Victorians! discussion

33 views
Archived Group Reads 2015 > "The Two Generals"

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Renee, Moderator (new)

Renee M | 1861 comments Mod
Please use this thread to discuss the story, "The Two Generals" by Anthony Trollope.


message 2: by Renee, Moderator (new)

Renee M | 1861 comments Mod
I'm not very adept at links but here's a reprint of the story as published in Harpers Weekly in 1864...

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefound...


message 3: by Frances (new)

Frances (francesab) | 296 comments Did Trollope spend much time in the US? This story touches on issues of sibling rivalry and jealousy but also on the devastating effects of the American Civil War on families in which different members took different sides.

I was initially intrigued initially by why Ada chose Tom over Frank, who would appear to be her better match in terms of political leanings and who seemed the more reasonable and reasoning brother, and yet as we learn of the roles the brothers assumed during the war it seems that the older brother was the more exciting and lively one, whereas the younger man was perhaps more of a paper-pusher.

Ultimately, one hopes that the reconciliation between the brothers will be mirrored in a reconciliation between the two sides in the Civil War. Was this written while the war was still being fought?


message 4: by Renee, Moderator (new)

Renee M | 1861 comments Mod
Southern secession in 1861 to form Confederacy. Surrender at Appomattox in 1865.
Harpers published the story in 1864, but it may have been published sooner in England.

As to Trollope's American travels, I'm not 100% sure. I know his mother, Frances, did and wrote about her visit extensively. It certainly feels like he must have. I'll do a little digging...


message 5: by Renee, Moderator (new)

Renee M | 1861 comments Mod
I found an article about Trollope in America...

http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/t...

Apparently, he visited 5 times, one of which was an extended visit in 1860.


message 6: by Deborah (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 923 comments I too had wondered about his travels as he seems so knowledgeable. This story was rather sad to me. I've lived in the south after growing up in the north. It felt, to me, as if there is still deep seated resentment. I was actually called a damn Yankee to my face, and constantly told I wasn't from there (the south).

I liked how Ada followed her heart, regardless of politics. She chose the gentler soul. He might have threatened his brother with death, but as it was said during the heat of the moment, it was forgotten.

Trollope's questions at the end, I find relevant today after my own experiences.


message 7: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments My copy of the story has a note that Trollope may have based this story on a meeting he had in 1862 with Senator John Crittenden, whose "two sons fought as generals on opposite sides in the American Civil War." Then he published this story in 1863. While apparently he didn't explicitly say he had based it oh Crittenden, it seems too much of a coincidence not to have been.


message 8: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Frances wrote: "
I was initially intrigued initially by why Ada chose Tom over Frank, who would appear to be her better match..."


The heart goes where the heart wants to go.


message 9: by Renee, Moderator (new)

Renee M | 1861 comments Mod
That's a very interesting tidbit, Ev. Thanks for sharing it. I know that "brother against brother" was unfortunately not uncommon in that war. I can't help thinking about how my siblings and I have dispersed across the states in our adulthood.


back to top