If I’d known Trollope’s Last Chronicle of Barset was 900 pages long, I might have been daunted. Reading it on the Kindle, none of the sheer massiveness of the physical book tempted me to give up on it despite lots of interruptions as I read it. It brings to a conclusion the six novels of Barsetshire, all of which I’ve now read. The plot centers around the unfortunate figure of Mr. Crawley, a poor clergyman allegedly patterned after Trollope’s own father. He was introduced earlier…Continue Reading “Last Chronicle of Barset”

The Small House at Allington is fifth of Anthony Trollope’s six Barchester novels. The setting and most of the main characters are new, though familiar characters from the other novels come into the story at various points: Lady Dumbello, the Grantlys, Plantagenet Palliser (how I love that name — “Plant, for short,” as my daughter says), the supremely annoying De Courcys, even Mr Harding. But the Dales — widow Mrs Dale, her daughters Lily and Bell, and their somewhat crusty benefactor Squire Dale, form the…Continue Reading “The Small House at Allington”

Dr. Thorne is the novel that precedes Framley Parsonage in Trollope’s chronicles of Barsetshire. I read Framley first, and though I wish I’d gotten to know Dr. Thorne beforehand, he didn’t suffer any from having been met out of sequence. In fact I liked Dr. Thorne even better than Framley Parsonage. For one thing, it has more comedy. The main plot is a modified Cinderella tale involving Dr. Thorne’s niece, an heir of an old country estate washed nearly into oblivion by debt, and an…Continue Reading “Dr. Thorne”

It’s been awhile since I ventured into the 19th century with Anthony Trollope. I’ve read The Warden and Barchester Towers, and I thought Framley Parsonage came next. Turns out I was wrong; I skipped over Dr. Thorne. But I still enjoyed reading about Mark Robarts, a parson with social and professional ambitions that get him into trouble, and the cast of characters surrounding him. Robarts has habits that make his patroness, Lady Lufton, uncomfortable. He likes to ride in the hunt. He likes to talk…Continue Reading “Framley Parsonage”

I started reading Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now last spring. Sherry of Semicolon had mentioned when she got her Kindle for Christmas that this was one of the free books she downloaded, and as a Trollope fan I followed her example. I’ve read The Warden and Barchester Towers, and I like Trollope’s discerning and gentle understanding of character. The Way We Live Now was a little more difficult going, and I set it aside until recently. Over the last two weeks I’ve been…Continue Reading “The Way We Live Now”