'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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September 29, 2015

'As if I cared a buttercup about Mr. Crosbie.'



{Spoiler alert!  ... sort of.}

The common habit of talking about Trollope characters as if they were real people is a tribute to his art, however much literary critics shake their heads. What Trollope knew, and many forgot, was the gulf between our real values and desires and he form they take when the persons are imaginary. If Macbeth were a real person planning to murder Duncan, we would rush to prevent it. In the theatres we await it eagerly. So here; if Lily were a real person, we should concur with all her friends in urging her to marry Y. But if she did, it would be a literary anti-climax, She would be merged in a crowd of happy, half-remembered heroines. Moreover, her frustration is true to her character. She is more in love with love than with X.  She comes to enjoy her tragedy queen status....The hidden depths are indicated by the surface, When the first shock of her rejection by X is over, and her mother is urging her to marry Y, we have a glimpse of the deeper levels of her perversity.

from the introduction to my {Everyman Library}
edition of The Small House at Allington

Yes, please! Twelve pages in, and I'm already sure we're in for a different sort of heroine, and I'm so looking forward to that.  And as always, to reading with friends. :)

2 comments:

JoAnn said...

Oh, this is going to be fun! There is no intro in my free kindle edition (and, of course, none on the audio either), but I'm going to the library today anyway... will see if I can find one.

I finally had to look up what a "swell" is. Afraid my 19th century British slang is spotty at best ;-)

Jane @ Beyond Eden Rock said...

Oh, how lovely. Now I really must find another Trollope to read, to bridge the gap between my last one and starting this series next year.

Thank you for visiting!

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