The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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September 1, 2015

Framley Parsonage


All in all, I agree with JoAnn, my friend and fellow #6barsets reader, that Framley Parsonage was just a little less wonderful than the first three books in this series. On the other hand, I also agree that even slightly-less-good Trollope is still pretty great. :)

I got off to a slow start with this fourth book, something that had nothing to do with the book {and everything to do with silly distractions}. It took me a long time to get back to it, and a long time to settle into it once I did.  On first meeting them, the Reverend Mark Robarts, his wife Fanny, and the imperious but loving Lady Lufton aren't the most engaging characters, not when we've had Mrs. Proudie, and even Mrs. P. seemed a little subdued this time around {at first, anyway}.  But I knew everything would be all right once Miss Dunstable re-appeared, and then there was Mr. Smith's lecture on the Papua New Guineans, and Mrs. Proudie's conversazione, and Miss Dunstable's conversazione, and Mr. Sowerby's shameless use of his friends, and the thorny conversation between mousy Mrs. Grantly and Lady Lufton, and then I found myself spending almost my whole day off re-immersed in Barsetshire and not wanting to leave.

And Miss Dunstable and Doctor Thorne!  I think I've mentioned that a book I have about Angela Thirkell tells us that some of her characters are descendants of this marriage, and since there was no prospect of it in Doctor Thorne I was wondering if Thirkell had made it up.  Part of me wishes she had; that would have been fun.

{Since happily there are other Miss Dunstable-ites among us, I went back to that book — Going to Barsetshire:  a companion to the Barsetshire novels of Angela Thirkell, by Cynthia Snowden — to find out who her descendants were:  Lady Pomfret, of Pomfret Towers, Canon Thorne, of Miss Bunting, and possibly Mrs. Belton, of The Headmistress, who was 'also born a Thorne.' Grandchildren or great-grandchildren?}  

The Small House at Allington is next for us; if anyone else would like to read it we'd be very happy to have you.


Terra said...

I just completed reading the six Chronicles of Barsetshire and enjoyed each one. I appreciated you bringing up some of the nuggets from this volume. Trollope's characters are so well drawn that I care about them and his plots draw me in.

Anbolyn said...

I've read one Trollope and liked but didn't love it. He is hard for me - but you make this one sound like lots of fun.

Lory said...

Miss Dunstable is my favorite! I didn't know Angela Thirkell created descendants for her and Doctor Thorne. I'll have to seek out that book too now.

Karen K. said...

Miss Dunstable is hands-down my favorite Trollope character (though I do love to have Mrs. Proudie).

I've read 29 books by Trollope and I agree, even a less-wonderful Trollope is better than a lot of other books out there.

JoAnn said...

Trollope's characters are wonderful! I certainly hope we will see more of Miss Dunstable in the last two books. Are you planning to take a break before The Small House at Allington or will you dive right into another Trollope? I can be ready to go by next week, but don't mind waiting a bit either.

I'll need to get back to Thirkell's Barsetshire eventually, too...

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