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The Trollope Project - Archives > Framley Parsonage: Chapters 37-42 - January 22-January 28

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message 1: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments One, Miss Dunstable saves Mr. Sowerby. How and why?

Two, Miss Dunstable and Mary have a bit of a quarrel when Miss Dunstable is visiting the Greshams at Boxall Hill. Why? Who is it about? Why is Mary so reluctant to speak out, and what is Miss Dunstable's response to that reluctance?

Three, what happens when Dr. Thorne visits Boxall Hill? When Dr. Thorne leaves Boxall Hill, what is his inner conflict? What type of letter does Dr. Thorne write to Miss Dunstable? What is her response?

Four, how do the Grantlys behave after Griselda's great triumph? What happens when Mrs. Grantly and Griselda visit the Proudie's? What captures Griselda's attention with regard to her upcoming wedding?

Five, Lady Lufton visits Fanny, and Fanny stands up for Lucy. What is Lady Lufton's response?

Six, in the chapter "Touching Pitch," Trollope outlines Mark's "sins" and the consequences of those "sins." What are those "sins"?


message 2: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1400 comments Mod
In this section, Trollope made Mark more sympathetic and Mrs. Grantly less so. I had always liked her as a character and was disappointed with her behavior in this book.

I loved the "love letters" Dr. Thorne and Miss Dunstable wrote to each other! I'm glad they will have a happy ending. It kind of cracks me up to think that Lady Arabella had wanted Frank to marry Miss Dunstable, but she ended up marrying Dr. Thorne (given Lady Arabella's complicated relationship with Dr. Thorne).

Another parallel with Dr. Thorne was Griselda's attitude toward her marriage. It reminded me of Augusta's attitude toward Mr. Moffat, although of course we found out later that Augusta was capable of stronger feelings when the right guy was concerned.

When I saw the Duke of Omnium described as "a great llama," I thought it must be a typo at first, but it was repeated several times. I suppose it must have been the way they spelled "lama" back then, but I couldn't help picturing him as an alpaca.


message 3: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Lori wrote: "I loved the "love letters" Dr. Thorne and Miss Dunstable wrote to each other!."

I agree totally. Wonderful episode. And I do think they will suit each other very well.


message 4: by Robin P, Moderator (last edited Jan 22, 2017 07:32PM) (new)

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
He is one of the few people in the world unfazed by her wealth. I wonder if he will retire from doctoring. Although she wouldn't mind if he kept working or did whatever he wants. They are actually a very "modern" couple in that they respect each other as equals. He won't expect her to be a subservient little wife, overseeing his home, and she won't expect him to support her or make decisions for her. And Mary and Frank are better companions for her than those folks at Omnium Castle.


message 5: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2916 comments Mod
I am glad that Doctor Thorne and Miss Dunstable got married. He truly did not marry her for her money, but for love. Miss Dunstable has a husband who appreciates here for her qualities, and Doctor Thorne has a wife who will also be a good friend.


message 6: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2916 comments Mod
In the chapter Touching Pitch we discover that Mark's sins include being too worldly, living above his means and wanting to be one of the " county set" instead of his duties as a clergyman. He did tend to neglect his duties, for which he was well paid, and he now realizes he has to pay the price for his past follies.


message 7: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 752 comments Lori, you're llama comment cracks me up! I've done the same thing so many times. And now, of course, Omnium will forever be a little bit alpaca in my imagination. :D

Yes! The exchange of letters between the Doctor and Miss Dunstable could not have been more perfect. So funny and yet so dear.

I agree that Mrs. Grantly has not shown herself as well as in previous books, but I like the way Trollope exposes different sides of a personality through the series. Some of those are less attractive, but brought on by time or circumstance (and possibly by the necessity of plot).


message 8: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Renee wrote: "I agree that Mrs. Grantly has not shown herself as well as in previous books, but I like the way Trollope exposes different sides of a personality through the series. Some of those are less attractive, but brought on by time or circumstance (and possibly by the necessity of plot). ..."

Thanks for summarizing so clearly. I sensed all that you say here, but had not put it into words, Renee.


message 9: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Lori wrote: "When I saw the Duke of Omnium described as "a great llama," I thought it must be a typo at first, but it was repeated several times. I suppose it must have been the way they spelled "lama" back then, but I couldn't help picturing him as an alpaca."

That usage confused me. What does "llama" mean here? "Spiritual advisor?" I didn't "get it" from the context.


message 10: by Nicola (last edited Jan 23, 2017 01:55PM) (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Well I have to say that I found the letters to be about as romantic as a wet face flannel on a cold morning! Still, they both seem satisfied and I'm in the minority here so I'll leave it at that.

One, Miss Dunstable saves Mr. Sowerby. How and why?

By buying up his debts and putting his estate under management (no fool she!). And as for why, I think purely because she doesn't like the Duke of Omnium. Although I will say that even if it hadn't been the case she might very well have done the same thing. She is passionate in her loves and because of how she feels about Frank and Mary she'll do whatever she can to thwart their opponents.

Four, how do the Grantlys behave after Griselda's great triumph?

I think Mrs Grantley's behaviour is pretty understandable. In previous books she has appeared to us in a more favourable light than here but I do remember than when Mrs Proudie has roused her temper she became quite ferocious. And over the years (although with Trollopes terrible authorial playing with time we can't really judge how much time has passed... Six months might suddenly become 10 years again!) no doubt a great storehouse of resentment has built up, all sharpened by the recent disappointment.

She doesn't behave in a vulgar way the same way Mrs Proudie would, but, yes, it has gone to her head a little.

I am more interested in the hints that Trollope might be dropping regarding this great marriage. I said in one of the previous weeks that I had personal reservations as to whether a marriage based on a desire 'to one up another fellow' on one side, and a totally bloodless lack of enthusiasm for anything on the other, would make the best basis for a lifelong partnership. I wasn't really expecting anything further, it was just my personal observation as opposed to those who thought that they were a well suited couple. And then...

Lord Dumbello was a man who had a will of his own,—as the Grantlys boasted amongst themselves. Poor Griselda! the day may perhaps come when this fact of her lord's masterful will may not to her be matter of much boasting.

Oh. Well, that's an interesting comment!

Listening a little further I hear this...

Of Griselda's great beauty the Plumstead household had long been conscious; of her discretion also, of her conduct, and of her demeanour there had been no doubt. But the father had sometimes hinted to the mother that he did not think that Grizzy was quite so clever as her brothers. "I don't agree with you at all," Mrs. Grantly had answered. "Besides, what you call cleverness is not at all necessary in a girl; she is perfectly ladylike; even you won't deny that."

Followed by this...

"She has been a good girl," said the archdeacon, "but she is about to be placed in a position of great temptation."

"She has a strength of mind suited for any position," replied Mrs. Grantly, vain-gloriously.


Serious red alert bells and whistles going off now! That last comment by Mrs Grantly has riding for a fall written all over it!

I would put a small bit of money on all this foreshadowing saying that that marriage is headed for one spectacular smash at some point perhaps? And if so, for what reason? Mrs Proudie is clearly hinting at some amorous adventures by Lord Dumbello prior to his engagement and we've already seen that Griselda sets great stock by her own beauty and is rather spiteful towards any woman who might be considered to be a challenge to her. So, if Lord Dumbello, bored by a wife who doesn't care for him goes a wandering and Griselda finds out as I'm sure she would, then...

It's also been made clear to us that Griselda has no decent principles. She is not only boring, she is ill natured, prideful and lacking in love for anybody. This is already turning into great arrogance and will no doubt exponentially increase.

This conversation concerned me a little:

"I hope she will be happy," Mrs. Arabin said to her sister, as the two were sitting together in the dean's drawing-room.

"Oh, yes; I think she will. Why should she not?" said the mother.

"Oh, no; I know of no reason. But she is going up into a station so much above her own in the eyes of the world that one cannot but feel anxious for her."

"I should feel much more anxious if she were going to marry a poor man," said Mrs. Grantly. "It has always seemed to me that Griselda was fitted for a high position; that nature intended her for rank and state. You see that she is not a bit elated. She takes it all as if it were her own by right. I do not think that there is any danger that her head will be turned, if you mean that."

I was thinking rather of her heart," said Mrs. Arabin.

"She never would have taken Lord Dumbello without loving him," said Mrs. Grantly, speaking rather quickly.

"That is not quite what I mean either, Susan. I am sure she would not have accepted him had she not loved him.

But it is so hard to keep the heart fresh among all the grandeurs of high rank; and it is harder for a girl to do so who has not been born to it, than for one who has enjoyed it as her birthright."


Leaving aside the whole society/forshadowing bad times perhaps ahead part, this particular piece.

"She never would have taken Lord Dumbello without loving him," said Mrs. Grantly, speaking rather quickly.

"That is not quite what I mean either, Susan. I am sure she would not have accepted him had she not loved him.


These two ladies are either stupid or hypocritical/liars.

They are stupid if they genuinely think that Griselda has any love for Lord Dumbello. She has given absolutely no sign of it after all. And if they are just mouthing polite society fiction then they are lying, or being false hypocrites at best, and I'm disappointed in the both of them.


message 11: by Nicola (last edited Jan 23, 2017 02:06PM) (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Trollope outlines Mark's "sins" and the consequences of those "sins." What are those "sins"?

By Trollopes estimation, Marks or mine? :-)

He has reason to distrust Sowerby but his flat out statement of I will sign no more bills on any consideration. is not commendable. He's being an ostrich and rather than doing anything to save his family he just sits around blaming Sowerby and feeling sorry for himself then crying when he thinks of the disgrace of having the bailiffs in and the wound to his precious pride.

Goodness, he sounds a lot like Mr Crawley! Who is currently being rescued by Lucy while Mr Forrest is appealing to Mark to appeal to Lord Lufton. Well, there's a coincidence!

Truthfully I think it incredibly silly of Mark. He's doing everything he possibly can to make his situation worse. By sitting on his hands, refusing to get a bank loan, or help from anyone, I have no sympathy for him at all. If his resolution is not to pay the Tozers from a point of pride, then, like Mr Crawley, he's prepared to destroy his families lives to gratify his own sense of what's owing to himself. He needs to think a lot! less about himself and a lot more about them. Seeing as the book is so near the end I despair of it happening now.


message 12: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2916 comments Mod
Does Griselda have love for anyone but herself?


message 13: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1400 comments Mod
Nicola wrote: "Well I have to say that I found the letters to be about as romantic as a wet face flannel on a cold morning! "

Well, that was kind of the point :-) Dr. Thorne and Miss Dunstable are practical people, and I think their "love letters" were very characteristic of them. It was funny :-)


message 14: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2916 comments Mod
I think that Miss Dunstable would not have considered that Doctor Thorne was a serious suitor if he had sent a typical love letter, since she knew what he was really like.


message 15: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Does Griselda have love for anyone but herself?"

Nope, don't think so...


message 16: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Lori wrote: "Nicola wrote: "Well I have to say that I found the letters to be about as romantic as a wet face flannel on a cold morning! "

Well, that was kind of the point :-) Dr. Thorne and Miss Dunstable are..."


Yes, I know I'm in a group of one in not finding it appealing.


message 17: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
Nicola wrote: "Lori wrote: "Nicola wrote: "Well I have to say that I found the letters to be about as romantic as a wet face flannel on a cold morning! "

Well, that was kind of the point :-) Dr. Thorne and Miss ..."


The proposal maybe wasn't appealing in a traditional sense, but it was authentic to who they are. Several men in this book and the previous one made flowery love speeches to Miss Dunstable and they were totally false. Besides, she knows she isn't young, pretty or obedient, which most men of the time wanted. And it wouldn't have been true to write "I can't live without you" and such, when they would have gone on just as they had been without much misery. But I think they really do appreciate and respect each other and understand each other better than the younger couples do.

There's a popular book about the Five Love Languages, that points out that people are looking for different things in relationships. For instance, I don't care about getting flowers and cards but I love it when my husband fixes things around the house. So I'm more of the Miss Dunstable type. Griselda of course wants to be admired and have a great wardrobe. That was the one time she showed animation, was in preparing her trousseau. She didn't actually care about flowery speeches either. Good thing with Lord Dumbello! But if he doesn't keep admiring her or if he tries to dominate her, watch out. Griselda probably realized how much her mother influenced her father, which we saw in Barchester Towers.

Also, as in the last section with the "kidnapping", I think the proposal is supposed to be humorous so we shouldn't judge it too realistically. In some ways Trollope is subtler than Dickens, who makes it very clear which are the humorous scenes and people in his world and which are not.


message 18: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Nicola wrote: "Well I have to say that I found the letters to be about as romantic as a wet face flannel on a cold morning! ..."

Oh, I totally agree. No romance there.

But they're not a couple which feels the need for romance. I think they are both sufficiently well satisfied with mutual affection and friendship. We are, after all, in an era where many marriages were still largely arranged, and where mature couples were perhaps looking more for companionship and stability as opposed to looking ahead to the remainder of their life alone and without any non-servant to welcome them home and share pleasant evenings together before the fireside.

After all, Dr. Thorne was used to living with a woman (his niece) for company, and he must be feeling more lonely now. His relationship with his niece was not romantic, so not surprising perhaps that he doesn't feel that romance is a necessary prerequisite at this point.


message 19: by Lily (last edited Jan 23, 2017 10:13PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Nicola wrote: "Yes, I know I'm in a group of one in not finding it appealing. .."

LOL! Is effectiveness more relevant than appealing here? Normally, one would think not for love letters, but for these two....?

Personally, I see romance. But, then we all tend to observe different details and have different expectations in these matters.

Romance: "an attraction or aspiration of an emotional or romantic character."

Romantic: "responsive to the appeal of the imaginative or emotional qualities of human experience."


message 20: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Lily wrote: "Nicola wrote: "Yes, I know I'm in a group of one in not finding it appealing. .."

LOL! Is effectiveness more relevant than appealing here? Normally, one would think not for love letters, but for t..."


Not for those two apparently. It worked, they're happy, job done.


message 21: by Brian (new)

Brian Reynolds | 738 comments Ms. Dunstable is one of my favorite characters and while I know their "love' is supposed to be practical, like Nicola, I found the love letters so antiseptic as to be unappealing, I felt Trollope was being satirical about them when I had thought he would take a more respectful attitude to their relationship. If he was not being satirical and was indeed trying to portray their 'fondness' as true, genuine and worthy of marriage, I thought he did a poor job with the letters. As is his wont, he was probably attempting to do both.
I've googled "wet face flannel" and while I find the term wonderfully descriptive, am still confused by it. Not understanding it completely won't prevent me from appropriating it for my own use, though.


message 22: by Nicola (last edited Jan 25, 2017 10:17AM) (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Brian wrote: I've googled "wet face flannel" and while I find the term wonderfully descriptive, am still confused by it..."

Imagine two scenes on a cold and frosty morning...:

Scene One: Shuffling into a cold bathroom, running the hot water and soaking the face flannel, then placing the lovely warm towel over your face, inhaling the warm steam and washing - ending with a warm face, warm hands and clean and glowing happy face.

Scene Two; Shuffling into a cold bathroom, picking up a still wet from last night and slightly musty smelling face flannel. Soaking the face flannel in freezing cold water and washing - ending up with a frozen nose, cold red hands and leaving the room shivering with the cold.

I was kind of hoping for a scene which left me feeling happy and with that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you think something is really sweet, but instead it was more like 'Eurk. Splat (cold wet flannel in the face)'.


message 23: by Brian (last edited Jan 25, 2017 10:40AM) (new)

Brian Reynolds | 738 comments Nicola wrote:
Imagine two scenes on a cold and frosty morning...:

Scene One: Shufflin..."


Thanks! It matches the image I had. I searched because I thought it was a common term I was just unaquainted with and instead it was you who put those three words together. I got a lot of "wet blanket" results and descriptions along with many products I could buy under the heading "wet face flannel."
Tsk Tsk, the things I do on the computer to procrastinate from doing real work.


message 24: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
Brian wrote: "Nicola wrote:
Imagine two scenes on a cold and frosty morning...:

Scene One: Shufflin..."

Thanks! It matches the image I had. I searched because I thought it was a common term I was just unaquai..."


I think "face flannel" is the British equivalent of "washcloth"


message 25: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1895 comments Mod
I appreciated how Trollope reminded us on a couple of occasions that Mark was still a young man (of 26) who had been placed in a position of complete independence and was probably not sufficiently mature to avoid the temptation of too much pleasure (invitations to the grand homes of the neighbourhood for hunting/dining/socializing in style with his social betters) and the weakness of succumbing to the friendly flattery of an older, more urbane friend of higher social standing, to whom he found it impossible to say no when asked for a "small favour". Very few young men working to earn their own living would be in that position by that age (professional men would mostly be working in a firm or partnership with older colleagues or as employees somewhere, most priests would still be curates or in some other junior position, soldiers would still be working up through the ranks).
And while Mark appears to have learned his lesson, he does now seem to be overcompensating by refusing to take sensible measures, presented by trusted advisers, to get himself out of his current fix without calling the bailiffs down upon himself.


message 26: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Hi Lori. When you speak of llama v lama, I wondered at first if the American-English spelling is different from the English-English one. I think that perhaps you are talking about the thought of the 'lama' as a superior being as in the Dalai Lama. I tried to investigate a bit further and from my somewhat limited research it seems that it was indeed the animal, the 'llama'. I don't know why the Duke is described thus apart from the thought that llamas do tend to have a superior look on their long faces with their slightly (or not) protruding teeth. There may well be some more obvious reason. Perhaps in the context of that era it made absolute sense.

Several people talked of the love letters. I found these to be utterly appropriate. They reflected the authors who could probably never have resorted to romantic language; this of course to Miss Dunstable's chagrin. She despairs a little that Dr Thorne makes no mention of love. Perhaps she would have been more forthcoming in her response had the doctor been less guarded. I don't think that he knew how to be otherwise. In the end I think the understated words work well.


message 27: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2916 comments Mod
I got the impression that the Duke of Omnium was a tall man, so maybe that is why he is compared to a llama. However, I doubt if he has the large gentle eyes of a llama. I usually picture him with a superior expression on his face, especially when he has to deal with the "lower classes".


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