Exquisitely love depiction of two elegantly-dressed ladies, with long capes, holding parasols over their heads, fashionable hats, bell shaped skirts. They look over a fence into a field, itself an instance of the psychological picturesque as described by Wylie Sypher (see my bibliography of art books)
Millais depicts the men just before they go off to shoot; the animals are blamed for the uncomfortable state of mind produced by Crosbie's disappointment that Lily will not be inheriting a substantial sum of money from the Squire.
Millais spends time depicting the down-and-out quality of Mr. and Mrs. Lupex's clothing. Her clothes are once elegant, now shabby; his hair is awry. Cradell is given a far too sweet expression on a plump face.
This ought to be better known because it centers the reader's attention on John Eames in a reverie. Lord, thinking out the letter he must write to Amelia, and putting out of his mind Lily Dale. The Earl is made too much of a buffoon. Effective 1860s golden style background landscape.
Hall praises the drawing of Mr. Harding, but I think it is somewhat absurd. Millais has tried to convey Mr. Harding's humility as if it were a physical posture he presents to the world; the result is a simpering ludicrously small and thin old man who seems to be sneaking by those who stand firmly in front of the church porch.
This is a superb depiction of inside of a cathedral built in gothic style; two tiny figures seen talking, drawn with shadowy strokes. Suggests a moment of peace, of retreat in which Crosbie could have changed his mind and not gone to the castle where he would betray his better self as well as Lily.
The original pencil drawing shows Millais deeply engrossed in the hesitant yet intense emotion of the scene. It is of John Eames and Lily just at the moment he has learnt of Lily's engagement and cannot resist coming to tell her he loves her nonetheless. The depiction of Johnny just at this juncture (between Crosbie's adventures) brings home to the reader his centrality in the novel. Effective choice and depiction.
Perhaps it interests people as the first depiction of Plantagenet Palliser; he is a shy tall blond man; Lady Dumbello sits regally in a ostentatiously luxuriously sewn skirt; she has a big bosom, and it's lightly suggested her gown is low-cut. She looks out at the world with cold disdain.
While grim, hugely over-grown older women who looks as if she has just swallowed a lemon may seem absurd to modern viewer, women of Lady de Courcy's class prided themselves on their size; the small emasculated male is also not exactly a frightening bully of a male figure; however, the discontented realities of families invented to aggrandise the network are made clear.
An excellent one which really could be Johnny Eames or Adolphus Crosbie, but is probably Adolphus. Able drawing of young man in mid-twenties.
A remarkably good depiction of a group of men, one leaning on a mantelpiece, another sitting in a chair, a third standing with his hands slightly upraised, all elegantly dressed. Their expressions are banal, unexpressive in just the way life is, even when the most ultimately shattering experiences happen. The male figure by the mantelpiece is one of the truest figures in all Millais; it's not overdone. For once not theatrical. The somewhat debauched silent inured man.
This is a scene which recurs among the many illustrations to Trollope's novels (see above Orley Farm; in my judgement this is good: again the faces have vivid expressions without any exaggeration or theatricality. They are in a state of enduring life as it passes with some glasses of wine and a pretense of companionship to help them on. This depiction also helps to remove the novel from the sphere of sheer feminine romance (the chapter title is 'The wounded Fawn').
The depiction refers us back to Crosbie's distaste for his new life among the Gazebees, his shame both at his choice and (in a few minutes of text) at the beating he takes, partly because he was unprepared. A good drawing, mood right; it ought to be better known and placed where it belongs.
Cradell admiring Johnny after he has beaten Crosbie up at the station. The problem here the situation of the pair (outside), their clothes (super-elegant gentlemen), and the surrounding passersby have nothing to do with the conversation between the two clerks in the office.
An effective depiction of Squire Dale, small, his hands in his pockets, his face turned towards Mrs Dale whose face is bowed, troubled. This and the next picture turn the reader's pictorial attention towards the old man and older woman in the novel who are also important presences and have stories of their own too.
While again Mrs Dale seems too young and pretty, and her gesture and facial expression too theatrical, and Squire Dale more the elegant gentleman than Trollope's text warrants, the mood of the scene, the effective alive trouble on the detailed face of the man brings home to us the struggle in this novel has also been between these two people.
This one has been reprinted many times: it depicts the two de Courcy women giving the proprietor of a carpet stor a hard time; behind them Adolphus Crosbie looks at his watch. The irony is the two women haven't the money for this, yet the very purpose of their existences seems to be at the center of such scenes. The proprietor stands by, used to it. Millais has lavished detail on the shelves of merchandise, the clothing, the absorbed state of mind on the faces of the two women, one leaning down and the other drawing back in their states of (self-)worship.
The scene does not come off. The details of the room are well done; but Lily's face seems detached from her body (at an odd angle). Only the mother is seen vividly, from the back.
The irony of the Saint's Day being the focus of this chapter (and the one at Allington) is made clear in the full-page illustration to this number.
This one is often reprinted and discussed because it dramatises an important moment between Crosbie and Alexandria, that in which he cannot prevent himself from protesting how they are going to spend their Sunday -- visiting people he can't bear and she gets no visible enjoyment out of. Her face is overdone; she looks like she has a toothache on the side of her face. This is the life people live within the elegant buildings depicted at the opening of the chapter -- the true price for the place.
The point is to show us Lily making do, getting used to it. The chapter heading is 'Preparations for Going'. Far from taking satisfaction in Lily's tasks, we are to see the realities of the hard life she could have lived had her mother not given up what she has to live on Squire Dale's property; they are moving to a smaller place and lower position in society. The picture is a good one, well drawn, not overdone.
This scene between Lady Julia and Johnny Eames ends the book. Millais has done justice to the old woman's face: she is old, stiff, but beautifully concerned for the young man who looks down at the water. The piece is tastefully done, from the realistic everyday clothes to the bare spring landscape to the understated emotions of the figures.
Millais has chosen a pivotal moment in the book, midway, Rachel as she sits meditating in long absorption in Chapter 20 ('Showing what Rchel Ray thought when she sat on the stile, and how she wrote her letter afterwards). She has received one letter from Luke to whom she has become engaged. She is now forbidden to write more than one letter in response, and required to break the engagement. The intent serious and gravity of the pose belies the twisting of spirit she is undergoing. It is interesting that this is perhaps the first picture Millais chose before going onto the whole series. It shows what is considered the important moment in the book.
Volume I (all by Phiz)
This external scene, with its vivacity, comic gestures, and sense of energy
which can be caught through lines adds life to Trollope's own scene.
Another one within Phiz's range as the outward gesture does reflect the inward reality of the scene. There is a nobility in John Grey as he speaks (though the male figure's face is made too old, too many lines given)l there is an appropriate dullness in Alice's face.
Phiz's art cannot accommodate the seriousness of Trollope's depiction of Grimes with its sardonic yet realistic humour; Grimes becomes a kind of mild silly-smiling caricature of a round man. This does for Cheesacre, not for grasping practical and ruthless nature of Trollope's slightly cringing campaign manager as he explains himself to George Vavasour. Scruby too much the gentleman and too old. George maintains the beard from the frontispiece.
This is the second hunting scene (of four in all Trollope's novels); it constitutes one of the two most frequently-reprinted of the original illustrations to Trollope's novels (for the other, see Annotated Commentary I, 'Monkton Grange' by Millais for Orley Farm). As with Millais', it is attractive, filled with energy, verve. It is more successful than Millais', if a sense of movement is what's wanted. As said above, the attention paid to such a piece belies the reality and nature of Trollope's novels centrally, of the gist of their stories and characters.
This depiction of Mr Cheesacre asking Mrs Greenow to marry him has a delicacy of approach in the lines given Mr Cheesacre's face. The widow sits on a couch and appears to be barely paying any attention to him at all. Again it's not bad because the outward gesture can stand for the inward reality.
This elegant depiction of Lady Glencora's carriage and beautiful horses strikes the note of luxury and animal life wanted. The problem is Lady Glen's face is without life.
Again Phiz seeks the note of luxury, of elegance, of wealth in the clothes, the depiction of the billard table. We have a crowd; a man stands on the side in earnest talk with a female who seems to be coyly looking within herself.
This has the same problem the earlier depiction of Alice versus an older woman has: the older woman becomes a comic caricature who looks sad and bewildered, not at all an oppresive figure. Alice appears to be quietly thinking to herself. Phiz's art cannot accommodate complex psychology of resentment, domineering, without exaggeration, and exaggeration is what Trollope didn't want.
Once again the outward gestures really mirror the inward realities of the scene -- as do the costumes. However, this does not account for the reality that this is arguably one of the best of the original illustrations of Trollope's novels. As with Millais's 'Lady Mason after her Confession' for Orley Farm and Stone's 'Trevelyan at Casalunga' for He Knew He Was Right (see Annotated Commentaries 1 and 3), the artist has himself entered the inner reality of the participants in ways that are closely analogous to Trollope's own in his novels. See Trollope on the Net, Chapter 6.
This has all the graces and attempt at inward interest of 'Priory Ruins', but the deep-musing nature of Trollope's use of inner light and the two women intent upon letters and memory cannot be accommodated in the distanced line flat line drawing with small figures. See my discussion in Trollope on the Net, Chapter 6.
This scene of a group of men around the table is awkward and has no central mood. The Burgo figure looks pettily annoyed; Cosimo Monk looks startled in a comic way; one male with long moustaches has a pained expression on his face. Phiz does not know what to do with such a complicated depiction of psychologies interacting through social gestures.
John Grey now too young and too theatrically melancholy; Mr Vavasour too graceful and conventional a figure. Phiz is trying for the gesture of loyalty amid companionship between two men.
It is effective. Phiz has a feel for Captain Bellfield as a devil- may-care scamp; he is depcited a man in his thirties, a bit tired, but looking at Mrs Greenow with a kind of gallant fondness and animation. Behind the couch on which Mrs Greenow and the Captain sit, we see Kate conversing (from the side) with a slightly dismayed Cheesacre. The comic expression seems right. The irony is Mrs Greenow is lamenting over her husband's picture. But for his money none of this would take place. She's enjoying it.
Volume II (all by Miss E. Taylor)
It's a match in mood and significance for Millais's 'The Board' (see above, The Small House at Allington). It is good because it too captures the banality and indifference of everyday life in Parliament. The man who holds the position and wears the clothes others so want sits and sleeps; others talk and argue and kill time as they can. There is reality in the psychology of the faces.
This, 'Lady Glencora' and 'Ailce' are discussed in my Trollope on the Net, Chapter 6, as effective deeply-felt visualisations of women who are being deprived of something deeply, privately-meaningful to themselves, women in reverie. Each is detailed appropriately and the poses are set up in parallel analogies. The one of Kate is unusual for showing a woman just after brutal violence, calming down.
On this: Miss Taylor has been careful to follow Trollope's detailed visualisation of Lady Glen at the moment she has to face her half-spontaneous decision, which was to stay with Plantagenet and safety. It may be compared with Millais's depiction of Laura Kennedy in Phineas Finn, '"So she burned the morsel of paper"' (see Annotated Commentary 3). Bachelard's commentary on reveries in front of fireplaces is also appropriate for understanding why these visualisations take the kind of mood and show the kind of details we see here.
Miss Taylor can capture Captain Bellfield's nervousness, but not his rakish quality. There is something emasculated about the depiction of his body; it is enfeebled. (The Trollope Society edition has misplaced this in a chapter on Grey and Alice.)
This one should be better known; it is a superb depiction of an important moment in Lady Glen's experience. It is alive with tension, well drawn. There's a grim shadow around Lady Glen's face at the table which suggests the consequences of the adventures she seeks. It is really a piece of unfair prejudice which dismisses Miss Taylor as inadequate; it is not even anti-feminism. She is dismissed because she is unknown, has no name, is nobody.
I discuss this one at length in Trollope on the Net, Chapter 6; I think interesting. Its in-depth psychological musing, the effective, beauty, and suggestiveness of the clothing, the repressed sexuality, the longing, the loss are all superb. It is a third with 'Kate' and 'Lady Glencora' above: the ladies all in parallel positions. No one but a woman could understand what was in the woman's mind; Millais doesn't come near it nor Francis Montague Holl in their depictions of Lucy Robarts and Madame Marie Goesler.
On the other hand, this hopelessly sentimentalised depiction of a fallen women is hilarious. 'Jane' piously holds her hands together as if in prayer; she is all primness. He points sternly to the money on the table. The lesson against sex is made clear. George is well-drawn, and the disposition of the figures projects the nadir mood of the scene.
We return to the balcony scene of the frontispiece; Alice is now with Grey instead of George. I find the mood and depiction of this equally successful: we have exchanged languor for earnestness. The two people are now in communication, not dreaming apart.
Our last glimpse of Burgo from the back; we see Plantagenet extend his hand in fellowship. The spirit of the scene is right if Plantagenet is suddenly much older, and Burgo much smaller than in the previous pictures. The dark wood is appropriate; this is not a comic book at its core.
I find these kinds of scenes as depicted in the novels of the period hopelessly false; the turn away from reality to flowerbuds and demur expressions on flat figures all perched along an elegant stairway is striking.
|The Three Clerks, Miss Mackenzie and The Claverings|
|The Last Chronicle of Barsetshire|
|The Warden, Dr. Thorne, Framley Parsonage and Orley Farm.|