Anthony Trollope's "Never, never, -- Never, never: A Condensed Novel in Three Parts, after the Manner of Bret Harte"

Written 1875 (October - November)
Serialized 1875 (6, 8, 10 December), Sheets for the Cradle
Published as a book 1971, privately printed, introd. Lance O. Tingay

Below is the complete text followed by commentary by members of Trollope-l and a couple of essays by Ellen Moody.

From Lance O. Tingay's introduction: Sheets for the Cradle was an ephemeral magazine produced for charitable purposes by Miss Susan Hale in Boston, Massachusetts, during December 1875. This little magazine appeared on six successive days, December 6 to 11 and "Never, Never--Never, Never" was printed in three parts in alternate issues, numbers 1, 3 and 5. The magazine records that in sending the manuscript Anthony Trollope wrote: "As Bret Harte says I have no sense of humour, and won't laugh at me, I must try to laugh at myself, and make fun of the heroine I have loved best." Sheets for the Cradle may be found in the Boston Public Library.

Susan Hale was the sister of Edward Everett Hale ( 1822- 1909), a Boston Unitarian minister and editor of the magazine Old and New. Anthony Trollope was in Boston in October 1875 on his way back to England after his second visit to Australia.

Never, never -- never, never


CHAPTER ONE: Mary Tomkins

JOHN THOMAS was a clerk in the post-office, beloved by all who knew him; but he never did any work, usually had a novel and a bottle of brandy in his desk, and broke the heart of the Junior Assistant Secretary in whose Department he had been placed. He lived at 1 Finsbury Square, where he paid thirty shillings a week for his board and lodging, washing included, and fell in love with Mary Tomkins, the niece of Mrs Johnson, the lodging-house keeper.

If ever there was an angel upon earth, it was Mary Tomkins. She had long eyes and a short nose, a little mouth and a big chin, silken hair and a satin complexion, a high forehead and a small waist; but her manner was more than her appearance, and she was everything her aunt could wish her.

'Never, Johnny,' she said to her love, as he sat with his arm round her waist, 'never, never, never, never.'

'Why the deuce won't you, then?' said John Thomas.

CHAPTER TWO: The First Kiss

WHY wouldn't she? It was now two years since she had consented to be kissed, or, as may perhaps have been the case, had been kissed without her consent by the Rev. Abraham Dribble. Mr Dribble had been a Low-Church scoundrel. He had kissed and had left the parish, having sneaked himself into the good graces of a bishop. Mary soon knew the nature of the man, but the kiss was still there and hallowed. 'Never, never, never, never!' It was her daily language as Johnny Thomas sat with his arm around her waist when his office hours were over.

'Surely you love him,' said her aunt, in confidence, while they were preparing together a Saturday pie for the lodgers. 'Shall there be two loves?' asked Mary. 'Certainly,' said Mrs Johnson, practically, 'if the first fails, or maybe three--as circumstances may require.' 'Never, never, never, never!' said Mary Tomkins.

CHAPTER THREE: Anastasia Fitzapplejohn

ON Monday, April 1, Mary Tomkins received the following letter:

'Only that he pleads a previous promise to you, John Thomas would be my bridegroom. I have his heart, I know. And, oh! and oh! and oh! it is too true that he has mine. Be noble and make him free, and enjoy the undying friendship of Anastasia Fitzapplejohn.

P.S. Or keep him in your mercenary bonds, and then you shall know what a raging woman can do.'

Mary sat as usual with her waist encircle. by his arm, while with her left hand she held the crumpled letter.

'John,' she said,'who has your heart?'

"Who but you, my poppet?'

"Anastasia Fitzapplejohn has your heart.'

'She be--oh! anything you please except married to me.'

'Where were you last night, John? Did you pass the hours you were away from here with that female?'

'But listen to me, Mary.'

'I demand to know whether you were there!'

'Wait till I tell you all about it.'

'I will hear nothing of such a one as Miss Fitzapplejohn.'

'For my sake, Mary.'

'Never, never, never, never!' she said, as her head dropped on his shoulder.


CHAPTER ONE: That Sobered Him

WHEN MR DRIBBLE married the Right Honorable Catharine Mount Energy, the widow of the Earl of Pieponder, Mary Tomkins shut herself up for three weeks in her aunt's store-closet. She was visited of course, from time to time, by different members of the establishment, and would declare that she was perfectly happy; but on such occasions her last words always bore the same burden, 'Never, never, never, never!' One day while she was there, John Thomas came home, a little, perhaps, the worse for what he had taken, and made his way in among the pickle jars and jam-pots. 'Mary,' he said, 'the parshon's married--might ashwell come round, old girl, ansh marry me.'

'John,' she said, very gravely, 'Anastasia Fitzapplejohn, no doubt, is fond of these jovial humors. Had you not better seek her society?' He answered with an oath, and expressed the wish that Miss Fitzapplejohn might be taken at once to a place he should not have named. 'Tomorrow you will wish the same for me,' she said. That sobered him. He fell prostrate at her feet, arid, grovelling in the dust, swore with many oaths that if she would only consent to be Mrs Thomas, he would take the pledge on the next morning. She bent down over him and gave him her cool, soft hand to raise him, and with her taper fingers pushed the dishevilled hair from off his forehead, and then she brushed his clothes. But as she did so she said continually, 'Never, never, never, never!'

CHAPTER TWO: Love Forgives

WHEN the Right Honorable Catharine Mount Energy, Countess of Pieponder,died, which she did the week after she had married Mr Dribble, it was discovered that her affairs were very much out of order. By the singular but well-known laws of Kent, in which county the marriage had been celebrated, Mr Dribble became responsible for the debts of his widow and all her relations. This was a crushing blow, and just at this time the bishop dismissed him as being lacking in spiritual grace. Mr Dribble then bethought himself of the sweet passages of his earlier years, and, remembering that Mrs Johnson had saved a little money, saw at once where lay his only chance of salvation here on earth. So he went to Finsbury Square, nothing abashed.

"Do you love me, Mary?' he said.

'The tell-tale blood rushed to her face, as she stood for half an hour gently shaking her head and gazing into his eyes. Then she said, with that sweet voice of hers, which was the life of all her lovers, 'Love you, Mr Dribble? Ay, that I do.'

'And love forgives, ' he said, taking her sweet hand within his clammy grasp.

'Yes, love forgives.'

'And you forgive.'

''I have forgiven.'

''Then you will consent to become Mrs Dribble?'

'Again she stood gazing into his eyes for half an hour; but when she made her answer, it was still the same, 'Never, never, never, never!'

'CHAPTER THREE: Squire Robinson

'ABOUT THIS TIME there came to town an old gentleman from the country, who had known Mary's father, and he brought with him his daughter Jemima. Jemima Robinson and Mary Tomkins were fast friends, though narrow circumstances compelled the latter to administer to the wants of her aunt's inmates. Now, it was thought that the presence of the old squire and his daughter might induce the heart-laden girl to take counsel with prudence, and to give herself either to the one suitor or to the other.

''Mary dear,' said the squire, 'you must think of the future.'

''And of the past,' said Mary.

'Let the past take care of itself, my dear. A house over your head and half a dozen children are great blessings. Johnny Thomas is a sprightly fellow. Thou hast half a mind to take him, I know, Mary.'

''But not more than half, Mr Robinson.'

''Dang it, girl! Then have the parson. He had ever a sheep's eye for thee, and, if I remember rightly, thou wast sweet upon him once.'

'''Twas but half sweet,' she whispered, with her eyes turned to the ground.

''But thou knowest how the donkey fared who was starved to death between two bundles of hay. Thou wouldst not imitate the ass!'

'The poor brute at any rate was honest,' said Mary.

''Thou robbest me almost of my patience,' said the squire, angrily. 'Thou canst not have both. Take one and leave the other.'

'But she answered him only as she had ever answered, 'Never, never, never, never!'


CHAPTER ONE: The New Bishop

'JEMIMA ROBINSON was a sprightly girl, and if any one had dominion over Mary Tomkins it was she. 'Marry come up, Molly!' she said, 'how many men do you think are going to die for you? If I were Johnny Thomas I would take you by the neck and lug you into church!'

''It would avail nothing, Jemima,' said Mary Tomkins.

' I'd stop that "Never, never," with a mouthful of kisses.'

'That has vailed nothing, Jemima,' she said.

'What ar't feared on, girl?' she said. 'Is not marriage honorable ?'

'And so is single-blessedness.'

'Single fiddlestick! I would it were my chance.'

'And have you no lovers, Jemima ?' 'Not a ghost of a swain! not a thread-paper of a man. Would that I had! Thank God, I could love any man that would ask me. But to lead apes in hell with two such strings to your bow! 'Tis a sheer wasting of the gifts of Providence.'

'I do love to lead apes,' said Mary.

'Then lead one here and take the parson. You have not heard it, perhaps, but I know. The Queen will make him Bishop of Rochester next week. She saw his profile the other day in a shop-window, and swore that he was a sweet divine.'

'And will Abraham really be a bishop?'

"Tis true.'

'Cherubic with lawn sleeves, and seraphic with an apron!' Mary turned her eyes up to heaven as she spoke.

'Indeed he will. And you,--you would look the bishop's wife to a T.'

Mary paused that day; she paused all that night; she paused the next morning, and then she made her reply, 'Never, never, never, never!'

CHAPTER TWO: The New Postmaster-General

ON THE NEXT morning, John Thomas was gazetted postmaster-general. He had invented a new farthing postage-stamp, and it was felt that his claims could not be passed over. He expelled the novel and the bottle of brandy from his desk, and found that the exigencies of his new position required him to leave Finsbury Square. But though he was now Lord Thomas, he did not forget Mary Tomkins; for whether he were 'my lord' or simply 'Johnny Thomas', he carried a loyal heart in his bosom; and though he may have dallied with Anastasia Fitzapplejohn, such dallying had been but the efflorescence of his youth. So now he spoke out to the lady of his heart with a gravity becoming his lofty rank.

'Miss Tomkins,'he said.

'My lord,'she replied, standing before him with downcast eyes.

'MissTomkins,there have been some sweet words between you and me.'

'Aye, my lord; and more than words.'

'Some passages of what the world calls love.'

'Trifles, my lord; meaning nothing to one so high in the world's esteem as your lordship.' Then were her eyes more downcast than ever, and her little fingers moved tremulously one over another.

'Miss Tomkins,' he said,' lend me that hand.' And she lent him her little hand. He, too, stood awhile, gazing, and then he spoke again. 'Miss Tomkins,' he said, 'shall it be mine forever?'

But she answered him straightway, with more then her usual eagerness, 'Never,never, never, never!'

CHAPTER THREE: 'Till Another young Man Came'

THE BISHOP of Rochester sat in his palace, and over against him sat Mrs Dribble, his second wife. No more powerful lady ever assisted to carry a crozier.

Lord Thomas quaffed his ruby wines in a West-End mansion, and Lady Thomas, the daughter of a marquis, counted the corks.

But Mary Tomkins still made the gravies and eked out the butter in Finsbury Square. Did no soft regrets mar the quiescence of her life? Perhaps a few soft regrets did mar the quiecence of her life.

But her aunt observed that, during all her leisure hours, she applied herself with unaccustomed diligence to her needle. At last she brought forth from her closet a coarse and somewhat thick chamber-gown or morning wrapper. Its color was gray, and 'twas made of serge; but up and down the collar and round the waist,and in and out of the plaits a curious device had been worked.The letters were not easy to decipher, but when they were read they ran as follows: - 'OLD MAID'

'And will you wear it?' asked her astonished aunt.

'Indeed I will,' said Mary. 'Forever and ever, for ever and ever.'

And she wore it -- till another young man came that way.


It was Catherine Crean who first brought the existence of this burlesque to the attention of the members of Trollope-l:

From: "Catherine Crean"
Subject: [trollope-l] "Never! Never!" A prelude to The Small House

I can't wait to begin the discussion of A Small House at Allington! I know this is cheating but my curiosity has gotten the better of me. I read somewhere that Trollope (who could not understand why Lily Dale was so popular) wrote a satire of a Lily-like character. The satire was written (can it be possible?) to help raise money for a cause. I suppose the satire was a short article or story that was sold by subscription. The title of the piece was "Never! Never!". Dear list members, is this story true? Has anyone read "Never! Never!" Am I hallucinating that I read about this? I would love to read "NN," if it does in fact exist.

Catherine Crean

I answerd as follows:

To Catherine,

Trollope did indeed write a burlesque of The Small House, "Never, never, -- never, never: A Condensed Novel in Three Parts, after the Manner of Bret Harte."

It was written between October and November of 1875 (just after The American Senator), and serialised in an American periodical, Sheets for the Cradle, on 6 ,8, and 10 December 1875. It was never printed separately until 1971 when it was privately published by Lance O. Tingay (who produced The Collector's Catalogue sold by the Trollope Society).

Since it does not appear in the huge one volume omnibus volume of short stories edited by Julien Thompson, nor the two volume edition of short stories edited by John Sutherland nor the five volumes of short stories collected by Betty Jane Slemp Breyer for Texas Christian University Press, it is hardly known at all today.

Ellen Moody

Rory quoted from the The Oxford Companion and Victoria Glendinning:

"A condensed novel, in three volumes, after the manner of Bret Harte", which parodies Lily Dale's Constancy in The Small House. It appeared in Susan Hale's Sheets for the Cradle (Boston 6, 8, 10 December 1875).

Victoria Glendinning says "he had even parodied himself, in a little book published for charity in New York in 1875..." etc.

Rory O'Farrell

Art Middleton then put onto the Net the above text. After reading it and reading about Trollope's meeting with Bret Harte, I wrote as follows:

To Trollope-l

March 11, 2000

Re: "Never, never ... In the Manner of Bret Harte"

Having just read the text of "Never, never: A Condensed Novel in Three Parts, after the Manner of Bret Harte", I am not surprised Trollope never never reprinted it.

I wish I could remember where I read that Trollope meant to parody Harte himself; perhaps the story of Harte accusing Trollope of not having a sense of humor would be further elucidated there. I'd like to know what was the joke Harte made that Trollope didn't get? Was it some mockery of one of his stories, which mockery provoked sensitivity in Trollope? Bret Harte was a subTwain humorist, and is often treated in books on regional nineteenth-century American writers. Some of these are very good: Hamlin Garland is superb; Sarah Orne Jewett and Mary Wilkins Freeman. What is especially Harte's forte though is a kind of coarse humor. Ambrose Bierce also mocked Hart in stories that suggest that Harte himself wrote silly sentimental stories because he knew they would sell. The object of Bierce's parody is to treat with bitter contempt Harte's work and love stories.

Now Lily Dale's story is a love story with much deep feeling and high-toned idealistic values in it. My guess is Trollope was hurt and wanted to show he could take this coarse joke and do it one better, laugh at his own heroine.

Parodies tell us a lot, especially when they are written by the author himself of his own text. I agree with those who say of Trollope's disgust for the idealisation of Lily as it appears in his An Autobiography where he calls her a prig that the context and sense of the word refers to her refusal to engage in antoher sexual relationship with a man because forsooth she has already had one. Joanna Trollope goes further and suggests Lily lost her virginity or nearly so; Margaret Markwick has a question mark in her discussion. Laurence Stone and other works have shown that when Victorian couples got engaged, a certain level of real sexual intimacy was allowed and space and time were given to the young couple to be alone. Lily and Adolphus love to go walking deep into the night; Adolphus remembers Lily's intense passion sitting next to the apparently frigid Alexandria de Courcy.

So in this broad parody we have 'kiss' stand for the equivalent of 'sexual congress' (a flexible term which some people may like to fill in with words ranging from hugging and embracing to petting and perhaps yet further acts which today hide realities under Latin names). Lily has done it once, and will not again. No, no, no, no. She is presented as anti-sex. Kiss once never never again. Fuck once (with Crosbie), so never never again with Johnny.

Trollope also mocks his Johnny as lazy and doing nothing. Johnny is mocked as a heavy-drinker. De Guest turns up as a coarse country bumpkin. Trollope sums up the Adolphus plot in a jeering way. The man punished by his own ambition to live an empty hollow life becomes absurd. Trollope sure showed Harte he could laugh at himself; I hope he mocked Harte too because this piece makes painful reading to anyone with any sympathy for Trollope or his characters.

Catherine's original comment was something that Trollope punished his heroines by making them masochists. I brought in Kincaid's and Skilton's views that there is much masochism in many of Trollope's central heroes and heroines, but that Trollope was not punishing these characters rather pouring aspects of his own experience and nightmare memories into them.

Across Trollope's fiction there are many stories where we find Trollope retelling aspects of his own life in the form of lessons in which he punishes a character for doing what he did. Remember "The Adventures of Fred Pickering? Fred wants to be a great writer; he gives up a position in an office which would swallow up much of his time to go to London and try to write Great Works. He finds a commercial world where men only want second and third-rate work or journeymen writing because that's what the general audience prefers or individual rich men are willing to pay for. Fred learns a hard lesson because he takes with him a wife whom he has impregnated, and finds if he does not conform to the world's ways and sell himself (first to his father in the office) she and his baby will to the workhouse. Remember Julius MacKenzie: Trollope has left us an enormous plan for a history of literature he was going to write.

This burlesque is characteristic of Trollope: he repeatedly dramatizes himself by returning to painful material. He gets a kick out of punishing aspects of himself; he spites himself -- almost to teach himself a lesson he can't quite accept. I don't find stories like "Fred Pickering" or "The Spotted Dog" masochistic so much as spiteful. Trollope aims spite aims at himself instead of anger at the world: this is typical of people subject to depression which is anger turned inward.

People should read Trollope's short stories and essays far more often than they do.

These issues are complicated. I will this morning put another posting onto our list, one which summarises a remarkable article by Sarah Gilead in which she brings together with Lily Trollope's presentation of Mr Harding and Lily Dale to outline a type of character who Trollope again and again makes his hero or heroine.

I am grateful to Arthur for putting this story on our list.

Ellen Moody

Re: Characters in Trollope's Novels who say "Never, never ... "

I have called this posting characters because not only do Lily Dale, Mr Harding and Lady Mason all retreat from the world, refuse to be coopted, turn away and say they will live on and within themselves in their own terms, but also Mr Whittlestaff (of An Old Man's Lov), and eventually and in different ways, only compromising a very little because they have the money not to, Plantagenet Palliser, Phineas Finn, Josiah Crawley (at the close of The Last Chronicle), George Bertram, so many I can't remember them all. And they all carry intense weight and are analysed fascinatingly.

While we were on this list reading and debating over the character of Lady Mason (who made Victorian readers very uncomfortable as a heroine), I came across a superb essay bringing three of these types of sensitive renouncers together and making sense of them in terms of a critique of Victorian society at the time and of Trollope's own life. It is by Sarah Gilead, called 'Trollope's Orphans and the "Power of Adequate Performance" [this is quotation from one of Trollope's novels]; it appeared in Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 27 (1985), 86-105.

Ms Gilead argues that in many of Trollope's novels he has as his hero or heroine a character who

"survives a disorienting, identity-threatening experience or series of experiences which they interpret as cultural rejection...

What such characters do is create for

"themselves highly specialised, morally ambiguous roles [which] dramatise feelings of guilt and aggression [and] effect a limited form of self-punishment[. By so doing, they] avoid the extreme of self-destructiveness of suicide or madness ...

The roles chosen exist outside the contemporary Victorian behavioral code. Mr Harding gives up a high income and prestigious place; Lady Mason retires into twenty years of stillness, repression, and acts out through assuming the appropriate facial expression, costume, and social habits, the selfless mother and lady; Lily refuses to marry. What each character does is retreat to a "prevailing moral stance of the not-too-distant past.' Lily and Mr Harding become figures of total renunciation, he shows self-abnegation; she is a kind of nun; Lady Mason renounces marriage and self- aggrandizement of every kind except through her son who in the end controls her. All renounce what their society says is personal fulfillment too, but they do so on their own terms and in an effort to survive psychologically. Victorian society was one of constant change, unsafe, and aggressive, mercenary, and in each novel the central figure moves sharply away from such things. This is brief synopsis of Gilead's view.

Gilead argues further that what Trollope shows us is the strength of weakness:

"Like Harding, Lady Mason is a victim of a hard new world dominated by power-hungry 'fathers' against whom only covert, indirect resistance can be made. New commercial men have created a dehumanizing world in which the individual's emotional life, self-image, and inner security are in a constant state of seige by the forces of voracity (Moulder), vengefulness and ruthless ambition (Kantwise, Dockwrath, Moulder, and Joseph Mason), and egotism (Lucius). Unlike Harding, Lady Mason's exposure ot the hard realities of the commercial age came early in life, when, as a very young woman, she had been sold on the marriage market to wealthy Sir Joseph Mason, forty-five years her senior. Twice victimized -- by the marriage itself and again by her husband's refusal to leave Orley Farm to their infant son, Lucius -- Lady Mason took stpes to protect herself and her son from their dangerous times. In forging Sir Joseph's codicil, she forged a safe public identity through that instrurtment". Her place could be one which was "quiet, dignified, prosperous. Then after twenty-four years of changeless clam, time both personal and historical" closes in the realities of her son's arrogance and Dockwrath's ambition."

I like this strength of weakness paradigm. Again and again in Trollope's fiction we find a character who is supposedly weak and through everyone else's submission to that weakness, she controls and preys on them (here I am thinking of the pair of women in the short story, 'The Telegraph Girl'). Some people (Archdeacon Grantly) say Mr Harding is weak; rather he has the unusual strength to walk away from choices that he abhors but the world respects.

Gilead argues that by the end of the Orley Far Lady Mason has achieved a new "safe psychosocial space". She thinks this new space gives Lady Mason power over her son. This carving out of psychsocial space is the intent of Mr Harding and Lily Dale too. And Mr Whittlestaff. In Lily's case, who after all would want to spend their lives with an Adolphus Crosbie? Trollope's clever 'Never, never ...,' asks us who would want ten children? What masochist?

Gilead then take this kind of adult character who appears again and again in Trollope and compares him or her to the orphans in other Victorian novelist's stories. It has been noticed that Trollope rarely has children in his novels, and most of the time they are not outcast and abused. In the novels of Dickens and others through children a criticism of the savagery of people and Victorian society is writ large, but often in these novels at the end of the book the child is reintegrated into society. Think of Jane Eyre. Oliver Twist. All coopted. So happy too. Gilead's essay thus leads us to see that if we read Trollope's books from the point of view of the figures he invests intense emotion in, we find an adult sophisticated and highly ethical criticism of the way Victorians lived then and the way we live now.

It's no wonder Mr Trollope wasn't amused by Mr Harte's joke. His parody, like Bierce's, mocks Harte's manner as coarse, shallow and phony.

Ellen Moody

Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000
From: Ellen Moody
Subject: [trollope-l] "Never, never ... In the Manner of Bret Harte"

I remember reading that either late in Trollope's career or after his death other people attempted to parody his style or type of novel. Perhaps Glendinning wrote about it? Or Mullen. As they are the biographies I read most recently, it might have been in one of them. Such parodies are a tribute to the author's popularity as well as irritation with him. Trollope had become a has bee, something outmoded, the sort of thing people weren't writing any more by the 1880s. I believe the title of one of these parodies closely mocks a Barsetshire title.

They have fallen out of print too. The parodies of Henry James are in print and are hilarious. I suspect Trollope doesn't lend himself to easy parody because his style has no peculiar mannerisms. He certainly has a voice and a persona, but unlike Whitman or Poe or Hawthorne or Tennyson and Browning, there is nothing in the style that is marked and repeated over and over again. This "Never, never ..." is a poor parody of The Small House, because it is like it at all in style or quality. The trick of a good parody is really to imitate the original closely and yet satirise its fundamental outlook. Trollope has not imitated the fundamental outlook of The Small House. A parody should be a good critique of the author -- as Max Beerbohm's of Henry James's novels are.

Like "The Gentle Euphemia" I'd call it a burlesque. Imagine Austen burlesquing Persuasion. On second thought, don't.

The fan's identification of Trollope as the man who wrote the Barsetshire novels is relevant here. The novels parodied are the Trollope of the Barsetshire & Palliser series. Trollope said his Nina Balatka was a better book than The Eustace Diamonds. I tend to agree. I mention Nina because I wanted to assign it to my students last fall and again this summer, and each time I get ready, it falls out of print or out of stock (which amounts to the same thing). I have been thinking about the Trollope Prize and last year's essay on anti-semitism in Trollope. Stephen Boatright had clearly not read Nina. Margaret Drabble was surprised I spent so much time or space on it in my book. I love it. My course is called 'Gothics and Ghosts, Realism and Romance' (it's dull subtitle is 'The Emergence of the Gothic from the Realistic and Romantic in Different Contexts). _Nina_ with its strongly romantic picturesque scenes set in Prague, the intensity and harrowing of the Christian heroine and Jewish hero as they attempt to marry, the poverty and half-crazed scenes about debt and self-scorn and anger, the near suicide on a bridge -- all perfect for me. Alas, the bookstore couldn't get it. Were I to have wanted The Small House there would have been no problem at all.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

Subject: [trollope-l] Ellen's posts on "Never, never"

Upon further study of "Never, Never" I see that while Trollope may, at first, be seen as being "a good sport" and making fun of himself, a second glance reveals a touch of masochism, and perhaps feelings that the author thinks himself no quite as good as others do. We know what self-doubt Trollope suffered all his life. Even becoming a published author did not reassure him. What about his rivalry with Dickens?

It is a common defense to make fun of oneself before someone else can do it - a preemptive strike, as it were. There is much to discuss about "NN" because Trollope tells us a lot about himself in the very process of covering up. We see this sort of thing in Trollope's Autobiography as well.

Catherine Crean

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