My Spanish is indeed in very dangerous territory with me and Anthony Trollope's 57 novels and my i-pad with free downloads. We have been in limbo the last 2 weeks with our JAS activities finished in the South and moving to the North so I took a break and read my second Trollop novel. We are installed in our new Piso and Sunday we will begin our mission on a different scene. It would have been nice to stay with the familiar but we look forward to the new experiences here.
This is my second Anthony Trollop (The Warden). He has written 57 novels, so they could keep me busy for a very long time. I like his language and writing style and I dearly love old English drama. I do have one objection to his writing, which I will talk about later. This one was published in 1858. After reading several Novels by George Elliot and Vilette by Charlotte Bronte, who were both writing at the same time as Anthony Trollop, I see a common element that must have been popular at the time. They all narrated parts of their stories as an onlooker that seemed to know all characters and events. Trollop actually apologizes for his writing at times:
“II quite feel that an apology is due for beginning a novel with two long dull chapters full of description. I am perfectly aware of the danger of such a course.”
I didn’t mind it in any of their stories. In some ways it made the story feel more authentic. Trollop also likes to tell you who the hero and or heroine of the story is at the beginning. It caused me to watch them closely.
“Doctor Thorne” is about what happens when English aristocracy land owners mismanage their money and get in debt jeopardizing the inheritance of the heir. The heir is then forced to marry for money, not for love. This is the thesis of the story. Then of course the superiority of the “blood” of the aristocracy also comes into play in marriage decisions. But there is an interesting element to the story as money trumps blood.
“What is the inner reality, the spiritualized quintessence of that privilege in the world which men call rank, which forces the thousands and hundreds of thousands to bow down before the few elect? What gives, or can give it, or should give it? (No page numbers in the quotes because they were skewed in the i-pad.)
“She said to herself, proudly, that God’s handiwork was the inner man, the inner woman, the naked creature animated by a living soul; that all other adjuncts were but man’s clothing for the creature; all others, whether stitched by tailors or contrived by Kings. Was it not within her capacity to do so nobly, to love as truly, to worship her God in heaven with as perfect a faith, and her god on earth with as leal a troth, as though blood had descended to her purely through scores of purely born progenitors?”
“Sell yourself for money! Why, if I were a man I would not sell one jot of liberty for mountains of gold, What! Tie myself in the heyday of my youth to a person I could never love, for a price! Perjure myself, destroy myself—and not only myself, but her also, in order that I might live idly! Mr. Gresham! Can it be that the words of such a woman as your aunt have sunk so deeply in your heart; have blackened you so foully as to make you think of such vile folly as this? Have your forgotten your soul, your spirit, your man’s energy, the treasure of your heart? And you, so young! For shame, Mr Gresham! For shame—for shame.”
This is a love story. The characters are endearing but their stories are told perhaps a little too well. Trollop is known for his long novels. I read it on my i-pad and the smallest writing is over 650 pages. I always pump up the letter size to the largest so I don’t think about how long the book is. Trollop set up the ending of the story too soon for me. I think it could have been a surprise, closer to the end, and left a little suspense, especially since he took so long to wrap it up. I liked it. I would read it again. It is not for everyone. I love the detail of his character development. I just don’t think he needs to detail every player quite so thoroughly. His writing is lovely to me. 4 stars. I am going to read "Castle Richmond" now, which is a story of the potato famine in Ireland.