The one and only heir to Greshambury was named as his father, Francis Newbold Gresham. He would have been the hero of our tale had not that place been preoccupied by the village doctor. As it is, those who please may so regard him. It is he who is to be our favourite young man, to do the love scenes, to have his trials and difficulties, and to win through them or not, as the case may be. I am too old now to be a hard-hearted author, and so it is probable that he may not die of a broken heart. Those who don't approve of a middle-aged bachelor country doctor as a hero, may take the heir to Greshambury in his stead, and call the book, if it so please the, 'The Loves and Adventures of Francis Newbold Gresham the younger.'
As I've been reading (not reading ,,, delighting in, yearning for more of, already wishing I could re-read...) the #6barsets, I know I haven't been very good about writing about them here. But I think it's good, sometimes, when it's more about the books, and about sharing them with friends.
Miss Austen was surely a great novelist. What she did, she did perfectly. Her work, as far as it goes, is faultless. She wrote of the times in which she lived, of the class of people with which she associated, and in the language which was usual to her as an educated lady. ... Heroes and heroines with wonderful adventures there are none in her novels. Of great criminals and hidden crimes she tells us nothing. But she places us in a circle of gentlemen and ladies, and charms us while she tells us with an unconscious accuracy how men should act to women, and women act to men. It is not that her people are all good; -- and, certainly, they are not all wise. The faults of some are the anvils on which the virtues of others are hammered till they are bright as steel. In the comedy of folly I know no novelist who has beaten her. The letters of Mr. Collins, a clergyman in Pride and Prejudice, would move laughter in a low-church archbishop.
And I don't think there's any question of who the hero is. Doctor Thorne is a lovely character. As a physician and friend. he connects all of the characters, and is their very human moral compass. I have a book that's an encyclopedia, of sorts, of Angela Thirkell's Barsetshire novels, and it mentions that some of Thirkell's characters are descendants of Doctor Thorne and one of the women in this book. Hmmm. There's no hint of such a marriage in Trollope, so far, so I'm not yet sure whether it was Mr. Trollope or Mrs. Thirkell who cooked that up. If you know, please don't tell me ... it's a delicious idea, and I'm looking forward to finding out.
I am so happy to have JoAnn and Lisa reading along for all or some of the #6barsets, I realized that I had gotten the order of the middle books wrong, so here's our updated schedule:
JoAnn, on Barchester Towers
Lisa, on "Falling in love with Doctor Thorne, man and book'
. . .
We would love to have you join us!