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Framley Parsonage Paperback – June 24, 2007
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Why read something that was written a century and a half ago? Because Trollope knew more about the human psyche than Freud and Jung put together, and wrote about it not with a clinician's jaundiced eye, but with incredible tenderness and love. And entertainingly, to boot!
If you have been reading the Jan Karon novels about life in a small North Carolina highlands town, as it revolves around an Episcopal priest named Father Tim and his colorful parishioners, well!--this is where it all began. A book version of finding the source of the Nile.
Trollope began what Karon has revised and restyled so engagingly. Trollope invented the "church and town" novel, with what have become known as his Bartchester Series of novels, all centering around the doings of a fictitious cathedral town and its outlying countryside.
Not the first in the series, (it is the fourth but perhaps the best), FRAMLEY PARSONAGE traces the faith, home and political lives of a number of intertwining families. Here you will find love, ambition, political maneuvering, gambling debts, pretension, humility, envy, forgiveness, hate, romance. If it sounds like a slice of modern life-it is. We and the Victorians are so much alike; the human condition does not change.
In this delightful mix of clerical, political and romantic intrigue, you will meet everyone from the alarmingly meddlesome bishop's wife, Mrs.Read more ›
Meantime the young Lord Lufton has been smitten by the charms of Robarts' sister Lucy, much to the displeasure of his aristocratic mother. It take a great act of magnanimity on Lucy's part - helping the impoverished Crawley family during a crisis (the Crawleys are more prominent in "The Last Chronicle of Barset") - to finally convince Lady Lufton that Lucy is worthy of her son.
This beautifully written novel contrasts the simpler integrity, though sometimes snobbish values, of the old ways with the more meretriciously glamorous lives of a newer society. As usual, Trollope has produced a multitude of characters whose motives are completely credible, and his depiction of the different social groups provides a most vivid kaleidoscope of Victorian life and attitudes. As always, there is nothing outdated in Trollope's sure insight into human nature.
Trollope had little trouble adjusting to the special process of writing for a magazine. Publishing the start of a book when the rest is not yet in the author's mind causes a special kind of challenge. He went into this adventure with a spirit of curiosity: what will I make happen next?
Our hero is a young clergyman in the fictional Barsetshire. We follow his career and his ambitions. He is the creature of the lady of the manor, who gave him the job (the 'living' in the strange system of the English church of the time). At times he likes to test his chains, to keep up his illusions of honor and freedom.
Due to a misjudged act of financial support for a shady politician cum swindler, he gets into financial trouble. The suspense driver is not if, but how he will be saved from doom. The man Mark Robarts is clearly not marked for doom. Much of the charm of the tale comes from watching the confidence artist spin his yarns.
The political struggles behind the plot are between Tories and Whigs, and between High Church and Low Church. Mr. Robarts has difficulties finding his way. This is the time of Lord Palmerston's rule, or rather of its end, despite the victory in the Crimean War and despite the success in suppressing the Indian 'mutiny'.
One of the differences between Trollope and his dominant rival Dickens was that T always wrote about the 'now', while D and others put their stories back in time by a decade or two, or more.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Questionable truth in advertising: When the description says "annotated," that just means that there is a biography of the author in the back. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Trollope has few if any truly villainous characters but Mr. Sowerby in this novel has so fallen into disrepute that his conscience is smothered. Read morePublished 7 months ago by JanP
Another of my most favorite Trollope novels, that is to say, another of my most favorite novels ever written. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Meredith/Susan