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Archived Group Reads 2013 > Can You Forgive Her Chapters XIV - XX

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Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) To discuss thee chapters


message 2: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments .
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Chapter 14. Alice Vavasor Becomes Troubled
Chapter 15. Paramount Crescent
Chapter 16. The Roebury Club
Chapter 17. Edgehill
Chapter 18. Alice Vavasor's Great Relations
Chapter 19. Tribute from Oileymead
Chapter 20. Which Shall It be?


message 3: by Lily (last edited Dec 17, 2013 12:39AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 14. Alice Vavasor Becomes Troubled

This is a chapter where Trollope accuses Kate of being a traitor to Alice. But he mitigates it by describing her attempt to marry her brother to someone she believes could put and keep George on the right path.


message 4: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments We do learn here Captain Bellfield's age: Forty, although he attempts to look twenty-five, according to Kate. (p. 114)


message 5: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments This felt like a long, rambling chapter, but the reader does certainly get a sense of the ups and downs of Alice as she interacts with her father and then George, before sort of fleeing from London. She comes across to me as such a strong young woman, even if not necessarily on the right foot at the moment.


message 6: by Lily (last edited Dec 18, 2013 06:41PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 15. Paramount Crescent

"...He was so handsome,— and then, in his beauty, he had so quiet and almost saddened an air! Strange to say that after she had seen him, Lady Macleod entertained for him an infinitely higher admiration than before, and yet she was less surprised than she had been at Alice's refusal of him...

Trollope, Anthony (2012-05-12). Can You Forgive Her? "Chapter 15. Paramount Crescent." (p. 130). Kindle Edition.

I found this passage so neatly nuanced as Lady Macleod began to understand John Grey as Alice would perceive him.


message 7: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Why the introduction of Lady Macleod into the story? To what extent is she an individual versus being a stereotype?


message 8: by Lily (last edited Dec 19, 2013 08:48AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 16. The Roebury Club

"...George Vavasor knew as much of horses as most men can,— as, perhaps, as any man can who is not a dealer, or a veterinary surgeon; but he, like all men, doubted his own knowledge, though on that subject he would never admit that he doubted it. Therefore he took Bat's word and felt sure that the horse was wrong...."

Ibid. "Chapter 16. The Roebury Club." (p. 138).

I found this passage a little surprising, reminding the reader that all humans, not just Alice or George or..., experience doubts. While true, why include it? were my thoughts.


message 9: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Some of the lines I noted out of this chapter (16):

"...Grindley was a rich man,— or at any rate rich enough for the life he led...." (p. 139)

"...You can't have perfect horses any more than you can perfect men, or perfect women. You put up with red hair, or bad teeth, or big feet,— or sometimes with the devil of a voice. But a man when he wants a horse won't put up with anything! Therefore those who've got horses to sell must lie...." (pp. 136-137)

The members of the Roebury Club: "...Maxwell the banker, Grindley the would-be fast attorney, and Calder Jones the Member of Parliament, playing dummy. Neither of the brewers were there, nor was the sporting literary gentleman." (p. 134)

"...But they paid well, chaffed the servants much oftener than they bullied them, and on the whole were very popular." (p. 134)

"...In his conversations with men he always seemed to think that he should use his time towards serving some purpose of business. With women he was quite the reverse. With women he could be happy. With women he could really associate. A woman he could really love;— but I doubt whether for all that he could treat a woman well." (p. 133)

I enjoyed the detail with which George is described here -- both by description and his interactions with the other men.


message 10: by Lily (last edited Dec 19, 2013 07:06PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 17. Edgehill

Other than that he himself apparently enjoyed fox hunting, what is our author managing to do with this chapter at this point in our novel? Certainly an intriguing word picture. But what else in terms of forwarding the plot or exposing more deeply some character? (Frankly, I am at a bit of a loss in terms of the wider scheme, even though I enjoyed the chapter as rather a set piece. It does serve to introduce the character of Burgo Fitzgerald.)

Having been presented as a rather savvy businessman relative to wines, it rather surprised me to have George come off on the soft end in selling his horse.


message 11: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "This is a chapter where Trollope accuses Kate of being a traitor to Alice. But he mitigates it by describing her attempt to marry her brother to someone she believes could put and keep George on the right path. "

But where does that leave Alice? Does Kate care?

Do you think Kate's desire to do good for George really mitigates her treachery to Alice? If so, how?


message 12: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "I found this passage a little surprising, reminding the reader that all humans, not just Alice or George or..., experience doubts. While true, why include it? were my thoughts. "

I took it as showing that even an expert likes to have their views confirmed by somebody else. That Bat apparently agrees with him fortifies his confidence in his own belief.

Haven't you ever had the situation where you were pretty sure you were right about something, but were still really glad to have your view confirmed by somebody you trusted, and were more relieved in your mind?


message 13: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "I enjoyed the detail with which George is described here -- both by description and his interactions with the other men. "

As did I. In addition to the lines you quoted, I liked the lines "Among boys at school the same thing is even more conspicuous, because boys have less of conscience than men, are more addicted to tyranny, and when weak are less prone to feel the misery and disgrace of succumbing. Who has been through a large school and does not remember the Maxwells and Grindleys,..."

I spent a term in an English boarding school, and those lines really resonated with me because I could still put names to the Maxwells and Grindleys in that school.


message 14: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "Chapter 17. Edgehill

Other than that he himself apparently enjoyed fox hunting, what is our author managing to do with this chapter at this point in our novel? "


With Trollope, it was more than enjoying fox hunting; he was passionate about it. Many of his books include fox hunting chapters, I think in large part because he just loved writing about hunting. I've read elsewhere that each of his hunting chapters was based on an actual hunt that he had been on; whether that's true or not, they are apparently very accurate descriptions of hunting.

But they also have the purpose of showing another side of George as a very competent hunter who didn't show off but knew very well what he was doing and enjoyed going out and doing it. He does not follow the pack, but rides to a different hornist. (Sorry.)


message 15: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments I admit that I'm getting a bit tired of the Cheesacre/Bellfield plot line. It was amusing for awhile, but it seems to have little to do with the overall story, and doesn't seem to be leading to much of anything. I'm ready for it to end, and to get back to Alice and Kate and how they are going to resolve their life stories.

Also, as to whether we find a reason to forgive Alice (assuming she's the "her" in the title of the story) or not.


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