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The Trollope Project - Archives > The Warden: Chapters 11-15 - June 19-June 25

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message 1: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments The pace picked up in these chapters. I enjoyed regarding Trollope's take on the newspaper industry!!!

Two major events:

One, Eleanor goes to see Mr. Bold to get him to change his mind. Does she succeed? What does Eleanor resolve regarding her own relationship with Mr. Bold (i.e. Iphigenia)? What is Mr. Bold's reaction to his own decision regarding the case against the Hospital? Can Mr. Bold stop the proceeding even if he wants to? What is Dr. Grantly's reaction to Mr. Bold's visit? What is Mr. Harding's reaction to Eleanor's news? What is the lawyer's reaction to the news?

Two, we meet Tom Towers from the Jupiter. How does Trollope describe the Jupiter's power and influence? How would you describe Tom Towers? Who is Dr. Anticant, and what does he represent? Who is Mr. Sentiment, and what does he represent?


message 2: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
I have just finished reading the chapter " Iphigenia" and loved the interview between Eleanor and John, and also Mary's actions in making room for John on the sofa. I fear that John may be correct when he said that other more powerful ( or more unscrupulous) people had taken up the cause.
I love the last line of the chapter:
And so the altar on the shore of the modern Aulis reeked with no sacrifice.


message 3: by Lily (last edited Jun 19, 2016 10:30AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Rosemarie wrote: "And so the altar on the shore of the modern Aulis reeked with no sacrifice...."

To how much of the story of Iphigenia do you think Trollope alludes here? Superficially, at the level of a female sacrifice? Or with additional tentacles/parallels to one or more of the Greek myths about her?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iphigenia

Is Trollope being apt or a bit showy here, or simply appropriate to the backgrounds of his probable readers? (I think if I had to vote for just one of those three, I'd choose the third.)


message 4: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
I think that it is all three, with a we bit of showing off his use of language-and there is nothing wrong with that if used in small doses.


message 5: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
I have just read the two chapters in which John and Eleanor make their announcement that Bold is willing to drop the case. Grantly is exceedingly unpleasant and I hope someone puts him in his place soon. Mr. Harding reacts quite differently to Eleanor's news, and she to his about giving up the wardenship. I especially like their implicit understanding that it would be unwise to let the Archdeacon know his plans in advance.


message 6: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
Here are two quotes talking about Mr. Anticant:

'Tis a pity that he should not have recognised the fact, that is this world no good is unalloyed, and that there is but little evil that has not in it some seed of good.

Popularity spoilt him for all further real use, as it has done many another.


message 7: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Lily wrote: "Rosemarie wrote: "And so the altar on the shore of the modern Aulis reeked with no sacrifice...."

To how much of the story of Iphigenia do you think Trollope alludes here? Superficially, at the le..."


I agree. I don't think Trollope is being showy. I believe the level of understanding of the classics was greater than today and such references would be easily understood by the audience he was writing for.


message 8: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Dr. Anticant is referring to Thomas Carlyle and some of the words are a parody of Carlyle's writings.

Mr. Sentiment is Charles Dickens.

So Trollope did not like these two great figures. Neither did he like Mrs. Radcliffe's novels:
the hero in Dickens' novels 'may talk as much twaddle as one of Mrs. Radcliffe's heroines.'


message 9: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) The Jupiter, or The Times, had so much influence, according to Trollope, that no one need make decisions themselves but just accept what the paper said. Interestingly many people today seem to believe media more than common sense and a lot of what politicians do and say is based on media ratings and comments. Nothing changes!


message 10: by Lynn (new)

Lynn B | 17 comments Yes, Tracey, Trollope was very critical of the power of The Times to sway public opinion. This is probably because he was very annoyed at the stance taken by that paper in relation to the Crimean War being fought at the time.

The whole issue of the power of the media is very apposite in the UK just now as we vote in a referendum later this week on whether to leave the EU. So many blatant lies have been told by both the media and the politicians that the campaign has already been officially damned as the most dishonest ever. But emotions raised by the media and vested interests are so powerful that it is difficult for the informed to get their facts across to the public. The power of newspaper editors is still terrifying!


message 11: by Lynn (new)

Lynn B | 17 comments I was amused by the satirising of Dickens and his supposed work, The Almshouse but couldn't help thinking that maybe Trollope was rather jealous of Dickens' commercial success!

It's interesting how other authors of the time referenced Dickens in their books. I'm reading Mrs Gaskell's Cranford at the moment and she has a lot of fun referring to Dickens' Pickwick Papers in relation to some characters in her novel. I presume that Dickens was the pre-eminent literary figure of the time and that he must have stirred up some strong feelings among other authors.


message 12: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1298 comments Mod
Tracey wrote: "Dr. Anticant is referring to Thomas Carlyle and some of the words are a parody of Carlyle's writings.

Mr. Sentiment is Charles Dickens.

So Trollope did not like these two great figures. Neither d..."


Thanks for the background; it makes the book so much more interesting!


message 13: by Lily (last edited Jun 21, 2016 05:58AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Tracey wrote: "I agree. I don't think Trollope is being showy. I believe the level of understanding of the classics was greater than today and such references would be easily understood by the audience he was writing for. ..."

Somehow, the analogy with Iphigenia came across as shallow to me. I haven't dug enough to figure out why, but it felt more glib than appropriate or parallel, perhaps because I've only been able to perceive one level of comparison, a daughter's sacrifice for her father's sake. The Iphigenia story is such a rich, complicated thing -- maybe if I use my imagination, I can see other political parallels, societal drivers that may have made the comparison seem apt to Trollope.

One of the things I like about Trollope is that he seems to probe subtle moral, political, business, social, ethical situations and to offer observations liable to multiple interpretations of the good, the value, the appropriateness of the results. All this is why I look for multiple levels of parallel here -- and perhaps realize that may be foolish. Trollope has also never come across to me as consistent in quality of either writing or of thought as some writers -- which can be part of the fun of reading him.


message 14: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments Tracey wrote: "Dr. Anticant is referring to Thomas Carlyle and some of the words are a parody of Carlyle's writings.

Mr. Sentiment is Charles Dickens.

So Trollope did not like these two great figures. Neither d..."


Thanks, Tracey!

Definitely changes the reader's perspective knowing who Trollope is satirizing.


message 15: by Lynnm (last edited Jun 21, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments Tracey wrote: "The Jupiter, or The Times, had so much influence, according to Trollope, that no one need make decisions themselves but just accept what the paper said. Interestingly many people today seem to beli..."

It's interesting. Trollope - along with many other writers - have mocked newspapers and the bias in the media (although today, I would argue that print media and broadcast media are different in many ways).

But I'm reading a book now for classes next semester called "The Filter Bubble." And the author - Eli Pariser - argues that while newspapers do have bias that the Internet is far worse. At least in newspapers, we are forced to read - even if it is just a headline - news that we normally wouldn't be interested in. With the Internet filters and algorithms, we only read news and other information that confirms our own belief systems. In other words, if I "like" or click on a story about climate change and the dangers of climate change, I will get more stories like that, and also stories that have a more "liberal" bias. If I like a story that denies climate change, I will get the opposite. Of course, we do get information on our social media feeds that come from friends who may have different beliefs, but for the most part, we get a very narrow slice of news. Also, internet "news" isn't really hard-hitting, informative news...it could come from a blogger or a source who cares more about "likes" than they do about journalistic integrity. So, we never see the other side. Which means that we never challenge our own beliefs.

I'm biased on this myself because I'm a big believer in good journalism. And there are a few newspapers who still fit that bill. For example, I'm a foodie, and care about healthy food. It was Michael Pollan who really brought that issue to the forefront. And he did it at the beginning by writing about it in the NY Times.

Sometimes we should be careful what we wish for...newspapers are disappearing, but for all their faults, the Internet is far far worse.

Here, the Jupiter is obviously not a good newspaper. But I can't say that I'm happy that he paints all journalists with the same broad brush.


message 16: by Robin P, Moderator (last edited Jun 21, 2016 06:34PM) (new)

Robin P | 2069 comments Mod
And yet there probably was a legitimate issue of churchmen living at their ease when the people in the parish needed the money more.

The description by Mr Public Sentiment of the horrible appearance attributed to Mr. Harding was a bit like Dickens pushed to an extreme. It made me think that Trollope doesn't do much describing of his characters' appearances, or not in a way that is supposed to tell you about their virtues and faults.


message 17: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
Having read books by both Carlisle and Dickens, the two characters in The Warden are such extreme caricatures that the link between the authors and their fictional counterparts is very feeble. To me it seemed he was describing some second- rate pulp writers and pamphleteers.
I tend not to read annotated versions of books that are written in modern English because I am very easily distracted and sidetracked, or I lose the flow of the language and the writing.
So thank you to all for the interesting information about the book.


message 18: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Great thoughts. I agree the internet today is far more biased and full of lies than papers and do not think that all journalists themselves are this way. But maybe their articles do get altered according to the bias of the owner of the paper?
As far as I understand Trollope had a big chip on his shoulder in terms of other writers and there was some animosity, nevertheless, I do like his writing and am enjoying the book.


aDystoPianClassic (souveekpal) | 17 comments Tracey wrote: "Great thoughts. I agree the internet today is far more biased and full of lies than papers and do not think that all journalists themselves are this way. But maybe their articles do get altered acc..."
I am enjoying the book as well, specially now that it has picked up the pace. Any form of media can be biased, but now with more types of media - internet, television, newspapers etc, people now can choose what to read and watch. So in some ways it is better than being relying on one big media giant to form an opinion which probably happen in Trollope's times.


message 20: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4461 comments Mod
One thing that struck me was the sense of power, and actual power the newspaper had over people's lives. I wonder if it has the same power today or are we more skeptical?


message 21: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Deborah wrote: "One thing that struck me was the sense of power, and actual power the newspaper had over people's lives. I wonder if it has the same power today or are we more skeptical?"

I think it depends on the paper/magazine. Some, the sort found at every checkout, I believe most of us dismiss as made up or fantasy (a politer way of saying lies.) But then others carry more weight. I watch BBC World and feel that's pretty dependable, but how would I know? National Geographic or medical/scientific journals I believe to some degree based on how well the research was done, but not being an expert, I rely on those who review these journals. We really are at the mercy of those who are specialist in any field to tell the truth.


message 22: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I especially like their implicit understanding that it would be unwise to let the Archdeacon know his plans in advance. "

It shows that they have a somewhat devious side!


message 23: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Tracey wrote: "I agree. I don't think Trollope is being showy. I believe the level of understanding of the classics was greater than today and such references would be easily understood by the audience he was writing for."

I agree that the readers he was writing for would have understood, and I think appreciated, the classical reference.


message 24: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Lynnm wrote: "Tracey wrote: "Dr. Anticant is referring to Thomas Carlyle and some of the words are a parody of Carlyle's writings....

Definitely changes the reader's perspective knowing who Trollope is satirizing. ..."


So The Warden is not the simple, innocent book it may at first glance appear to be. There are depths here!


message 25: by Wendel (new)

Wendel (wendelman) | 229 comments About Dickens. I found the next quote striking, these were precisely my feelings after reading 'Bleak House':

Perhaps, however, Mr. Sentiment’s great attraction is in his second-rate characters. If his heroes and heroines walk upon stilts, as heroes and heroines, I fear, ever must, their attendant satellites are as natural as though one met them in the street: they walk and talk like men and women, and live among our friends a rattling, lively life; yes, live, and will live till the names of their calling shall be forgotten in their own, and Buckett and Mrs. Gamp will be the only words left to us to signify a detective police officer or a monthly nurse.


message 26: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
I have recently read Martin Chuzzlewit, in which we have Mrs. Gamp. She is one of the most unpleasant minor characters created by Dickens.


message 27: by Wendel (last edited Jun 30, 2016 10:21AM) (new)

Wendel (wendelman) | 229 comments Trollope clearly thought Dickens' work lacking in nuance. But than, the 'The Warden' may be just a bit too nuanced.

Trollope (almost) makes us close our eyes for the basic injustice of church sinecures (not to mention the wheedling of charity). But I do not believe that is what he intends to do: he is, for instance, not saying that The Jupiter has its facts wrong. The problem with the newspaper is that it is losing sight of the personal aspects involved. That it misrepresents the warden's character and intentions. And that it has the power to make or break.

One aspect of the book that seems Dickensian though, is the one-dimensional treatment of the bedesmen. They are caricatures. This is also true for the archdeacons boys. Was "The Warden" originally intended as the first part of a multi-volume cycle?

Another thought that came up (sitting next to the pool of my sunny Mediterranean campsite) is that in the West many may be in a position not altogether incomparable to that of Mr. Harding. Do we consider giving up our sinecures?


message 28: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4461 comments Mod
Tracey wrote: "Deborah wrote: "One thing that struck me was the sense of power, and actual power the newspaper had over people's lives. I wonder if it has the same power today or are we more skeptical?"

I think ..."


Regardless of reputation, the media can break or make people's lives. In this book, the reporter relishes in this power. I feel as if it's gone to his head


message 29: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4461 comments Mod
Wendel wrote: "Trollope clearly thought Dickens' work lacking in nuance. But than, the 'The Warden' may be just a bit too nuanced.

Trollope (almost) makes us close our eyes for the basic injustice of church sin..."


According to my copy, the Warden was originally intended to be a stand alone, not a series


message 30: by Wendel (new)

Wendel (wendelman) | 229 comments Deborah wrote: "According to my copy, the Warden was originally intended to be a stand alone, not a series.."

That makes the inclusion of those disagreable boys here very strange. It feels like they were 'copy/pasted' into 'The Warden' as an afterthought.


message 31: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments Just finished chapter 12 and I want to shake Dr. Grantly til his head bobbles! What a prat!


message 32: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Renee wrote: "Just finished chapter 12 and I want to shake Dr. Grantly til his head bobbles! What a prat!"

So true! But, Renee, I hope you will come back and comment on Trollope's summary assessment of him in Chapter 22. (p272 of the Kindle edition.)


message 33: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Everyman wrote: "...So The Warden is not the simple, innocent book it may at first glance appear to be. There are depths here!..."

I am enjoying how this discussion is getting under the surface of a little book that it seems to me could be fairly easy to read at a rather tranquil (superficial?) level.


message 34: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Everyman wrote: "I agree that the readers he was writing for would have understood, and I think appreciated, the classical reference...."

I agree, too. But, as a writer, how well is Trollope using that classical reference? With depth or with passing familiarity -- an "oh, yeah, by-the way style"?

This is part of what 'gets' me about reading Trollope -- I struggle with when he is worth "digging" because he says a lot, oft times with subtlety, versus when to just let him go at a surface level. Since I am still reading/listening to Austen's Emma, it is quite fascinating to me to compare and contrast the two writers and how they present their characters and interactions with the societies within which they move.


message 35: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments Lol. Thank you for the carrot, Lily. :)


message 36: by Veronique (new)

Veronique I am enjoying the reading too, much more after the first 5 chapters, as well as all the comments here. Trollope is making me feel for the plight of the warden. On the other hand, he shows us the impersonal side very well too, how the little pebble thrown by Bold is causing greater and greater waves of disruptions. One sentence jumped at me - "What is any public question but a conglomeration of private interests?" - nailing it.


message 37: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Deborah wrote: "TRegardless of reputation, the media can break or make people's lives. In this book, the reporter relishes in this power. I feel as if it's gone to his head ."

Although today, that power is shared with, and in some cases taken over by, social media.


message 38: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Renee wrote: "Just finished chapter 12 and I want to shake Dr. Grantly til his head bobbles! What a prat!"

I understand the feeling, but really I rather admire the man. There is no cowardice, either physical or moral, in him. He has girded himself for the Church's work, and he will not flinch in doing what he sees as his duty to the Church. I'm careful to say the Church rather than God, by the way, because I do think his primary sense of duty is to the Church establishment.

He is refreshingly straightforward, isn't he?


message 39: by Tracey (last edited Jun 23, 2016 08:59PM) (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Veronique wrote: "I am enjoying the reading too, much more after the first 5 chapters, as well as all the comments here. Trollope is making me feel for the plight of the warden. On the other hand, he shows us the im..."

Thank you. Funny how one sentence can speak volumes and impress deeply when the words are correctly placed. The difference between a true author and a person who just 'writes' books. (I am, I am sorry to say, not an author but just a writer who loves words.)
Words, words. The mighty power of the word.


message 40: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments Everyman wrote: "Renee wrote: "Just finished chapter 12 and I want to shake Dr. Grantly til his head bobbles! What a prat!"

I understand the feeling, but really I rather admire the man. There is no cowardice, eith..."


Yes! I agree with that. He's a terrific character. He's so thoroughly sure of his convictions (at least outside the home). I'm just irritated that he should be so blunt-headedly rude to Bold, when the latter was obviously stepping away from the fray. Grantly has acted like a bully on several occasions and it's a much less attractive aspect of his personality. It's one thing to fight for what you believe is right; another to badger old men and behave badly when you think you've won. It should be interesting to see what happens when they all have to live as a family.


message 41: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
Unfortunately there are still a lot of bullies in positions of authority. At least Grantly does have the interests of the Church at heart, but he forgets sometimes that the Church is made up of people.


message 42: by Wendel (new)

Wendel (wendelman) | 229 comments Everyman wrote: "He has girded himself for the Church's work, and he will not flinch in doing what he sees as his duty to the Church..."

That's about my definition of a dangerous man (substitute any organization you don't trust for 'the Church' to see if you disagree). Moreover, Grantly's interests seem to be indistinguishable from those of his employer.

No, imho Grantly is a shallow man with a disagreeable character. Of course one may argue that such people are needed, sometimes. Trollope is struggling with this question, but I wonder if he still would have done so had he lived a century later.


message 43: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1805 comments Mod
Good point, Wendel, blind allegiance to any cause or institution can often result in unfortunate outcomes.

Trollope is certainly making clear that (r)evolution, no matter how just the cause, usually leaves a certain number of innocent victims in its wake, whether it is people losing jobs or status in their community or their possessions. I think both Trollope and Dickens understood this, although their respective styles of writing about it were very different indeed!

My feeling about Trollope's position is that he is speaking out against the inflated clergy incomes in the name of charity, supports Bold and his colleagues in exposing this hypocrisy and greed in the name of the Church, and yet mourns the loss of the gentle, homely way of life and the kind people who often held these positions and supported and cared for their charges as the Warden did.


message 44: by Lily (last edited Jun 24, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Frances wrote: "...yet mourns the loss of the gentle, homely way of life and the kind people who often held these positions and supported and cared for their charges as the Warden did. ..."

I think Trollope also asks his reader to consider the institutional aspects of decisions by both leaders and followers. This has perhaps most clarity in the final pages, so I will leave that for now, but we have already seen that even in the case of the hospital the situation is one of an initial bequest being managed across virtually centuries (several hundred years) in (successful?) support of what seems to be a "good" cause. How do the assumptions that under-gird such get appropriately modified versus allowed to ossify? It seems to me Trollope gives one example of what is likely to happen.


message 45: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Frances wrote: "Good point, Wendel, blind allegiance to any cause or institution can often result in unfortunate outcomes. ."

I don't see Grantley as suffering from blind allegiance. I think he sees the good the church can do and is doing, and is defending it against those who would seek to damage, if not destroy, it. After all, in this case it seems to me that the men in the hospital were, before rebels stirred up the waters, happy and content in their lives, and had much better lives than they would have had outside the hospital. The church was doing well by them.

If you want to talk about blind allegiance, isn't that really equally, if not more, applicable to Bold (who admits that he is injuring a good and innocent man, but claims that principle to some abstract principle justifies it, and is only swayed from his allegiance by sexual desire being even more powerful than his "principle"), and Tom Towers who doesn't seem to care in the least what damage he does to ordinary people as long as he can thunder.

Where, really, does the blind allegiance most strongly lie?


message 46: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) Everyman wrote: "Frances wrote: "Good point, Wendel, blind allegiance to any cause or institution can often result in unfortunate outcomes. ."

I don't see Grantley as suffering from blind allegiance. I think he se..."


I agree with you, Traveler, that it isn't as one-sided as it might seem at first glance. What makes this book worth reading and stirs me is that there is no absolute right and wrong, but as in most questions, some truth on both sides. It is easy to choose your path if everything is perfectly clear, less so if there is any merit to the other side of the equation, but then we must choose because life requires it. I would say the Bedesmen are in the wrong because they are driven mostly by ideas of money, money that they do not need, and therefore I would lean toward Mr. Harding, but that puts me on the side of the church and Grantly, who in fact have a completely different agenda than Harding does. If the outcome is the same, does the intent matter? I would say, and I think Trollope is saying, that it does.


message 47: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
I also think that intent matters. Sometimes we have little control over the outcome, but we should know why we do things. Bold wanted to give the bedesmen a fair deal, in his eyes, but things got out of hand and the issue was sensationalized by the press through Tom Towers.


message 48: by Lily (last edited Jun 25, 2016 01:58PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I also think that intent matters. ..."

I know that often matters in courts of law, too, but I do think it interesting here that Mr. Harding's good intents cost what strikes me could have continued to be a good thing -- a place for six needy old men to be well cared for. Or, at least they were one of the causes of the loss. Like many of the others (all of us?), he too seemed focused on his own needs and wants, as well intended as they were. Did or didn't he consider a broader scope? One can probably argue both ways.


message 49: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments The political machinations Trollope describes Mr. Harding watching late in chapter 15 were fascinating.

I chuckled at that "fourteen [clauses] had been altered so as to mean the reverse of the original proposition."

But the best was " No intention had ever existed to pass such a law as that proposed, but the government did not intend to abandon it till their object was fully attained by the discussion of this clause. It was known that it would be insisted on with terrible vehemence by Protestant Irish members, and as vehemently denounced by the Roman Catholic; and it was justly considered that no further union between the parties would be possible after such a battle." How many bills even today are proposed that the proposer has no intention of having enacted, but that exist just to make trouble for other legislators?

Ah, the more things change!!!


message 50: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
I noticed that too.


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