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Framley Parsonage has received nothing but four or five star reviews on Amazon for good reason - it is a great book. Unlike Dr. Thorne, its predecessor in The Chronicles of Barsetshire, which can be read as a stand-alone novel, Framley Parsonage is filled with characters from other books in this series, Dr. Thorne himself being one of them; it is possible to read it out of the context of the series, but much useful information informing the action of the story will be lost. That being said, I think even the reader new to The Chronicles of Barsetshire is going to love this book, as I did.
In Dr. Thorne the love of Mary Thorne for young Frank Gresham was the heart and soul of the novel; so to, in Framley Parsonage,the love of Lucy Robarts for Lord Lufton takes center stage. However, Trollope has enlarged the scope of this novel to include other important stories, such as the debt Lucy's brother Mark Robarts, vicar of Framley Parsonage, incurs when he signs his name to a bill of payment for 400 pounds for Mr. Sowerby, M.P., one of the villains of the novel. From the moment he signs the bill Mark does not know a minute of peace as he worries about what will happen to him when the note comes due.
A villain from an earlier Barsetshire novels surfaces in Framley Parsonage to aggravate and confuse key players in the story. I speak of the infamous Mrs. Proudie, the Bishop of Barchester's wife. It would be fair to say that Mrs. Proudie is the real Bishop of Barchester, for that is how she conducts herself. Whenever Mrs. Proudie takes center stage, the action heats up in a hurry, much to our delight.
Then there is Lady Lufton, the apparent enemy of Lucy Robarts. Lady Lufton considers Lucy "insignificant" and unsuitable to be the wife of her son Lord Lufton.Read more ›
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