Three Lawyers: Vholes, Dockwrath and Toogood: A Comparison of Lawyers in Dickens's Bleak House and Trollope's Orley Farm and The Last Chronicle of Barset; Last Chronicle: Reading for Living & Reading for Historical Interest; Grace Crawley on the marriage market; Grace could do better; Henry Grantly and Grace Crawley: Numinousness not Money; Anthropological Studies and Grace; Trollope and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; Rev. Crawley the Giant; Grace Again and Proud of Her Man's Love; Lily and Johnnie were lovers?; Velvet Jackets; LCB: A Tempest in a Teacup; Pro-Lily & Anti-Lily

From: "Jill D. Singer"

Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2000 21:55:54 -0500

August 13, 2000

Re: Installment of Last Chronicle of Barset, Chs. 38-43: Vholes, Dockwrath & Toogood - Part 1 of 3

I particularly appreciated this week's installment because we see much more of Thomas (or is it John? see Ch.. 32) Toogood, visiting his home in Tavistock Square and traveling with him as a "road warrior" out to do some discovery for his client's case (what Toogood calls "rummaging" or, more accurately described by Mr. Harding, gathering evidence). I find it interesting to contrast Toogood as a person and as an attorney handling the Crawley Prosecution with (1) Dickens's Mr. Vholes and his representation of Richard Carstone in Jarndyce v. Jarndyce and (1) Trollope's Samuel Dockwrath and his role in the Great Orley Farm Case. I wonder what these three would be like at a modern Bar convention or a CLE seminar. What follows is an overlong posting making some comparisons of the three lawyers, written mostly for myself but which I thought I might share it with the group. Because my notes are so long, I am posting them in three parts.


The three men are generally in their middle years, with Dockwrath being somewhat younger than the other two (based on the ages of his children). Otherwise, the men are quite different in appearance and manner.

Vholes is quite repellent physically: "a sallow man with pinched lips that looked as if they were cold, a red eruption here and there upon his face, tall and thin, about fifty years of age, high-shouldered and stooping. Dressed in black, black-gloved, and buttoned to the chin, there was nothing so remarkable in him as a lifeless manner, and a slow fixed way he had of looking at Richard." He is further "remarkable for an inward manner of speaking" and "lifeless manner." (BH Ch. 37)

Nor is Dockwrath is particularly outwardly attractive, "a little man, with sandy hair, a pale face, and stone-blue eyes. In judging of him by appearance only and not by the ear, one would be inclined to doubt that he could be a very sharp attorney abroad and a very persistent tyrant at home." However, in speaking, he revealed his talents, at least as a solicitor. "He talked well and to the point, and with a tone of voice that could command where command was possible, persuade where persuasion was required, mystify when mystification was needed and express with accuracy the tone of an obedient humble servant when servility was though to be expedient." (OF Ch. 6) Dockwrath is a very angry man, a man taking "delight in abusing those special friends whom their wives best love," devoted to revenge on Lady Mason now that he was semi-prosperous and no longer really needed her charity. (OF Ch. 1)

Toogood is much more appealing, sounding a bit like our author in appearance: "He was a good-humoured, cheery-looking man, about fifty years of age, with grizzled hair and sunburnt face, and large whiskers," speaking with a "goodhumoured, cheery voice," even to the difficult Mr. Crawley. (LCB Ch. 32) He enjoys offering down-to-earth "potluck" hospitality and good port, and if not "quite" so much a gentleman as Mr. Walker or often mingling with high society, he is nevertheless a "good fellow." (LCB Ch. 42, 32)


All three solicitors are concerned about taking care of their families. Dockwrath is a nasty- tempered, abusive husband, and he is the harassed father of 16. (What unpleasant nights Mrs. D. has.) We meet him at a messy breakfast table with the children spilling and squabbling, and he stalks away from the table to his office after giving an "imperative command to his wife and slave." (OF Ch. 1) Things don't improve domestically during the remainder of the novel.

Vholes mouths concerns about his much smaller family, using them as the excuse for working long hours and diligently collecting his fees. Because of his three daughters and his aged father he "cannot afford to be selfish" and it is "indispensable that the mill should be always going." He wishes to "leave the poor girls some little independence, as well as a good name. (BH Ch. 37)

Toogood is a warm husband and loving father to 12 children, whom he mentions frequently and for whom he tries to provide reasonably well. Judging from Polly and Lucy's behavior at Toogood's dinner party this week, the children are comfortable and happy around their father. Mrs. Toogood also speaks her mind openly at the dinner, and previously we saw Toogood discuss Crawley's case with her. (Chs. 32, 40) Like Dockwrath and Vholes, Toogood is focused on providing for his dependents, but he has a more down-to-earth approach. "With twelve of 'em, Mr. Crawley, I needn't tell you they are not all going to have castles and parks of their own, unless they can get 'em off their own bats. But I pay upwards of a hundred a year each for my eldest three boys' schooling, and I've been paying eighty for the girls. Put that and that together and see what it comes to. Educate, educate, educate; that's my word." (Ch. 32) I like Toogood's concern for educating his girls as well as his boys.

Subject: [trollope-l] Last Chronicle: Toogood (Part 2 of 3)

August 13, 2000

Re: Installment of Last Chronicle of Barset, Chs. 38-43: Vholes, Dockwrath & Toogood - Part 2


Vholes is prime example of why we have "lawyer jokes." His representation of Richard in no way relates to concern for or a wish to benefit Richard; it is to make money for Vholes. The black-clad solicitor exists to "churn" the case, billing for every moment. (No doubt including "travel time" to and from Chancery.) He looks at Richard "as if he were looking at his prey and charming it." And indeed he does. Vholes says what Richard wants to hear but at the same time scrupulously avoids giving any definite opinion as to a positive outcome for the suit. "[U]pon the chances of Mr. C's game I express to you no opinion, no opinion. It might be highly impolitic in Mr. C, after playing so long and so high, to leave off; it might be the reverse. I say nothing.'" Vholes's sole focus is on collecting his fees like a meter. If Richard is not forthcoming with "funds," Vholes will only appear "to the extent of all such costs as are safe to be allowed of tithe estate: not beyond that." (BH Ch. 51) Vholes is a key witness supporting Dickens's charge that the "one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself." (BH Ch. 39)

In contrast to Vholes, who focuses on avoidance of taking a stance, Dockwrath and Toogood both focus on proving a definite theory. Each of Trollope's solicitors have a valuable legal talent: the ability to "think outside the box" and to rearrange pieces of evidence to create a story that suits the attorney's case that was not perceived by others. Both of them recognize the need for careful and thoughtful investigation. "'[Y]ou know how very important it is to learn beforehand exactly what your witnesses can prove and what they can't prove." (LCB Ch. 40) Toogood explains the need for such discovery during his visit with Mr. Harding. "'In these affairs so much is to be done by rummaging about, as I always call it. there have been many theatrical managers, you know, Mr. Harding, who have usually made up their pieces according to the dresses they have happened to have in their wardrobes. . . . And we lawyers have to do the same thing. . . . In preparing a defence we have to rummage about and get up what we can. If we can't find anything that suits us exactly, we are obliged to use what we do find as well as we can." (LCB Ch. 42)

Dockwrath focuses on the importance of documents. He discusses with potential client Mason the possibility that Mason's own attorneys did not "ferret about enough" in the original Orley Farm will case. "'Mr. Mason, there's a deal better evidence than any that is given by word of mouth. A clever counsel can turn a witness pretty nearly any way he likes, but he can't do that with little facts. He hasn't the time, you see, to get round them. Your lawyers, sir, didn't get up the little facts as they should have done." (OF Ch. 7) Dockwrath's careful attention to the documents and how they were executed unravels the case and reveals the truth.

Toogood is more concerned with witnesses and personal testimony. Toogood is brilliant at patiently and delicately probing his witnesses and, most important, he listens. His inquiries of the Dragon waiter, his conversation with Mr. Harding and his interview with the prickly magistrate's clerk read like excellent depositions, not only eliciting facts but also wooing the witness. He knows just when to stop his questioning of the waiter: "The waiter said he knew nothing about Mr. Soames, or the cheque, and the lawyer suspecting that the waiter was suspecting him, finished his brandy and water and went to bed." Toogood wins over Mr. Harding, notwithstanding the attorney's reservation's about Crawley's absolute innocence. Mr. Harding gives Toogood Mrs. Arabin's address and even writes her tacitly indicating approval of Toogood's forthcoming inquiries. "Rummaging" in Silverbridge involved coping with the magistrate's clerk, "a taciturn old man, who was nearly as difficult to deal with in any rummaging process as a porcupine. But nevertheless, at last he reaches a state of conversation which was not absolutely hostile." Toogood arrives at this point by an honest but carefully given description of his role as a family lawyer and protector in poor Crawley's case. Toogood closes his discovery mission by a pleasant meal at his opponent's home (such courtesy between opposing counsel being very refreshing to behold). There he "gradually learned the position which Mr. Crawley and the question of Mr. Crawley's guilt really held in the county, and he returned to town resolved to go on with the case." (LCB Ch. 42)

We also see Toogood's sensitivity to jury perception. He mentally responds to Crawley's explanation by reflecting that Crawley had "convinced me of his innocence . . . and why should he not convince a jury? . . . [T]here is either real truth in his words, or else so well-feigned a show of truth that no jury can tell the difference. . . . He may have put his finger into my eye; but, if so, why not also into the eyes of a jury?'" (LCB Ch. 32) And he considers that Mr. Crawley's proud rejection of a barrister's aid in open court might even work in his favor. "But there would come an explanation -- how Crawley was too honourable to employ a man whom he could not pay, and there would be a romance, and it would all go down with the jury. One wants sympathy in such a case as that -- not evidence." (LCB Ch. 42)

August 13, 2000

Re: Installment of Last Chronicle of Barset, Chs. 38-43: Vholes, Dockwrath & Toogood - Part 3 of 3

But perhaps Toogood's most important lawyering skills are his willingness to take time to elicit information and his knowledge of when to speak and when to listen. He chatters and natters on and on about his family, etc., and thereby manages to put Mr. Crawley temporarily off-guard, which in turn has the net result of Mr. Crawley carefully spelling out as much of his tale as he can recall as opposed to only arguing or rejecting his would-be benefactor. Mr. Crawley "had expected to find a man who in the hurry of London business might perhaps just manage to spare him five minutes -- who would grapple instantly with the subject that was to be discussed between them, would speak to him half a dozen hard words of wisdom, and would then dismiss him and turn on the instant to other matters of important business -- but here was an easy familiar fellow, who seemed to have nothing on earth to do, and who at this first meeting had taken advantage of a distant family connection to tell him everything about the affairs of his own household." (LCB Ch. 32)

Having taken his difficult client somewhat aback by this rambling monologue, Toogood suddenly shifts his behavior persuades Crawley to do the talking. "Of a sudden, as Mr. Toogood spoke these last words, the whole tone of his voice seemed to change, and even the position of his body became so much altered as to indicate a different kind of man. 'You just tell your story in your own way, and I won't interrupt you till you've done. That's always the best.'" And, indeed, Toogood then listens, mentally reflecting about what he's hearing but hearing his client out, with only minor questions or signals to indicate that he was attending to the speaker. "Mr. Toogood was actually true to his promise and let the narrator go on with his narrative without interruption. . . . When [Crawley] spoke thus, Mr. Toogood got up, and thrusting his hands into his waistcoat pockets walked about the room, exclaiming, 'By George, by George, by George!' but he still let the man go on with his story, and heard him out at last to the end." (LCBM Ch. 32)

Not surprisingly, given the other aspects of their personalities, Trollope's two lawyers have differing attitudes about money. Dockwrath is probably more aligned with Vholes on this point. Dockwrath's vendetta against Lady Mason is triggered by her reclaiming acreage from the attorney's erstwhile use, and he is as much concerned with making sure he profits from his re-getting up of the facts as he is with revenge or justice. Nevertheless, he never comes off as quite being quite as sleazy as Vholes. Toogood, on the other hand, is almost "too good" in his willingness not only to volunteer his own time but also to pay some of the out-of-pocket expenses of the investigation. Furthermore, he does this willingly and with only the slightest sigh over the effect on the well-being of the 12 children. He is a truly good man and a role model as an attorney.

Finally, I particularly liked Toogood's pleasure in the case itself. "'And then you see there's something very pretty in the case. It's quite a pleasure getting it up.'" (LCB Ch. 42) What a contrast to practicing solely to meet the year's goal of 2200 billable hours. And what a difference from Dickens's counselor Conversation Kenge's explanation at the end of the Jarndyce case that the case is finally over because the entire estate has been eaten up in legal costs, necessary to address the "numerous difficulties, contingencies, masterly fictions, and forms of procedure" of the "great cause." "If the public have the benefit, and if the country have the adornment of this great Grasp, it must be paid for, in money or money's worth, sir." (BH Ch. 65).

All in all, Trollope's lawyers -- good or evil-- are interesting human beings and fascinating lawyers, professional men with dimension and, on the whole, a pleasant contrast with Dickens's two-dimensional "lawyer jokes" such as Vholes.

P.S. Personal "soapbox" note: I strongly believe that Toogood is in all ways a good model for today's attorneys. He balances family and career. He enjoys his practice. He has a good relationship with opposing counsel. And, most important, he understands that he is in a profession, not an industry. The members of today's bar should recognize the validity of Toogood's willingness to provide pro bono representation to those who cannot otherwise have access to the justice system, particularly the middle class. Note: I am personally NOT liberal in the matter of how today's pro bono legal work is handled, at least in Missouri, where I practice. I do NOT appreciate the current system of court-appointments for juvenile, criminal cases and the like for people with little or no income. In over 20 years of practice, with only one exception, I have NOT been appointed to people deserving of free representation, that is to say, people who were honestly trying to make their own way in the world. I have had to represent a lot of true "free loaders," and I have not enjoyed it. Nevertheless, I understand that these appointments are a necessary part of the profession. What I would like to see is something more along the line of Toogood's pro bono activity, i.e., selective voluntary pro bono (or reduced fee) representation for the struggling middle class, those who work very hard to earn a living but lack independent wealth, in cases where there is no enormous contingent fee possible at the end of the day but where justice is not available because they simply cannot afford to pay for a lawyer's time on a middle-class income. I also have one other question: why are there not mandatory medical-treatment appointments for doctors, similar to court-appointments for attorneys?

Jill Singer
Overland Park KS

To Trollope-l

August 13, 2000

Re: Three Lawyers: Vholes, Dockwrath and Toogood

I much enjoyed Jill's comparison. Putting the names together, one sees that the novelists have allegorised their patterns into the names. Vholes, an elegant rat; Dockwrath, a man deeply wrathful at the world and ready to take his revenge on those vulnerable to his powers; and Toogood, someone who is, alas, too good for real verisimilitude, an exemplary pattern for lawyers to aspire to, and people who go to lawyers to judge them by.

Jill says she 'strongly believes that Toogood is in all ways a good model for today's attorneys', and wonders 'why are there not mandatory medical-treatment appointments for doctors, similar to court-appointments for attorneys?' When she describes how Toogood was willing to take out the time really to listen to his prospective client, I thought of the many physicians I have encountered to whom time is money and who hardly listen to the patient at all, leaving the impression that the patient has no information to convey worth hearing. Toogood is also a good model for today's physicians.

We have on this list read Bleak House (last summer) and Orley Farm (the first summer Trollope-l was up and running).

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

Subject: [trollope-l] Three Lawyers: Vholes, Dockwrath and Toogood

Speaking of names, when we were reading The American Senator, I thought that Senator Gotobed's name was a coined one. However, last night we were watching a British TV show and noticed in the cast that one of the lesser characters had the real-life name Harry Gotobed. Reminds me of a shoe store in Cornwall where the owner's name was Goodenough. Although I'm well accustomed to English surnames, I can still be surprised from time to time. Now there would be a partnership for you: Toogood and Goodenough.

Gene Stratton

Re: Last Chronicle: Reading for Living & Reading for Historical Interest

In reply to Howard's cogent comments on Trollope's depiction of Grace Crawley and Major Henry Grantly, I offer the idea that when we read an older novel we always read it in two ways at once. Immediately we give it slack. We know it was written so many years ago, and when we come across attitudes that are today repellent or unacceptable in some ways, we historicise. Of course Major Grantly has a lot going for him: he has a good deal of money compared to anything the Crawleys have ever known or apparently will ever know. Grace will eat better, sleep in a comfortable bed, dress respectably, not live in fear of debt collectors. She will be respected for his rank, his connections. He is educated and is clearly not going to beat her. Many men are violent, and in the Victorian period when once a woman married a man, the law still commanded her to submit unless she could prove demonstrable bodily harm. And then there was shame. Grace is safe with Major Grantly.

However, there are other ideas going on here about Grantly's value which I submit are not acceptable to a lot of 20th century readers. Among these is the assumption that Grantly is more valuable than other people because of who he is, his rank, his, not to put too fine a point on it, his blood. There is something numinous attributed to him beyond even his being a gentleman which puts him above Grace in ways that make any marriage to her a comedown for him. The pages of the novel tremble with the idea that Grantly is someone we all ought to think a great deal about, care about simply because he's him. He is told he is the brother of Lady Dumbello. He is therefore among the special of the world. Has entered into this realm. So he's special and has to live up to this. I'm thinking about sentences filled with awe like "It is something, Grace, to have been wooed by such a man at such a time" (Mrs Crawley, solemn, to Grace on the couch). Or his letter to Grace which is condescending. At points I recalled how Darcy spoke to Elizabeth about what a favor he was doing her. Austen presented that one through exaggeration; Trollope keeps to verisimilitude but the values there are the same. Were Austen's Miss Bates (Emma) Grace's aunt I can see her daily telling everyone in the neighborhood 'so very kind and obliging! -- But he always had been such a kind noble man! and indeed she must thankfully say she and Grace remain grateful to him ... so very very ... well, my dear, magnanimous, such a big word, don't you know?

Yes we can understand that people thought that way in the 19th century, but I am holding Trollope to a higher standard. I am reading the novel as one which is alive today, speak to us today. I submit the Crawley story, the Crawley character is a living one today, directly relevant, one whose ethical inferences we need provide hardly any slack for. The plot device is forced, a bit unreal. Trollope admits this: it is not quite credible that all this fuss would be occasioned by a £20 bill. We are not children. But Trollope wanted us to remain intensely respectful of Crawley and like many an 18th century woman novelist who wanted to explore woman's sexuality yet tried to keep her heroine chaste, so Trollope wants to explore what happens when a man as down and out as Crawley gets on the wrong side of the law and money in this community. He is food for the vultures and the indifferent, and the reasonable and non- thinking and those who don't know him go along. Toogood is an exemplary character, but Jill's posting has saved me the trouble of outlining why the ethical inferences there are living for us today. We need not excuse Trollope. Yes he wrote for his audience, but so did hundreds of novelists and we are not reading the minor and superminor people on this list. We are seeing him as still alive today, speaking to us. We cannot be ourselves 19th century upper class ladies and gentleman; we simply don't and can't respond this way. We make an effort of the historical imagination, but then we draw a line between what is historically interesting and what is alive.

I submit we also ought to divide up what is historically interesting and discuss what is today harmful, or reinforces values that are injust or inhumane. We are here in the same area we entered into when we debated Trollope's antisemitism, his classism, when we have talked about his sexist attitudes towards women, particularly lower class ones. Yes we can see the story of Grantly as a prudent exemplum, and in that sense I suppose it's merely tiresome. I can't read as if I were an equivalent of Mrs Grantly who is herself charmed by her daughter's high rank and now worried lest her son marry down. Do note that Mr Harding is never dazzled by Griselda, not himself confused by what she stands for. Toogood is another character who suggest that Trollope is not altogether entering into this Grantly story so much as giving the reader what is expected without much thinking about it. That's why I used the verb 'nod'.

That Trollope is somewhat aware of the falsity of his presentation of the love scenes between Grantly and Grace may be hinted at when Johnny Eames says he is no Sir Charles Grandison and Madalina Desmoulins must not expect Sir Charles Grandison stuff today: "The Sir Charles Grandison business is done and gone." Of course not for everyone I suppose, not for the female reader Trollope is teaching his lesson to who dreams of 'angels of light'. What Trollope really thought of this we will see in Ayala's Angel.

Howard will see that we have had versions of this discussion before: as in Dr Thorne over the Scatcherds. I am at least consistent in my approach, the standard I hold Trollope up to of high ethical ideals of humanity and justice. I'll give him a great deal and say most of the time he does live up to ethical ideals still vital today. The Last Chronicle is at its heart a story of injustice (the Crawley and Proudie story) and emotional inadequacy, retreat & recoil (the Johnny and Lily story). Its dark shadow side or mirror image is in the London plots. The Grantly story is a hold-over from Barchester Towers (that's the last time we have really gotten involved with these Grantlys); not just 'pleasing romance' filler, but to some extent that.

I agree, though, that this story will be used with effective drama to present a conflict between Grantly and his father. I'm not sure how much Trollope does identify with the Archdeacon. To some extent, especially when the Archdeacon finds he is losing his son. Therefore, the scenes between Grantly and his father need much less historicising to enter into, though not altogether, for the Archdeacon's point of view is expressed in ways that a modern parent anxious that the progeny get the degree, go into the business, would not use.

One problem Trollope does have with Grace as opposed to Lucy Robarts and Mary Thorne, also underdog heroines (Mary is a bastard), is he must shape her story in accordance with that of her father. Since he is so determined we shall be on Crawley's side as to the merits of the case (i.e., Crawley didn't and couldn't have done it, though he has been driven nearly mad over the course of his lifetime), he will not allow Grace any individuality in the way he does Lucy and Mary. There is no rebellion, no anger, no, no resentments. Mrs Crawley is given reality but she too is deprived of the full burden of her resentments and humanity to leave room for this portrait of mentally disabled man, for that's what he has become under these new yet worse pressures of accusation, not knowing how to counter them, and the coming humiliation and perhaps destruction of his family. Characters are not people; they are always a product of what they do in a story, are shaped by the needs of the story. They are rhetoical devices in a pattern, which pattern Trollope keeps his mind on when it comes to the more minor people. The major characters of the novel remain the Crawleys and Lily and Johnny; they are allowed to make the story, the patterns, not fit into it.

Cheers to all, Ellen Moody

Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 17:00:42 +0100
Subject: [trollope-l] Grace Crawley on the marriage market

Where does Catherine get the idea that Henry Grantly has been married TWICE before? Just over six pages into Chapter II (page 18 of the Trollope Society edition) Trollope sets out his history, and indicates that as a very young man he had served in India, and won the Victoria Cross. This would presumably be during the Indian Mutiny, which was between 1857 and 1859. Since Henry is "under thirty" when The Last Chronicle was being written in 1866, he would have been born in the late thirties, and have been between 18 and 20 years old when he was involved in the Mutiny. He had left the army when he married "a lady with some money", and she had died in childbirth "just two years" ago. This would mean that they had married in, say, 1862 or 1863, which hardly leaves time for a second marriage, either before the one referred to, or after.

This leads me up to a defence of Grace and Henry. Of course, they are a standard young Trollope couple, falling in love, and then having apparently insuperable difficulties put in the way of their marriage, as a result of lack of money and her father's suspected criminality. I hope that it will not be too much of a spoiler if I say that, as usual, Trollope finds a way out for them in the course of his plot. The interest lies in how he does it. Meanwhile, Grace is an accomplished and beautiful young woman, and Henry is handsome, brave, and appears to be determined to overcome the obstacles in the way of his second marriage. He is a typical Trollope hero, well educated, brought up to take up one of the 'permitted' professions, and set up as a country gentleman by his wealthy father. These were the sort of people that Trollope wrote about, and I think that it is unreasonable to expect him to have chosen someone different to be Grace's lover. He did this very successfully in Lady Anna, but that was a book written with an entirely different purpose five years later, and he recognised that most of his readers would regard the marriage of Lady Anna and her tailor as a mésalliance. Grace and Henry are not a very exciting pair, but I cannot agree with Ellen that Henry has nothing going for him.

I think that the main purpose that Trollope had for introducing the Grace/Henry plot was to show his readers the development in the character of the Archdeacon. There is a scene coming up which illustrates beautifully the way in which Archdeacon Grantly's prejudices against Grace and Henry's marriage are overcome. If there is a great deal of Trollope in the Archdeacon, then we shall see from this episode how what has probably only been the reader's liking becomes admiration and fondness for the character.

Regards, Howard

Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 15:32:12 -0000
Subject: [trollope-l] Grace could do better

After reading Howard's post about major Grantly, I went back and looked at LCB again. You are correct, Howard. Major Grantly was only married once. (That he will admit to! Just kidding.) He is under thirty years old, at the start of the novel and had been married to a woman for less than twelve months before she died. This first wife gave birth to Edith before she died. (In fact, she died hours after Edith was born.)The first wife has been dead for two years when the novel starts. Edith must be just a toddler. I misread the paragraph about Major Grantly's marriage. (This passage is in the middle of Chapter 2.) You make some good points, Howard, about the "underlying meaning" (for want of a better expression) about this plot line. But I still think Grace could do better than marry Major Grantly. I don't understand why Grace is considered a pariah by the Grantly family. If they are going to be so unfriendly, why does she want to marry Major Grantly? Either Major Grantly has to "come down" in social standing, or Grace has to be suddenly "forgiven" for being the daughter of a perpetual curate. In Chapter 2, Major Grantly's mother urges him to take a look at Emily Dunstable. Here is the exchange:

"And the major's mother had strongly advised him to marry again without loss of time. 'My dear Henry,' she had said, 'you'll never be younger, and youth does go for something. As for dear little Edith, being a girl, she is almost no impediment. Do you know those two girls at Chaldicotes?'

'What, Mr. thorne's nieces?'

'No; they are not her nieces, but her cousins. Emily Dunstable is very handsome; - and as for money - !'

'But what about birth, mother?'

'One can't have everything, my dear.'"

I guess it's OK not to have "birth" is you have money. Grace has no money, but isn't her father a gentleman? I don't want to give the plot away, but I am amazed that it takes the Archdeacon 800 pages to somehow make allowances for Reverend Crawley. Time will tell whether or not Trollope can convince his readers that the pairing of Grace Crawley and Major Grantly makes sense. It doesn't make sense to me. I look forward to discussing Grace Crawley as we continue to read Last Chronicle of Barset.


Subject: [trollope-l] Grace could do better

Dear Catherine,

Re: your question "why is Grace considered a pariah?"

There is a scene, or scenes where Mrs. Grantly (I think) is talking about Grace Crawley. She imagines that Grace's family poverty means that Grace has never set foot in a parlor, and that Grace must be completely uneducated. She suspects that Grace will turn out to be not a "lady." I couldn't find this in the book when I looked for it so perhaps it will turn out that I am mixed up...

And of course there is the Crawley family lack of money, and the theft of the cheque. The Archdeacon likes the good things in life, and he likes his good reputation.

About the theft, when I first read this book in college in the late 1980's 20 pounds just didn't sound like enough money to matter. However, when you consider that Crawley's entire yearly income is something like 130 pounds the cheque suddenly seems like much more. I have trouble thinking outside of current money figures. Also, these days perhaps there is less of a feeling that a whole family is tainted by the crime of one person than there once was.

Kind of off the subject but has anyone here seen the film The Winslow Boy? It takes place around WWI (I think). It is about a British family in whose son is accused of stealing a postal order for something like five shillings. I think that it gives a good picture of how people felt about crime and personal reputation in the past, and may well be close to attitudes in Trollope's day.

I agree that the romance is weak, as far as the interactions of Grace and the Major are concerned, but Major Grantly's character (in other respects) ...

The rest of the posting has been lost as well as the name of the person who wrote it.

Re: Henry Grantly

Seems wonderfully done to me. He is such a real person in that he proposes to Grace partly because he is encouraged to by women he knows, and he likes the idea of being a hero. He also proposes because his father has forbidden him to do it. His motivations seem so recognizably mundane and real. I also love the interaction between him and his father. That too seems very wonderful and like life.

As far as Grace doing better is concerned, it is very hard in real life to find the right person, and if finding the right person was really your only decent career option, then from a practical point of view Grace really might not do any better, and ought not to gamble on doing so. If she weds Henry she will be able to help her sister Jane meet eligible men.


Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 08:53:26
Subject: [trollope-l] Henry Grantly & Grace Crawley: Numinousness not Money

Dear Jill and Trollope-l friends,

Fourteen is very young to be a parent. I hadn't really thought about how Grace is said to be sixteen. I often find these Victorian heroines exist in some non-age virginal reality. They are often given a depth of apprehension (which we see in Grace in the scenes with her father in this week's instalments) well beyond the years of a teenager; on the other hand, if they are middle class, we are to think them superchaste, never a sexy thought in their head. That's not true of most of Trollope's heroines, even the good ones: Grace is more Dickensian in this way. There is in fact a Dickensian element in numbers of these scenes. A kind of benevolence suffuses the atmosphere of the Toogood family which recalls Dickens's way of making us smile fondly at his characters, which makes us forget how much of this is sentimentalising. Then again Trollope does have the pointed name: Too-good.

On the treatment of Henry Grantly and who he marries I didn't say money doesn't matter. What I objected to was the treating of him as someone special, as part of some group of people who count, matter more than others by virtue of their blood which is an old word which asserts numinousness. Of course this idea permeates much of Trollope: the point is made that Toogood is not quite the gentleman which means he's not as good or important as Walker. It could be objected to my objection that all Trollope's books reinforce this notion that some people count more than others, mean more, so that when one of them dies (say the Princess Diana), we should care a good deal while if on the same day someone else did or got into some kind of horrible accident which disfigured them for life the society is not even responsible for helping the person to get decent medical care or cosmetic surgery. I would say that in most of Trollope's plots he treats this idea ironically too and looks at many angles: Toogood is after all the hero of this book who saves the victim. In the Major Grantly-Grace story the idea is not even thought about very much. It is simply embodied as wholly valid; that's what makes the love scenes so stilted and unreal. The Sir Charles Grandison approach simply allows Trollope to push human realities under the rug to get the scene done with.

It's an ethical as well as realistic standard I am applying. I think most of Trollope's fiction does come up to this even if we must historicise and read through analogies. Probably the reason he does come up to this is he is himself honest and attempts to found all his fiction on really apprehended complex psychological life.

William Godwin has a closing statement in his novel, Caleb Williams which I sometimes remember when I am reading stories like this of how important Major Grantly is, how valuable, how much above the Crawleys (wondering irony in that name) At the close of Caleb we have endured a long agony of struggle and conflict between an aristocratic gentleman, Falkland, and his servant, Caleb. Throughout everyone has insisted how significant is Falkland, how we all must be concerned for his feelings, for what happenes to him, how Caleb was wrong ever to question and bring out the deep underside of sordidness and crime in Falkland; finally, while in prison Caleb is told Falkland died, heart-broken; they tell him this because they think it must make him feel bad. He is himself half-mad and sick and in this dungeon for a long time to come. He asks, "I wonder who that Mr Falkland was, for every body to think so much about him. Do you know?" Grace Crawley, were she a real young girl, not a character, would be just as worthy our thinking about her as any man, whether an elegant gentleman high on his horse or her father, a poverty-striken curate who can't remember what he did with his paper money.

Characters, though, remain characters. What is important is the ideas the scenes dramatise -- finally the perception of the experience of life they present to us for thought.

Ellen Moody

To Trollope-l

August 16, 2000

Re: Last Chronicle: Living v Historical Interest and Grace

We have had a posting today which suggests that the role model or exemplary depiction of Grace Crawley can still work for some young women today [A passionately Christian interpretation by someone.]. Kristi then remarked that mores have changed, especially when it comes to sex; I'd add or seek to qualify that by saying that these mores are in flux. Here in the US what I'll call very old-fashioned attitudes towards sex as part of a sacred area of behavior exist side-by-side with an attitude towards it that it is just another form of behavior you can share with someone or not as you and the other person think fit without reference to anything else. The other day my husband found an interesting set of statistics on the Net: it was in an article intended for people who are Vicars and curates in the Church of England: it said 49% of Anglicans live together before they are married; 79% of Dissenting people, and something like 51% of Catholics. How did the writer arrive at these statistics? Among other things, when you fill out a marriage certificate in England, you say where you are living at the time.

Still I would say that if the exemplar or role model can touch, it needs to be believable. Like Clarissa, I find much of the behavior of Crawley's family towards him not quite believable. It's idealised; they are far more tolerant and fearful of him than is probable. Only the mother is allowed to feel emotions approaching regret, resentment and anger. There is an interesting book by Patricia Meyer Spacks (who writes book both for the common reader and academics); it's called Boredom. In one chapter she tries to explain why 18th century readers and in the first half of the 19th century some readers still found Sir Charles Grandison so rivetting, deeply absorbing and why today it can't stay in print and students say they can't get through it and find it irritating. Spacks's explanation for the early popularity of Grandison is that believability is not the only criteria for finding a work speak to you; if it forms issues that count to you in ways that validate your desires, you will read on. People today do demand more believability, more presentation of the unpleasant aspects of our human nature as they continually come up; for us Grandison is now 'a monument to dead ideas' (I take that phrase from what someone called Milton's Paradise Lost early in the 20th century, just after World War One). It's revealing that Trollope has his Johnny Eames make fun of this book in a scene which shows two young people courting who were it written 30 years later Trollope would have left climbing the stairs up to bed together.

Howard and I talked off list and I can do no better than say my usage of historicise comes from the way I have seen it used in talking about older books or art or technologies or attitudes &c&c. It's the opposite of reading against the grain. When you read against the grain, you deliberately ignore the writer's slant so as to reread the book from a point of view he never meant. This is common among feminists when they approach Trollope and they can emerge with scathing and laudatory readings of his books which shed new lights upon them. When you historicise, you look upon the book as a historical document. When movie- makers remake old books, they often justify their attempts to find new analogies for what is presented in the book by saying they cannot present a historical document to an audience. The work must be re-created in modern terms.

Then maybe let us move away from the specific incident since one can get to a point where the only thing to do is agree to differ. There's a larger issue here, and I'll rephrase it with the above comments in mind thus, Do Trollope's novels transcend time and speak generally to the human condition? If so, where and how? (That's what I was aiming at or the standard I had in mind.) Or are these books interesting historical documents, mirrors of their age, very lively and entertaining no doubt, but limited and even frequently obsolete. Perhaps they reinforce attitudes that are harmful. There are many thoughtful people today who think the latter is true. That's one reason Trollope's books don't spread into the universities. This in turn links up to the nature of Trollope's reputation, its history, how he was regarded in the later 19th century (just after his death), during the early part of this century and is looked upon now. Readers' opinions don't necessarily have anything to do with the book in front of them. But let us pretend for the sake of argument that the writer's reputation is the result of what readers have truly understood from the books that is there.

This is an interesting debate. It makes us feel good to agree and admire one another's posts, but we can't do that always. Maybe Trollope is the more disquieting and therefore interesting writer than Gaskell because he provokes disagreement on central issues for us today: rank, class, money and sex are still central to our lives. Somehow Gaskell moved in a way that sheered off from provoking us. Did she do that deliberately? As a woman, she would not want herself to be attacked. She really was upset at the furor her Ruth caused.

Finally, I don't know if it's true that women and men have been more influenced by feminism in the US than in the UK; on the academic lists I am on the British women seem as strongly feminist as Americans, French, German and other nationalities.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 19:07:34 -0400
Subject: [trollope-l] Last Chronicle: Toogood (Part 2 of 3)

Thanks for this analysis Jill, I found it very helpful. I loved Toogood's way with Crawley when I read the chapter--and it was very effective. I hope we get to read more about him later.

Probably they want another Hartletop or whatever his name is for him too. They seem to me to be completely carried away with money. The Archdeacon's idea of punishment for his marrying Grace is to disown him. Their daughter with her ideas of nothing but money and prestige did come from their upbringing. Being a girl she probably would have been home more than the major who was surely sent away to school. She has to have picked up her awful ideas from someone around the house, doesn't she??

It's astonishing to me that Trollope can manage to bring out all this differing of opinion 100+ years later. To me Grace is a young woman, who like Cousin Phyllis reads the books around the house because she has brains and must do something with them. Her father passes on to her the only wealth he has, his knowledge (worth more to me than any other), her lack of experience in the world leads her to fall in love with the first man she meets who pays attention to her, and there she is--stuck with him.

Why, Catherine, this bothers you I can't imagine. To me, it is AT showing some more of that wonderful variety of characters he always shows (although at this time in a less interesting way). You have found her a character who's real to you; I'm in the other camp and just prefer to go on to Toogood, Crawley (who certainly never crawls!), and the Archdeacon who interest me.

I have lost the name of the person who wrote the above too.

Subject: [trollope-l] Anthropological Studies and Grace

August 16, 2000

While I agree that the character, Grace Crawley, has probably had enough comment on this list, I'd like to say that we should not say no one can talk about Grace Crawley if they really want to. We have had two further postings this morning on this character, and since characters are not people but stand for ideas we will probably carry on talking about this character in terms of the book's ideas as we go. Let us keep to the idea that to discuss the nature or approach of someone else's postings is beyond what personalities can be asked to bear, but that the content of what they want to discuss is their choice.

Sometimes I find these conversations about books revealing in ways I had never expected. There is a level in which list conversations taken as a whole bring forth anthropological revelations (these not always conscious) about our own culture. I wonder what Margaret Mead would have said about the responses to Grace and Major Grantly. It is fascinating how these minor characters attract intense discussions where today's values simmer under the surface of an apparent discussion about literal things in the text.

We can also learn why a particular author becomes a cult figure -- as Jane Austen has been since the end of the 19th century. One should never ignore the literal content of the story for it seems to mean so much to people; they in fact often stick with it so that it can be turned here and there to validate whatever seems so at issue. On his memorial Trollope was called the creator of Barsetshire. These are but 6 out of 47 novels, and novels whose content is limited by conventions of plot which demand love stories, happy endings, shaped conclusions. Sometimes I am attracted to Mullen's argument that Trollope's really great books are his travel ones. This business of not reading a book as a work of art where the tenor (meaning, what the events are metaphors for) is often basically ignored or not treated apart from a adherence to the vehicle (content) explains how there can be two tiers of readers. The cult arises most often from sticking to the vehicle when the surface seems pleasant, happy and alluring -- or, in the case of detective stories say, at once exciting and comforting.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

August 17, 2000

[trollope-l] Trollope and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Joan - Thank you for your post! You and I were very fortunate to have been in London to hear Ellen's wonderful talk at the AGM. We were both lucky to be guests of Angela's and Paul's. I have many, many happy memories of a week saturated in books, art, and friendship. Going to the museum and seeing the Millais paintings with Paul as an interpreter was a highlight of the trip for me. (I was overcome by the experience -truly!) I didn't appreciate many things about the Victorians until my experiences in London, and exposure to the art of the period was a big part of my new ideas. I am rather inarticulate still. The Victorians were real, vibrant people. Millais' colors just exploded off the canvas in a way that was vital and emotional. I didn't expect it. When I had seen prints of these same paintings before, I had thought they were garish and "corny." Not any longer. The subject of artists and Trollope is apropos now, as we read the artistic sub-plot in Last Chronicle of Barset. I am really enjoying this ("The fevered existence")!!! One of the many things that caught my attention was the purple velvet coat that one of the artists wears. Didn't Bertie Stanhope sport a blue velvet coat? Is this one of the signs of being "arty"? (I hear Dickens also sported blue velvet coats - but didn't he hang with an arty crowd?) When we read Ayala's Angel, we will see color and art bursting from the pages in a surprising way. (Please, please, do, my fellow Trollope lovers, find a copy of Ayala's Angel. I think the Trollope society has the book on offer. ) I rambling all over the place here, sorry. Yes, Joan - I remember the thrill of looking at bound copies of the original magazines (courtesy of Paul and Angela!) with the Millais illustrations. I also remember how amazing it was to be at the Trollope AGM, at the Reform Club, being in a room filled with Trollope aficionados, hearing Ellen speak. It was a night I will never forget.

Catherine Crean

To: Subject: [trollope-l] Rev. Crawley the Giant

Ellen, I agree that some of the characters in Last Chronicle of Barset fall a bit flat. Maybe that is why the "secondary plot" seems so colorful to me. Trollope seems like a harried stage manager, trying to keep the crowd satisfied. Bring on Lily Dale! Bring on Johnny Eames! Even Mr Butterwell is dusted off and trotted out. In this novel, Reverend Crawley dominates everybody else. He is a giant, and they are Lilliputians. Although the some of the life has gone out of the old stand-bys, the ensemble piece works quite well because of Crawley. This is a great book, one of Trollope's greatest, but reading it makes me understand why Trollope did NOT go on writing Framley Parsonage forever. Maybe one of the reasons Trollope had such long career is that he knew when to move on. He did not rely on the same formula, the same setting, or the same cast of characters.

Catherine Crean

Given the rather outlandish Christianizing post sent to Trollope-l, and that the person who wrote it seemed to have promptly unsubscribed, we got to talking about age. It was decided this person was very young, and we began to see that the average age of people on Trollope-l was between 40 and 50.

Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 21:15:39 GMT
Subject: Re: [trollope-l] Introductions

I'll add my age to the Trollope Reader Survey.

I'm 34, but have been reading Trollope off and on since I discovered him in college at the age of 21. I have to say that the first book I read was The Last Chronicle of Barset, and I loved it.

However, rereading it now many years later does give me a different view of it. The comments about Crawley's depression really struck me. In the intervening years between the first and the current read I had a lengthy relationship with a person who suffered from severe depression. I am very impressed with Trollope's powerful portrayal of Crawley. But I think that the rest of the family copes with him and his depression in ways that seem somewhat idealized and unrealistic to me.


Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 23:05:50 +0100
Subject: [trollope-l] Last Chronicle : Living v Historical interest

I hope that this isn't just a disagreement between Ellen and I about whether we should judge Trollope's attitudes towards society by his standards or our own. As Ellen says, this came up when we were reading _Doctor Thorne_ and I thought that her criticism of Trollope's description of Louis Scatcherd, on the grounds that Trollope was expressing a class attitude, was unfair. There does not seem to be the least hint that Trollope suggests that Grace Crawley is inferior in rank to Henry Grantly. I think that it was Susan Grantly who says to the Archdeacon ' You are both clergymen' or something like that in referring to Mr Crawley. (Its too late at night to look that one up).

I am also not clear what Ellen means when she says 'when we come across attitudes that are today repellent or unacceptable in some ways, we historicise.' My dictionary defines 'historicism' as :-

"theory that social and cultural phenomena are determined by history; belief that historical events are governed by laws; tendency to regard historical development as most basic aspect of human existence; excessive regard for past styles etc."

and I suppose that she is using a verb derived from this concept. When I come across attitudes in books which I disapprove of, I don't blame history, I just accept that that is what people did, and am glad that they don't do it any more, or that if they do, then I can express my disapproval freely. There seems to be a fairly strong feminist view on the list. I don't disagree with most of what is said, but I don't think that we can base our views on Grace Crawley's future prospects on the grounds that she ought to have been able to study Greek at university, and possibly become an Oxbridge don. It took many years work by dedicated women and a few supportive males to achieve the present situation in the UK and the USA, and I suspect that many of today's women are still coming up against the glass ceiling in their academic or business careers.

I would be interested to know whether other list members agree with Ellen's view that Trollope should be judged on his attitude to what is today harmful, or reinforces values that are unjust or humane. I personally cannot see it that way.

Having said the above, I do agree with most of what Ellen has said in her posting under the above heading. I think that we shall probably have to agree to differ on Trollope's attitudes to class and feminism.

Regards, Howard

Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 15:19:52 -0700
Subject: [trollope-l] Last Chronicle : Living v Historical interest

What struck me very forcibly the first, second, third, and fourth times I read The Last Chronicle was the extreme respect demonstrated toward Grace Crawley by virtually every person who gets to know her personally.

Because of her poverty and the scandal associated with her father, this respect is entirely due to her own merits. These are: her entirely feminine personality, tender heart, cultivated mind, dignity, courage, and personal refinement. I thought that the scene where she accepts her suitor was extremely moving and powerful. Henry Grantly, in his weakest moment, nonetheless knows that she is superior to himself in all the important ways. His core values are sounder in this respect than those of his parents. Having the responsibility of a motherless child, he is attracted to Grace because of her character as much or more than her physical beauty, which is less mature at this point.

Perhaps our society will evolve to the point where we too can hold these qualities in a young woman in high esteem. It's difficult to identify a similar role model today.

Jill Singer

Kristi Jaliks

Ellen wrote:

"Fourteen is very young to be a parent."

But, I think that Jill's daughter became step-mother to a 14 year old. She heself is just somewhere presumably less than 30.

I think that the way young women are raised, from childhood on, very much affects their attitudes. There were many taboos about sex for upper and middle-class Victorian girls, and I doubt that many of them thought all that consciously about sex, per se, when they were in their teens. Romance and/or duty and/or social advantage preoccupied most of them, I think. I am only two years older than Ellen, and I see a great difference in social attitudes in my lifetime alone.


From Dagny?

I think a person distinguished by these particular qualities will not usually be sufficiently in the public eye to qualify as a role model.

Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 21:04:58 -0000
Subject: [trollope-l] Proud of her man's love

I am confused by those who think that I am "judging" Trollope by Y2K standards. I do not do so, nor, do I think does Ellen. The point I'm trying to make is that Trollope, master artist and story teller that he is, does not do things without a reason. I am asking what Trollope is doing with his characters, in particular, Grace, Edith and Jane. I find Grace and Major Grantly a little flat compared to some of Trollope's other romantic pairs. One thing I do not understand is why Grace feels so "proud" of Major Grantly's love. Did this word have another meaning in Trollope's time? Why is Grace proud of Major Grantly's love? Grace is not proud that she has snared a man - Trollope tells us that she loves Major Grantly. I find it ironic that in etiquette books circa 1920, it was considered ill-mannered to congratulate a young a woman when she became engaged. One congratulated the man, and wished the woman joy, or happiness. The idea was that congratulating a woman implied that she "chased" the man down and caught him. In Trollope's novels, characters openly and warmly congratulate young women when they become engaged. I bring this up to point out how every era has its own manners, customs and assumptions. I am not saying that Grace should have had a career teaching Greek at university. I am just asking what did Grace see in Major Grantly? I still think that Jane Crawley as a daughter and sister presents us an opportunity for interpretation, discussion, whatever. If Reverend Crawley had only one daughter, how would this have affected Grace's love story? (Again, I wonder why Trollope kept Jane in the picture.) Edith still puzzles me too. For a man who didn't have a daughter, Trollope writes about fathers and daughters with great insight. (I know that Trollope was close to his niece, Florence Bland, but this is not quite the same thing.)

Catherine Crean

Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 16:36:29 +0200
Subject: [trollope-l] Last Chronicle: Living V Historical Interest and Grace

Ellen had this to say today:

:Or are these books interesting historical documents, mirrors of their age, very lively and entertaining no doubt, but limited and even frequently obsolete. Perhaps they reinforce attitudes that are harmful. There are many thoughtful people today who think the latter is true. That's one reason Trollope's books don't spread into the universities. This in turn links up to the nature of Trollope's reputation

Ellen, could you explain a bit more what you mean by that sentence ...they reinforce attitudes that are harmful. I find this very interesting and also very vague. thanks.

Marian Poller
Herzlyia, Israel

Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 09:39:08 +0100
Subject: [trollope-l] Last Chronicle: Toogood

Thank you very much Jill for your studies of Toogood and other lawyers.

The character of Mr Toogood does strike many modern notes as a particular kind of detective. He is vulgar and slangy (rummaging about) genial and social. Yet behind it all is a keen intelligence looking for facts, or something as useful to Mr Crawley. (I found it a bit laboured to have him meet with Mr Harding again, reminding us of a recurrent theme in Barsetshire where characters do not like to be got off, but to have the truth revealed.)

In these characteristics he is much more like the actual detectives in Dickens and Collins than other lawyers.


Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 07:12:39 +0100
Subject: [trollope-l] Lily and Johnnie were lovers?

Ellen wrote :

"Yet I see hints in this scene that Lily could be won by Johnny too. She is so full-blooded, so much a woman. She responds to his aggressive demands that he love her; were the scene a play, the playwright would show us this. That is why John says at one point "'I think you love me'".

"I see hints today in this week's scene that she could be available ... "

I notice that Trollope refers to John as her lover. Its in a section which conveys Lily's thoughts about being in London with both Crosbie and Eames. I was quite struck by this term, as 'suitor' might have been more appropriate. Is it meant to be Lily's thought? or Trollope's early signal?

Angela, who's not read Last Chronicle before

Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 18:20:31 +0100
Subject: [trollope-l] Velvet Jackets

Catherine wrote recently about male characters in Trollope wearing velvet jackets and suggested this was because they were arty.

Instinctively I think you must be right Catherine but there is a photo of Wilkie Collins in what looks to be a velvet jacket with braid trimmings. Athough he was certainly part of an art set, I wonder if he would have a formal portrait taken in something so 'outre' once he was famous?

Perhaps its the colour of the jacket, and Trollope certainly makes sure we know its a bright colour.

By the way, John Fowles is very good on the new and garish colours of the Victorians in the French Lts Woman


Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 19:28:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [trollope-l] LCB: A Tempest in a Teacup

It just struck me that the visit of Dr. Tempest to the palace could be likened to a tempest in a teacup as he precipitates a major break between the Proudies. I noted that Mrs. Tempest declined her invitation. When Dr. Tempest said he was afraid of Mrs. Proudie and that if she interfered there would be a row I liked Mrs. Tempest's comment: "Then, my dear, there will be a row, for I am told that she always interferes." Smart woman to turn down the invitation. Who needs the aggravation (assuming it can be avoided)--and it seems the dinner was rather boring.

I don't think that Dr. Tempest refused to talk to Mrs. Proudie because she was a woman but because of the way she is. To me it just seemed like he was trying to be polite about his hostess by saying it wasn't appropriate to discuss the subject in front of a lady.

I do think Mrs. Proudie's conduct was apalling. I could not believe that she would contradict the Bishop in that way in front of someone. She definitely needs to take a lesson from Mrs. Grantly about keeping things in the family, in privacy. She must be losing her control to think of undermining the Bishop's authority, such as it is, like that.

Ellen wrote:

"Anyone ever notice how many people in this novel have had suicidal thoughts: Crawley, Crosbie (comically, but half-real), and now Proudie on his wife's behalf and eventually himself."

I hadn't until Ellen mentioned it, but I certainly now notice that they are all men. Is it a matter of pride and honor? Or are women just more of the mind set to carry on, to do what must be done?

With Mrs. Crawley, it seems that she would never contemplate leaving her family. She is needed, not only by her children but by her husband. I can understand Mr. Crawley's contemplation of suicide in that he is a drag on his family instead of a help. He must feel at times like he is not doing any good at all. I think that is one of the reasons he is so desperate to hold on to his duties. It is not just stubborness, he needs to feel needed.


Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 20:00:17 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [trollope-l] Lily and Johnnie were lovers?

Angela wrote:

"I notice that Trollope refers to John as her lover. Its in a section which conveys Lily's thoughts about being in London with both Crosbie and Eames. I was quite struck by this term, as 'suitor' might have been more appropriate. Is it meant to be Lily's thought? or Trollope's early signal?"

This is also my first reading of LCB. I did notice the term lover in the same passage you did. I have seen it used by other authors of the period and it doesn't have the same connotation as it generally does today. And time and I again I read the phrase "making love" to . . . and it merely means verbal wooing.


Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 21:46:55 +0100
Subject: [trollope-l] The Last Chronicle

I have refrained previously from joining in the pro-Lily and anti-Lily camps, but I have always leaned towards the latter. While I can accept that she had a strong sexual attraction towards Crosbie, although I am sure that Victorian manners and Victorian dress made it very improbable that this attraction was physically consummated during their long walks through the fields, I cannot understand how she remained in love with him after his betrayal of her, and his marriage to Lady Alexandrina. Her behaviour on the day of his wedding seemed extraordinary, and her attitude towards Johnny Eames incomprehensible. Those who criticise Johnny for his dallying (I cannot call them affairs) with Amelia and Madalina don't seem to have considered the effect of Lily's constant repetition that she wanted to be his sister. We shall see later on in the book how Trollope develops this.

Incidentally, it is clear that what Cradell is suggesting at the beginning of Chapter XLVIII is that Johnny should take what our Australian list-members will instantly recognise as a "sickie". In both the UK and in Australia (and there may well be in the USA too) there is the assumption amongst some employees that the time allowed off by any good employer for sickness is a right, so that in the UK you will hear people say 'I still have some sick leave to come.' It takes the Australians to come up with the use of "sickie" as a pithy summary of this, saying 'I think that I shall take a sickie'. I would emphasise that this was simply a mode of expression. I never got the impression that any more time was lost in this way in Australia than in the UK.

Finally, Ellen talks about 'licit' and 'illicit' money. I am sure that a great deal of the advancing of credit to the Crawleys of this world should properly be regarded as illicit. It is, however, perfectly legal, and the Dobbs Broughtons and Musselboros of this world will continue to advance money to people who cannot afford it as long as the rate of interest that they charge shows them a handsome rate of profit after they have covered their inevitable losses. Mr Butterwell does not fall into this category. He is merely doing Crosbie a good turn, and proposes to charge a modest rate of interest.

Regards, Howard

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 10:15:58 +0200
Subject: [trollope-l] The Last Chronicle

I am glad that you have brought this up again Howard, I have been meaning to myself. We had a long discussion when reading SHA about "how far" Lily and Crosbie went, the general feeling being "all the way". It suddenly struck me a few weeks ago when I was looking at one of the illustrations that it would have been nearly impossible for them to get down to it because of all the clothes they were wearing. I couldn't imagine them either doing it with their clothes on or taking their clothes off and rolling about in the bushes - and then, critically, getting dressed again. Somehow the whole thing doesn't ring true.

Roger (from a very hot and sunny London!!!!)

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 15:29:41 -0400
Subject: [trollope-l] Pro-Lily

Like everyone else in the world, I'd be happier if Lily Dale would accept John Eames and give us a happy ending. But Trollope has taught me that Lily herself would not be happier.

Or should I say that my deepened respect for Trollope has encouraged me to pay closer attention. This isn't a matter of reading between the lines. Rather, it's the sympathetic business of trying to imagine the feelings ascribed to Lily on the page. It seems to me that the general impatience with her rejection of Eames' suit betrays a shallow understanding of love. Can anyone doubt that love persists, and even grows, where it's not wanted? Can anyone wonder that an abiding desire for one body might make contact with all others repulsive?

Perhaps Trollope himself, no less than the times, was unready to confront the issues raised by Lily's fidelity to Crosbie. As Ellen Moody has pointed out many times - a point that can't be made often enough, I fear - Lily's devotion to Crosbie is inextricably carnal. What kind of sexual contact she enjoyed with him is not the point, as the enjoyment of some sexual contact cannot be doubted. But Trollope can take us no further; he certainly could not have written an entire book about Lily's 'love addiction' - to borrow a phrase from Motown. Writing in a period of intense (and also intensely disappointed) idealism, Trollope could no more than suggest that a woman's love might be tragically earthy.

The fact that Lily and John have known each other since childhood ought not to be overlooked. Actually I think it might be more realistic for John to outgrow his crush on Lily than for Lily to invest the former hobbledehoy with sexual appeal.

RJ Keefe

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 12:39:13
Subject: [trollope-l] The Last Chronicle: Anti-Lily

I agree with the anti-Lily folk. I do feel she is portrayed by Trollope as being the typical lily, virginal. I feel that she has "fallen" with Crosbie and that she (AT) has decided to live the rest of her life as a martyr to her "love". I am reading "A Game of Hide and Seek" by Elizabeth Taylor at the present moment. The heroine in this book has a young love affair but marries the (older) man who loves her and has a seemingly happy life with him until the original lover comes back on the scene. A good friend talks to her when she sees the the heroine's marriage is beginning to disintegrate since the return of the young love and there is a wonderful scene in which the two women talk--and don't talk--about their feelings.

The heroine, just like Lily, won't give up her "idea" of love. Haven't finished this book as yet but its similarily to the Lily John love story really caught me after Howard's post.


Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 22:05:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [trollope-l] Pro-Lily

RJ wrote:

"The fact that Lily and John have known each other since childhood ought not to be overlooked. Actually I think it might be more realistic for John to outgrow his crush on Lily than for Lily to invest the former hobbledehoy with sexual appeal."

I am in agreement with this. Whether Lily ever gets over Crosbie or not does not necessarily affect the fact that she feels towards John as towards a friend or male relative.

When Lily expresses her admiration of the fact that John is going in search of the dean in order to aid the Crawleys does not mean that she suddenly sees him as HER knight-in-shining-armour. Brothers and cousins can be looked upon as heroes too.

Sex appeal is such an intangible, inexplicable abstract thing. People can grow to love others, but generally if sex appeal, or passion we might call it, is not there early it will never arrive.


Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 08:37:23 +0100
Subject: [trollope-l] Velvet Jackets

What puzzles me about the velvet jackets is that two Trollope characters have now been reported wearing them in public. And one at a party. One is an artist and one is arty. I think these are different to smoking jackets, which surely were for informal indoor wearing.

Makes me think I should see if Topsy Turvey is out on video as that film (about Gilbert and Sullivan) had a lot of smoking jackets in it, as I recall, not to mention matching hats.


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