Geraldine James as Lady Rowley in He Knew He Was Right: Davies utterly transforms this character into a intelligent outspoken older woman; Gravatar for this Barbara Murray and Susan Hampshire as Mrs Finn and the Duchess of Omnium strolling in St James's Park (from Raven's The Pallisers, Prime Minister)
Dear friends and readers,
As I was turning from Trollope's 20 letters to the Liverpool Mercury and beginning John Caldigate this weekend, I asked myself, how many Trollope fictions have I read since August 2013:
I totted them up:
From round about the time Jim was lying in the back bedroom dying, while I was working in my workroom close by on a paper on Andrew Davies's two film adaptations of Trollope novels, August-September 2013
Last Chronicle of Barset (I listened to Simon Vance read it aloud)
Phineas Finn (also listened to Vance read it aloud)
Sir Harry Hotspur
Eye for an Eye
The Warden (also listened to David Shaw Parker read it aloud -- not as good as Vance even)
Barchester Towers (also listened aloud to West read it -- inimitably)
Doctor Thorne (also listened to Vance read it aloud)
Framley Parsonage (also listened to Vance read it aloud)
Australa and New Zealand
Twenty letters to Liverpool Mercury (includes section on Aden and other military places the US uses nowadays ,one the site of a famous bombing, poor man tortured and now in Gitmo for years and years)
I'm now nearly done with John Caldigate (who as a character I do not like; my favorite character is Euphemia Smith Caldigate -- I don't believe Caldigate and am fascinated by how Trollope skips, will not tell us, about this hero's time in prison. He had himself seen convict places, talked in (sickening terms) of "convict odor," opined how convict labor was great for building roads cheaply.
Parson's Daughter of Oxney Colne
Ride Across Palestine
Christmas at Thompson Hall
La Mere Bauche
Why Frau Frohmann Raised her Prices
Malachi's Cove (re-saw the great movie)
I totted them up: 23 fictions, subdivides into 14 novels, 9 short stories. Plus enormous travel book and some settler colonialism journalism.
But then there's this very funny passage (to a Trollope who has had dinned in her ears how whatever his faults, Trollope is readable), this funny passage in Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time:
Well, how about it? Are Trollope's women unreal? Too many of them are mindlessly obedient to males or parents I'll agree. Is he dishonest about women's sexuality, their thoughts? That's the serious thought implied. Powell creates females to fit his agenda for women.
Is his style tedious? Balzac: well I have a hard time reading Balzac. The Wild Asses' Skin opens with a long chapter which if I was a 19th century person seeking to open a printing and publishing business would fascinate. But I'm not. Is Powell teasing us with one of his real sources, an influence?
At any rate I continue to be able to read Trollope even in the most inauspicious of moments.
Caroline Mortimer as Alice Vavasour in The Pallisers (from Can You Forgive Her? Raven is hostile to this character, and the quesion becomes can you forgive either of them?