers and was welcomed into their circles. That letter to him from Thackeray meant a lot -- he says so in An Autobiography, reprints it whole, and retells the story of how he came to be a star contributor to the Cornhill just as it was put before the public for the first time with the intention of becoming a central vehicle for those kinds of conversations literature fosters among people and through books.

It is also indisputably skilled writing. It is Trollope's tenth novel. He had adumbrated another satiric book (The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson) and begun to write short stories. He had written a vivid travel book, The West Indies and the Spanish Main. It was the first of the Barsetshire books which he could be sure would be read as a sequel, and to which he could hope to add more in time. It is written as a sequel. It adumbrates further elements we find in the Pallisers. (These we saw briefly in Dr Thorne: the political center of Gatherum Castle, the Duke of Omnium, the dramatisation of an electoral process.) Trollope also brings together and further develops a number of techniques that appear in his earlier books but which were either tentative or not accompanied with what I'll call the Úlan of knowing you are going to be read and coming up to what you imagine are the expectations of your expectant and intelligent readers. It is finely written, its instalments carefully crafted, and it is alive. Hardly any cant here; every sentence is used with some genuine meaning in mind.

So what could we better want for around Christmas?

Today I will simply put onto our list the proposed calendar. I will be using the 1984 Penguin edition of the text edited by David Skilton and Peter Miles. Skilton and Miles have gone back to the manuscript, the letters Trollope wrote while he was writing the novel about his writing of it, the Cornhill printing, and looked at the volume publication. Unlike most printings of Framley Parsonage, their text is taken from the Cornhill version of the book. In their introduction to the novel, they show that the printings of Framley Parsonage since the Cornhill instalments have more than slightly misrepresented the text as words and phrases have dropped out, some readings have been reversed from their originals, and of course the suspense structure of the book lost.

It is not remarkable to me that later texts garble and change earlier ones. I have repeatedly seen instances where the meaning of the original text is reversed. To take one famous example, Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech was misremembered by the actor who provided a bad quarto in such a way as to reverse the meaning: the actor couldn't grasp that Hamlet was saying that if he could be sure he was annihilated he would commit suicide; the actor substituted for poignant concrete details of the psychological and social miseries we all suffer, sentimental generalised phrases about widows and orphans. This quarto was used in performances, and I recently saw a production where the director had Hamlet give both versions of the speech. Interestingly the bad quarto also makes Gertrude's knowledge of her brother-in-law's murder of her husband explicit.

In a similar conventionalising Lady Lufton in later versions of FP grows softer, less pressing, she doesn't hint at possible physical intimacies. Later editions of texts often make explicit what the writer wanted to leave implicit. I have cited Gertrude's guilt. In the original Othello Desdemona responds to Othello with 'a world of sighs'; in the Folio, she responds with 'a world of kisses'. If anyone was listening with attention, he or she might think, no wonder Othello got jealous. There is a similarly over explicit rendition of Miss Dunstable in the later editions of Framley Parsonage: w are told in them that Miss Dunstable speaks 'with a loud voice'; those of us who have just finished Dr Thorne will not recall that overly pointed phrase used for Miss Dunstable.

The Penguin text also makes my job easier. The Contents pages lays out the instalments. Since I know not everyone is participating in both group reads and people don't like to read the books too slowly (in fact don't), I'll just propose to go at a rate of 6 chapters a week. I hope that's not too burdensome for anyone. I don't want to move to 4-5 chapters because that would lose the sense of patterning Trollope was actively writing to create. T

he calendar also leaves room for time off from work for whatever holidaying people do. In previous years we would around this time have a Christmas interlude: some of us read a Christmas story by Trollope for Christmas and wrote about it. This year I propose an important change. Let us say that people can read any story by any Victorian on Christmas or the holiday season over the next couple of weeks. There are Dickens's famous ones, but there are many others. Christmas had become commercialised in the Victorian period. People today experience Christmas by putting on their TV and watching performances of people who are enacting versions of imagined happy (or unhappy) Christmases before them. In the US Christmas is increasingly taking place in the Mall. Victorians turned to periodicals for stories; they had rituals; Trollope and Dickens do not take us to the period of the de rigeuer tree and presents, but it's not far away.

I will post a list of Christmas stories by Trollope; if others know of other stories by other Victorians they like to propose or share with us, please go ahead. If someone should know of a Victorian story (that is one written between 1800 and 1914 -- this is the long Victorian period) which is about Hanukkah, I'm sure we all would like to know about it. Any other stories centering on this seasonal religious festival from yet other perspectives would I imagine be of great interest to us all too.

We'll declare start date to be a week from Sunday, and here's how it will look

For the rest of December:



We'll have a one or two week breather, and then around the middle of March begin The Small House at Allington.

Cheers to all,

---- "I wish Mr Trollope would go on writing Framley Parsonage for ever" ----Elizabeth Gaskell

To Trollope-l

January 1, 2000

Re: Framley Parsonage or Barsetshire 4 (I)

I wrote a sort of introduction when I first posted the concise calendar for Framley Parsonage. I outlined how important this book was to Trollope's career: how it made him by bringing his stories and characters into the homes of the over 100,000 people who subscribed to or bought the Cornhill; how it informed him that he was known by people like Thackeray (who wrote Trollope a letter that must have glided into Trollope's soul like music); how it formed one of several steps during that year which took him from the backwater of Ireland (to all middle class English people at the time Ireland was a backwater by definition) into the center of successful literary and professional life that London was; and how it led to him becoming a member of famous clubs, and thus a dinner companion and friend to men whom he had admired and respected from afar. I described the Penguin edition which reprinted the Cornhill text of the novel, so represents a text Trollope closely supervised which differs from the slowly corrupted texts that were the basis of the later volumed editions of the book.

However, I didn't talk about which editions are available, the translations, or quote from Trollope's Autobiography to suggest how it fit into his career as he saw it then or later.

Better a little late than not at all.

As to editions, as with our three previous Barsetshire novels, we have an embarrassment of riches. Dagny has described an edition she has which has an introduction or blurb by Joanna Trollope. I have the 1984 Penguin edited by David Skilton and Peter Miles which has an excellent introduction and divides the book up by instalments. Its cover illustration is one of Millais's six illustrations for the novel, the one of Mark and Fanny Robarts when the sheriff's officers and creditors come in to take away the furniture. Caption: '"Mark", she said, "The men are here". There is a watercolour of this in the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery. Also available and in print are: the Trollope Society edition which includes all six original illustrations dropped into the text in or near the right place; the Folio Society edition with modern illustrations; the Oxford Classics paperback and pretty black hardcover (part of a six volume set) introduced by P. D. Edwards; I have an old Everyman introduced by Kathleen Tillotson.

From what I can tell from Lance Tingay's Collector's Catalogue it appears that this novel has never fallen out of print since it was first seralised and published in 1860-61. The first American edition was 1861, and it has been reprinted as part of the Barsetshire set and as a singleton over and over again. Unlike some of the other novels, a number of its cheaper reprints over the century and one half have included at least some or all of Millais's original illustrations. That is remarkable. It would be interesting to know what are the illustrations in the Folio Society editions; These books are lovely and appropriately illustrated.

It's revealing which language(s) a novel was first translated into. Rachel Ray went immediately into French; Orley Farm into French and Dutch; Castle Richmond was translated into 5 languages within a year of publication. So the Irish famine and an attempt to depict it intelligently and with compassion was of interest to Europeans. Framley Parsonage was first translated into Russian in 1861; it is profoundly, quietly realistic; in 1864 there was a German translation; Tingay lists no French translation (this doesn't mean there wasn't one, but rather that it was not distinguished in any way); in 1952 Framley Parsonage was translated into Norwegian.

So much for editions.


RE: Framley Parsonage or Barsetshire 4 (II)

There is so much to say by way of introductory context to Framley Parsonage, I don't know where to begin. I started to reread it tonight and found myself again marvelling at just how subtle a novelist, how fine a mind, how wonderful a stylist, how fully imaginative Trollope is. I have read hardly any Anthony Trollope since mid-December. This is the best book I have read in weeks. How easy it is to forget how good he is.

I am also relieved to be writing and reading Trollope simply for pleasure once again. When I first got onto a list in which I found Trollope was the subject, I was reading Trollope recreatively. It was a break from my usual scholarly avocations -- Renaissance, 18th century. It was recreative. It has not been that way with me for the past 2 years. Now that my scholarly projects are once again 18th century and Renaissance, I can simply enjoy this book. I cannot help but be a serious reader; I have no patience for silly stuff: I'd rather take a long walk. But I like to read disinterestedly best of all. And I like to talk about books simply because it's fun to talk about them, enrichens my experience of them without anything beyond the moment to worry about.

Trollope's stance towards this book. It was opportunity knocking and hard. It became the turning point in his writing career. He also knew he was writing a Barsetshire serial. He knew he was in the middle of a series. In his letters he says he thought about a sequel to The Warden if the The Warden succeeded; a sequel is not a series or cycle. After Barchester Towers, Dr Thorne would seem to break away from the political- church-religious concerns of The Warden and Barchester Towers. Trollope suddenly begins to widen out to class conflicts, to a serious exploration of sex, personal history, political and social changes; he gives us our first general map of East and West Barsetshire. Skilton says that for Framley Parsonage Trollope drew a map to ensure consistency for the first time.

Dagny mentioned Balzac. People might like to know that at a dinner Trollope once toasted Balzac as 'the man who invented that style of fiction in which I have attempted to work'. With Barsetshire 4 we are into a created world, a landscape; as Balzac's sister said of Balzac, Trollope will now tie all the characters together and place them in a chronology consistent with those of The Warden and Barchester Towers (both have a number of specific political issues they refer to and use) and absolutely contemporary at the time Framley Parsoange was written. Frank E. Robbins worked out a consistent chronology and analogies with contemporary English and European life across all 12 novels in the Barsetshire & Palliser series. In Dr Thorne we met a couple of characters and went to a couple of places and houses important to the Pallisers as well as this and the rest of the Barset books: the Duke of Omnium, Gatherum Castle, his entourage, mentions of Matching Priory. In Framley Parsonage we will go to London and met Parliamentary politicians (I had almost said sleazes) at Chaldicotes.

Trollope was also hired to write this book. He was at work on a grave Irish novel, one which included scenes of desperate tragedy; a romance in the providential tradition of Maria Edgeworth. He offered this to Smith and Smith said the Cornhill wanted an English book, one that expressed a vision of English gentry life the middle class readers at the time (and perhaps still) want to believe in. Trollope complied. Perhaps the identification of him with a certain sort of Englishness (as Skilton puts it) is one he has paid too high a price for. It will be well to remember as we move through this books with characters whose problems are not catastrophic and whose daily life comforting, that at the same time Trollope was writing Castle Richmond with its 'vivid scenes of distress' (Skilton's words). Not to say the harm and amorality and failures and successes and need for love, self-respect, and companionship of everyday life that we find at core of Framley Parsonage are not adult themes. I am into the third chapter and am so impressed by the style of the book, the depth of thought in the individual sentences, carried so lightly, so delicately, so resonantly.

Skilton and Miles go into the several close analogies and allusions with real events at the time we find in Framley Parsonage (Crimea for example). They mention that Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was serialised in All the Year Round at the same time. Two central texts which set the pace for kinds of fiction and high achievement appeare together. Trollope said a good novel was both sensational and realistic, romantic and realistic at once. I'll content myself with ending on Hutton's famous comparison of Austen and Trollope. Austen's art, character types and subject matter will be relevant to this book in the way it was to Dr Thorne. The comparison is as with Barchester Towers, Trollope does not depict a small town cut off from the rhythms and realities of the modern world. Politics, the change in customs, the force of London and the infusion of money into the crevices of life so that you need it to live high and it can elevate you by itself -- all of these affect the action of FP from the opening when Mark Robarts struggles with Lady Lufton over who is in charge of his parish and betakes himself to Chaldicotes where an ambitious man can escape a lady's leash.

I also like the portraits of love (Lucy Robarts and Lord Lufton), marriage (the Robarts and Smiths) and amorality in this book (Sowerby is a fascinating figure). And we meet the Rev Josiah and Mrs Crawley -- at long last. The former is one of Trollope's greatest characters for many reasons whch will come clear as we move through the fiction.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

Michael Powe answered my query on serialization of Framley Parsonage:

Funny you should ask. I just recently finished reading an excellent book, John Sutherland's Victorian Novelists and Publishers. He does treat of this question to some extent.

The effect depended first on the form of serialization. The "novel in parts" was generally specified to run a certain distance (12 parts, e.g.) and so required that the author generate exactly or nearly exactly that amount of prose. Hence, this format could encourage a certain amount of bloat, if the original story was found to be insufficient length. However, in the case of a 'runaway success,' the contracts usually specified that more parts might be called for at the discretion of the publisher, so, e.g., a typical contract might say a novel of between 12 and 20 parts. If the novel was hugely successful, then the author could be required to drag out the success all the way to 20 numbers, for obvious reasons.

Serialized novels frequently were not even begun before the contract was signed. Then a certain breathing space was allowed, for the author to get something ahead, before the actual publication commenced. But beyond that, the author of a serialized work almost always found himself working at breakneck speed to keep ahead of the publication dates. Now not only were readers contending with bloat -- amazing subplots that suddenly develop in the middle of the work -- but with the product of a writer writing as fast as he can just to get done on time.

Because the serialized novel depended so heavily on getting people to come back for the next number, the emphasis of the structure was on action and suspense. Philosophizing and long bursts of exhorting the reader were death to the serial. So were most other forms of non-active story-telling. Hence, contracts would often include clauses that said things like 'no historical novels' or 'a novel of the type like the author's last novel' -- these sorts of clauses were included to protect the publisher from the author's sudden urge to write something completely unexpected; something he was really terrible at but liked to write; or wax poetic at the expense of the bottom line.

Things were somewhat different for the novel serialized in a monthly magazine like the Cornhill. The rest of the magazine could, to a certain extent, carry the day for those portions of the novel that were not to the liking of the readers. Still, the magazine did depend heavily on the 'flagship' novel that always opened the issue. One bad number could ruin a "novel in parts," but a novel serialized in a magazine might get away with a dry spell.

According to Sutherland, it was the weekly serial, beginning with Dickens' All the Year Round magazine, that really had dramatic effects on the serial publication of the novel. This, for two reasons. The first was that Dickens, publisher, was also Dickens, writer. His contracts with his authors specified that he could yea or nay almost everything that came into the magazine. At least for the first few years of the magazine, when Dickens was actually on watch, all the novels published were carefully screened by himself. He even gave 'friendly' advice to the notoriously prickly Lord Lytton. The second reason that the weekly serial had a powerful effect was that, like the author writing for a monthly number, the author writing the weekly numbers was typically writing at or barely ahead of deadline -- only those deadlines were a week rather than a month apart. The result was that all bloat and excess verbiage had to be left behind -- no extra time could be afforded to whipping up hobby horses.

Serialization could make or break an author. It was an ironic accident that broke Trollope into the first rank of novelists. In 1859, not long after he signed a contract with Chapman & Hall to write Castle Richmond, Trollope wrote to Thackeray, offering up some short stories he had on hand, for Thackeray's new magazine, Cornhill. Thackeray told Smith, the publisher, that he thought Trollope would be an excellent choice to write their first serialized novel.

Smith and Thackeray offered Trollope not only the prospect of being the first novelist in their new magazine, they also offered him twice as much money to write their first serial as Chapman & Hall were giving him for the work he was then writing. But -- they did not want an "Irish novel" -- too controversial. What they wanted, Smith said, was another of Trollope's 'clerical novels' -- 'a type at which he excelled.'

Trollope accepted their terms and wrote two novels simultaneously, Castle Richmond (a dud) and Framley Parsonage -- a runaway hit. From that point, Trollope remained in the top rank of English novelists for over 10 years; only Dickens and George Eliot made more money from their writing than he did.

To give you an idea of how much work was involved, here are some extracts from a table in Sutherland, detailing how much writing Trollope was doing at this time.

2 August signs with Chapman, 600 pounds for Castle Richmond
4-10 August, 84 pages CR
11-17 Aug, 84 pages CR
18-24 Aug, 32 pages CR
25-31 Aug, 78 pages CR
1 Sept-29 Oct, writes 5 short stories

26 Oct Smith offers 1000 pounds for a novel

2-7 Nov, 38 pages Framley Parsonage
8-14 Nov, 70 pages FP
15-21 Nov, 84 pages FP
22-28 Nov, 17 pages FP
29 Nov-5 Dec, 51 pages FP
6-12 Dec, 44 pages FP
13-19 Dec, 52 pages FP
20-23 Dec, 28 pages FP

At this point, FP is half written. Now Anthony and Rose leave Ireland and move back to England. He starts up writing CR on 5 January 1860. 31 March CR is finished. He proofs it in April. In May, he has one week of no writing while he is 'in London.' In June, he spends another week writing a short story. On 27 June 1860 he finishes FP.

In July, he starts on Orley Farm.

Whew! Trollope wrote two full-length three-deckers between 4 August 1859 and 27 June 1860, along with 6 short stories; took a week off for work, almost two weeks off to move and had another week's work severely curtailed because of illness. And this guy was writing in his spare time!

Trollope thought up the story for FP during the train ride home after signing the contract to write it.

"Trollope, alone of the great Victorian novelists, turned out first-rate novels with the facility of potboilers." -- Sutherland

Michael Powe l

Subject: Re: [trollope-l] Framley Parsonage: Small Instalments are Hard to Keep in One's Mind with Too Much Time Intervening

From: "Angela Richardson"

I first read Framley Parsonage as part of the great serial reading venture which Jo-Ann Citron created, drawing up the serial dates of a number of books with a view to reading them as they were originally read. In this mode I read Framley Parsonage in small monthly parts, together with, I think, Woman in White, and East Lynne among others.

It was my first reading of Framley Parsonage and I found it very hard to maintain my memory of it from month to month. We will be reading two monthly parts per week. Gradually the world of the novel gained its grip on my mind and it became extremely hard to read it in such small sections.


Subject: [trollope-l] Starting to read Framley Parsonage From: "Catherine Crean"

Thank you to all those who posted introductory remarks about Framley Parsonage. Isn't it great to be reading Trollope again? I agree with Ellen that one forgets how *good* is writing really is after being away for a time. Dagny and Ellen, I didn't know about Trollope ever mentioning or reading Balzac. There are parallels between the two writers, and not only the obvious ones. Balzac not only used characters over and over again, interweaving them and developing them in numverous books over time, he created a world for them to live in. He also wrote with astonishing frankness about love, sex, and human feelings in general. Angela, I was very interested to hear about the way you first read Framley Parsonage (as a serial). I could never have the discipline to wait between the installments! And now I propose a toast : "To Trollope and the New Millennium!"

From: "Angela Richardson"

There is something else to add about Framley Parsonage and the Cornhill, and that is that in 1860 the Cornhill was the first of the new shilling monthly magazines. Framley was its very first serialised novel. This leads me to wonder whether the three chapters they chose to produce each month was just a routine taken from weekly publications and that later monthly serialised novels were given larger helpings.

When I was reading the 1860 serialised novels during Jo-Ann Citron's experiment, it was the fact that Framley was monthly that made it hard to remember, initially, as a first read.

I will have to go and check out this theory.


Subject: [trollope-l] Framley Parsonage: Trollope's First Serialised Novel

From: Ellen Moody

I wish you would go into this Angela. It seems to me that when I look at the division and length of instalment publication across Trollope's career there is a general tendency for the parts to become longer and/or the intervals between parts to become shorter. I say general because throughout there are exceptions and one returns to a small number of pages or chapters at a monthly interval. That may be that the particular periodical had no more room to allow for more than a short instalment because it had other commitments by which it satisfied its readership. Numbers of pages in a magazine made the cost of the magazine rise, and it was the low price that made these periodicals sell widely.

I have read somewhere that throughout the period in the 19th century when instalment publication was so common that there were always people who waited for the whole novel to come out and read it that way. There was also Mudie's. You could wait for it to appear in volumes, and rent a volume a month.

We should also remember that the characteristic long length of these books (3 and more volumes) which lent cutting them into parts feasible, was dictated by Mudie and other publishers' calculation on their profit from renting and the price of the first expensive 3 volumed edition. (Later editions of Trollope were often 1 volume and came much cheaper).

By the way, the book I used for my information is the J Don Vann's Victorian Novels in Serial, one which Angela uses, told me about and I bought using booksites on the World Wide Web.

Cheers to all,

Subject: [trollope-l] Framley Parsonage: Trollope's First Serialised Novel

From: "Angela Richardson"

Thanks for your encouragement Ellen, I've had a quick look in the Don Vann Victorian Novels in Serial, and in the Cornhills that we have here, and it looks as if Trollope was pretty consistent with three chapters per edition for other Cornhill serialisations.

But when you look later on at Cornhill serialisations by others, such as Hardy in 1874 with Far from the Madding Crowd, that is printed at longer length and the whole novel is over in a year. Collin's Armadale also has 3 chapters, but he has much bigger chapters than Trollope. Mrs Gaskell's Wives and Daughters ranges from 2 to 4 chapters.

There are a lot of variables at play here, such as the desire of the publisher to keep pace with competitors (the weekly Household Words for example, which also produced 3 chapters per novel). Then there is the way the author wrote. Collins creates rises and falls in each edition so you are left on a cliff hanger waiting for the next magazine to come out. Hardy was writing at the same time as the novel was being printed, so he wrote it in parts too.

I somehow don't think Trollope wrote especially for serialisation but he might have had a three chapter framework in mind as he drew up the plan for his novels, and this just fitted in with the current trend.

Sorry not to have taken it any further but I'm supposed to be working.....


To Trollope-l

January 2, 2000

Re: Framley Parsonage: Trollope's First Serialised Novel

Angela and Jo Ann Citron bring up an important and as far as I know as yet unresolved issue: how did Victorians manage to read novels in the tiny bits they appeared in when they were printed three chapters at a time at one month intervals? Most of us realise it is hard to get into a book until we somehow move into a deep-musing reverie and that takes silence, time, and at least let's say 30 or more pages.

The evidence of the Victorian response is ambiguous: the reality is Dickens became a rich man because of serialisation; before serialisation novels reached only a small number of people; people really did read novels a bit at a time in large numbers over the Victorian period. Both my daughters got Cricket (a child- teenager's magazine) which runs serialised novels of 3 or fewer chapters and I can vouch for it that they get involved enough each month to look forward to the next instalment. On the other hand, there's testimony from wealthier people in Victorian times that they waited until the volumed edition was printed to read the book. It was more enjoyable, more take-able-in that way. Of course they had to endure others around them discussing this new novel :). Reviewers sometimes comment on the difference between reading the book in instalments and as a whole: there's a review of Framley Parsonage (part of which is printed in the Penguin) in which the reviewer says he didn't enjoy the novel in instalments as much as he did when it came out as a whole.

One should point out that there was a great variety in the numbers of pages offered by different instalment plans. Now not all novels were printed in such small amounts at monthly intervals: Framley Parsonage came out in 3 chapters one month at a time; however, to cite a few more novels by Trollope, The Belton Estate was printed two chapters a week every two weeks; The Last Chronicle of Barsetshire was printed 2-3 chapters at intervals of merely 1 week; The Vicar of Bullhampton was printed 4-7, but mostly 7 chapters at a time at monthly intervals; Lady Anna 3-4 chapters at a time at monthly intervals. Then there was the Book Plan: Middlemarch came out in 90 page Books (1, 2, 4, 5 & so on); there was the 20 number variety (Pickwick, Vanity Fair.

I remember Jo Ann Citron's noble effort. (I wish she were still with us.) It did have severe problems because there were a number of novels running at one time and she really did keep to the original instalment plan. I admit I do best in these group reads when I have read a book before the group read begins and then reread the amounts for each week, though I don't always have to do that. I have read Framley Parsonage twice; skim-read it once, and listened to David Case reading it aloud once. So when I enter into it, I know where I am from some deep-seated memory in my brain. I call it up unconsciously I suppose. However, if enough pages are in a weekly schedule I can manage even when it is the first time through for me. I read Fanny Burney's Cecilia on the instalment plan (indeed I doubt I could have read too many pages at once); also a number of highly varied novels on a list called Litalk-l. Each time we had enough pages.

Our schedule represents a compromise. In this Barchester marathon I have on average made a schedule for two instalments each week; that means 6 chapters a week, 24 a month. I just finished the Introduction to Framley Parsonage and Chapters 1-6 which took me two nights before I was too tired to read any more. That's 28 pages of introduction and 66 of the novel itself. I think it will average 66 a week in this Penguin. My hope is that such a number will not constitute a burden to those who work long hours during the day and have many others things to do at night besides reading novels. I have seen on lists that when over 90 pages is set, people fall away. It's too much. On the other hand, 33 pages a month is too few; 33 pages a week is also perhaps too few, especially if you are reading the book for the first time.

To those who find any constraint difficult: regard the schedule as ballpark. Read the book as it comes to you naturally and regard yourself as having 2 months in which to do it. What you have to remember is that when you post, if you post about material that comes later than the schedule, you should put some warning at the head of your message that you are going to discuss matters in the book that are ahead of schedule.

As to how Victorians coped, two suggestions. One comes from Altick's magnificent book, The Common Reader. Victorians had no choice. Many of them couldn't have afforded the book any other way, so they lived with it. As we live with many things that we find difficult to cope with, but which our jobs and available funds force upon us. According to Altick, they were also so pleased to have access to the books, they lived with the small amounts the books came in. They were inveterate self-improvers, Victorians. They also read aloud which had the effect of making it a communal and more memorable experience. When on lists different people post a lot, they can repeat this community feel and help memory become vivid and long-lasting over the time we read together.

There may be another element here: in many of the periodicals of the day each instalment was accompanied by a large (full-page) illustration and at the head of chapters there were rubrics or vignettes. These were used to sell the magazine: a print of the picture was placed in the shop window. I have a hunch such pictures also helped people to become familiar with the text in another way; to relate to it pictorially, and this too helped them read on the instalment plan.

Trollope's first serialised novel was Framley Parsonage, and it is the first of his novels to reach a huge readership.

To respond to Catherine, maybe serialisation encouraged writers to write cycles of novels. After all, many novelists did not write the whole novel first -- which, except for Framley Parsonage, Trollope customarily did. So as they were writing endlessly on, why not kept at it for another go or novel.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

--- "I wish Mr Trollope would go on writing Framley Parsonage for ever. I don't see why it should ever come to an end, and every one I know is always dreading the last number." ----Elizabeth Gaskell

Subject: [trollope-l] Framley Parsonage: Trollope's First Serialised Novel

January 3, 2000

From: Ellen Moody

In further response to Angela, there is an excellent study of Trollope's use of serialisation to control and pattern his novels by Mary Hamer. It's called Writing By Number. In it Hamer studies numbers of Trollope's novels in their manuscript and serialised form to show Trollope did indeed write by number: he shaped his chapters and instalments with the way they were originally published in mind. She compares a novels like Barchester Towers, Dr Thorne and Castle Richmond (not written for instalment) with Framley Parsonage, Orley Farm and The Small House (written with instalment limitations in mind). One sees that Trollope took advantage of the divisions to make climaxes, build suspense, present his characters in different phases, and compare and contrast scenes and descriptions.

When you are reading a novel by Trollope if you pay attention to where the divisions are you begin to see more artistic effects and clear shaping of the many plots to dovetail together. His books are not 'loose baggy monsters'. It is interesting that except for Framley Parsonage where he had no choice, he always first wrote the whole of his novel out first. He wanted to control its overall shape. He also did revise: there's an essay on The Way We Live Now by Sutherland in which Sutherland goes back to Trollope's working papers to discover Trollope moving chapters about, eliminating this, extending that, all after the whole was written. In the end too each of the segments came out to the length the contract stipulated.

In my book I also try to show that Trollope wrote differently when he had a short (less than 300 page), medium length (2 volume) and long novel (3 volumes and more) in mind. Among other things, in the former he writes more graphically, more generally and concisely, with lots more allusions and moves much faster.

Trollope was an artist and not enough attention has been paid to his artistry. But then again so were a number of the Victorian novelists.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

Contact Ellen Moody.
Pagemaster: Jim Moody.
Page Last Updated 11 January 2003