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The Trollope Project - Archives > Framley Parsonage: Chapters 43-48 - January 29-February 4

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message 1: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments Sadly, we are at the end of Framley Parsonage. It feels as if we just began the novel.

One, we see a transformation in Lady Lufton's views on Lucy. Why does Lady Lufton feel that Lucy is insignificant? Why does she change her mind about Lucy? Describe Lucy Lufton's graciousness to Lucy during their conversation in the carriage.

Two, how does Lord Lufton save the Robarts family? How does the gossip mill treat Mark Robarts?

Three, Mark Robarts and family are saved from further embarrassment and attention due to another rumor swirling in Barcetshire. What possible event - seen by some as an actuality - cause the rumor mill to swirl? How do the Grantly's respond to the rumors? How does Griselda respond to the rumors? Even though it is the only hinted at, do you think Mr. Grantly has a hand in bringing Lord Dumbello back to the Continent to the altar? Do Lord Dumbello and Griselda up up having a solid marriage?

Four, how does Mr. Crawley's character transform a bit?

Five, despite Miss Dunstable's/Mrs. Thorne's efforts to bring down the Duke, they fail. Why? What happens to Sowerby?

Six, there are hints in the last chapter that Lord Lufton is not quite as happy immediately following the marriage ceremony than he was pre-marriage. Why?


message 2: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2768 comments Mod
The wedding between Lord Dumbello and Griselda Grantly came about due to the intervention of the Archdeacon. Mr. Grantly went to fetch to spare the embarassment of his daughter being jilted. I don't think that Griselda actually loves Lord Dumbello, but he agreed to marry her, and she really wants the social position as his wife. And so they got married. Their married life will be lacking in emotional outbursts and arguments, because they really don't feel that strongly about each other-- or anything.


message 3: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Rosemarie wrote: "The wedding between Lord Dumbello and Griselda Grantly came about due to the intervention of the Archdeacon. "

It was a not atypical upper class Victorian marriage, more based on compatibility and shared class and interests than romantic love. But I suspect they will be happy enough because neither will have any particular expectations of love from the other, and they will both understand and fulfill their roles in the marriage: she will provide the children and run the house, making it welcoming for his friends and colleagues, and he will pay the bills generously.


message 4: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 48 comments Lady Lufton is in a real dilemma regarding the love affair of her son and Lucy. On the one hand she is determined to do what she considers is right and refuses to give her consent. On the other hand she cannot afford to displease her son. Her son is everything to her: “the sun of her earthly heaven shone upon her through the medium of his existence.” If she were driven to quarrel with him, “the world to her would be over.”
Lady Lufton’s main objection to Lucy is that she is “insignificant”. It is here that Lady Lufton is mistaken. She does not know Lucy! Lufton exclaims: “I never in my life heard anything so absurd, so untrue, so uncharitable!”
Finally, when Lady Lufton realises Lucy’s true character, she gives her consent.


message 5: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 48 comments The sheriffs entering Framley Parsonage is “breaking news” in Barchester, particularly in the cathedral close and the bishop’s palace. Mrs Proudie is exhilarated by and enjoys the news of Robarts’ humiliation.
Nevertheless, more startling news drives away this story from being the usual “nine days” wonder. A rumour that Lord Dumbello has jilted Miss Grantley sweeps through the cathedral close. Mrs Proudie is adamant in believing the story which she says “makes her blood to creep!” She is so distressed by the story that she has no hesitation in conveying her distress to all and sundry, attempting to make their blood “creep” too.
Eventually, the Grantleys too believe that there may be some truth in the story. Griselda is asked to stop wedding preparations and the Archdeacon goes off to London to investigate the truth of the story. The rumour is that the archdeacon even followed Dumbello to Paris and succeeded in bringing him back. Nevertheless, “all’s well that ends well”, and Lord Dumbello and Miss Grantley finally do get married to each other, to the bitter disappointment of Mrs Proudie.


message 6: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments It felt to me that Trollope wrapped up at least another one of his sprawling novels, that normally delve into the hows and whys and shenanigans of events, into a single chapter. Surprised me, but not totally unsatisfied to reach a "last chapter" of this novel. Not that I wasn't still enjoying it and that I wouldn't have liked the details that led to the tying up of the various loose ends, characters, and romances. But the book needed to end, I think, maybe?


message 7: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2768 comments Mod
I think that Trollope did thjnk that it was time to end the book, so we learn about what happens to all the characters. The fate of Mr. Sowerby is a sad one, but brought about entirely by his own actions. He realized too late that he had made many foolish mistakes in his life, too late to do anything about his future without his family estate and position in England.


message 8: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Terrence wrote: "Mrs Proudie is adamant in believing the story which she says “makes her blood to creep!” She is so distressed by the story that she has no hesitation in conveying her distress to all and sundry, attempting to make their blood “creep” too. "

Ah, is there anybody here who isn't delighted by Mrs. Proudie being hoist by her own petard? She was so malevolently delighted in the expectation of the failure of the Griselda marriage that I, at least, cheered when she was trumped and it went forward.

Is there anybody who feels at all sad for her?

[BTW, have just started re-reading The Claverings and am surprised to find Bishop and Mrs. Proudie in it! I had forgotten that. It's not part of the Barchester set, so I had no expectation of their appearing. Just an off note for those interested. ]


message 9: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2768 comments Mod
Re Mrs. Proudie-- the answer is no.


message 10: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2012 comments Mod
Terrence wrote: "The sheriffs entering Framley Parsonage is “breaking news” in Barchester, particularly in the cathedral close and the bishop’s palace. Mrs Proudie is exhilarated by and enjoys the news of Robarts’ ..."

There was no Facebook or Twitter to spread the news or celebrity magazines, but the love of gossip was the same as ever, and the delight in the suffering of those who had been considered above others but were now brought low.


message 11: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 48 comments One factor that endears Trollope to the reader is his inimitable, humorous style. When a two-horse carriage comes to the Hogglestock parsonage, Lucy thinks: “might it not be Lord Lufton-forgetting for the moment that Lord Lufton did not go about the country in a close chariot with a fat footman.”


message 12: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 48 comments I wish to say in conclusion that I consider the Lord Lufton-Lucy Robarts love story together with the intervention therein of the future mother- in-law, Lady Lufton, as one of the finest pieces of romance in English literature, surpassing even those of Jane Austen.


message 13: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments It was a really wonderful read! And so gratifying to see Lucy finally recognized for her fine qualities. (And certain other characters reaping their own "reward") I did feel a twinge for Sowerby, but I think Trollope created a great and realistic character in him.

I'm glad to hear that Trollope's characters get out of their novels and scatter about in the other books. It will be like finding Easter Eggs from the past. :D


message 14: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2768 comments Mod
Balzac had characters popping up in various books as well. But his characters were not like old friends, which Trollope succeeded in doing. Mrs. Proudie is like one of those. She gets on your nerves, but....


message 15: by Dan (new)

Dan | 86 comments Not sad to see it end, because there are many more on the horizon. Trollope is "wonderful " to read. Whether I'm in a middle seat on an airplane, or riding a train, I feel like I am placed in a large comfortable easy-chair when I open up one of his books.


message 16: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2768 comments Mod
I like that picture, Dan.


message 17: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments I can understand Elizabeth Gaskell's saying that she wanted Anthony Trollope to write Framley Parsonage forever. His writing is delightful. His wit is subtle and biting and wonderful. I'm so thankful that there are still more to go. And I even have most of The Warden to read. I am quite happy that it's still outstanding as it gives me more time to spend with these larger-than-life yet believable characters!


message 18: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments I'm with ya, Hillary! Such a treat!


message 19: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Yay, Renee!! Such a great experience!!!


message 20: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments I love it that there are people here who have finally found Trollope and recognize his genius. I've been talking him (and Hardy!) up for 60 years, but it was mighty lonely out there for much of that time.

And of course there are also people here who have been loving him for almost as long as I have (I am the old man of the group, aren't I?) Don't want to leave you out!


message 21: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I like that picture, Dan."

I agree!


message 22: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 311 comments So Lord Lufton rescues Mark just as Lucy rescued the Crawley family. I'm glad to see that Mr Crawley finally took his head out of his own self absorbed bottom long enough to be properly grateful for what she did. I only wish it would have a lasting effect but it probably won't.

I'm less happy with Lord Lufton speaking and dealing with Lady Lufton the way he does. He's right, just as Lucy was, and high handed, just as Lucy was, but the circumstances aren't similar. I don't excuse his discourtesy towards his mother; not his insistence on marrying Lucy, but the way he went about it.

The marriage with Dumbello and Griselda is off to a cracking start... I'm rather disappointed we didn't get to see the confrontation between the Archdeacon and the would be absconding bridegroom though. That would have been amusing.

Six, there are hints in the last chapter that Lord Lufton is not quite as happy immediately following the marriage ceremony than he was pre-marriage. Why?

Because Trollope is lousy at Romance? I enjoy his books but so far I haven't felt a single 'awww, that's sweet' moment throughout. So the whole 'well once he got what he wanted Lufton decided that there wasn't really all that much special about it after all' was following the general theme. I still prefer his romances to Dickens though - they are bad but at least they don't make me grimace in disgust at the appalling coyness of the language. Better a flat uninspiring romance than a couple two heart beats away from babbling baby talk to one another.


message 23: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Awh, that's where I'm undoubtedly pretty soppy, Nicola. The more years that turn yet another hair grey, the more that I find sugary sweetness more palatable. I actually think that someone ought to have suggested the baby babbling to Trollope. I imagine that in his hands the "Goo Goo Ga Ga" language would quickly have become terribly attractive and erudite. I have every faith in him. Alas, we shall never know ...


message 24: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Everyman, I remember my darling mother talking about Trollope with great admiration. (She didn't dare read Dickens as she believed that she would find the content too harrowing, even though her mother was a huge Dickens fan.). I may have turned a deaf ear to her ravings, but I'm sure that your enthusiasm rubbed off on me.

It's also true that when I watched the BBC production of 'Barchester Chronicles' when in my 20s, I was absolutely captivated by it. So much so that when at my older son's graduation many, many years later, I met Alan Rickman (who played Slope) I became a jibbering wreck. All I could think of was Slope, the Proudies et al. and the effect those characters and that series had had on me. Oh dear, I utterly disgraced myself! :D


message 25: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2768 comments Mod
Hilary. You met Alan Rickman!!!!!!!!!


message 26: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Hilary wrote: "actually think that someone ought to have suggested the baby babbling to Trollope. I imagine that in his hands the "Goo Goo Ga Ga" language would quickly have become terribly attractive and erudite. I have every faith in him. Alas, we shall never know .. ..."

Well, we sort of had it back in Barchester Towers, with Eleanor Bold and her baby. I didn't particularly notice it in the book, but the BBC production, the gushing seemed overdone to me in at least one scene -- at Mary's home with Slope visiting -- I may be pushing two scenes together? As I recall, there was another rather sweet scene in her room with her baby when she was staying with her sister and feeling persecuted by the rest of the family.

A slightly different baby love passage. There is more nearby. Really quite lovely from Trollope: (view spoiler)

Trollope, Anthony. Barchester Towers (p. 15). . Kindle Edition.


message 27: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1774 comments Mod
I also loved this novel, and have loved Trollope for many years.

Did it strike anyone else that the Crawleys were a bit of a picture of how Frank and Mary might have ended up if Mary hadn't turned out to be an heiress? The descent from gentility into grinding poverty as they tried to live on the income from farming (their original plan) and love? The Crawleys were a love match, she at least was of a good family, and they married without having an an obvious source of income.


message 28: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Frances wrote: "I also loved this novel, and have loved Trollope for many years.

Did it strike anyone else that the Crawleys were a bit of a picture of how Frank and Mary might have ended up if Mary hadn't turned..."


They wouldn't have been poor. Frank was promised an income by his father plus whatever they could have made from the farm. By the standards of the day they would have been perfectly comfortable, just not rich.


message 29: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Unfortunately, Lily, the spoilers tag doesn't work on my phone. (Very little does!). I do remember the gushing over her baby in the BBC series though. In many ways I gave Eleanor a bit of a 'fool's pardon' as she had lost her husband and this baby was all that she had left of him.


message 30: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments I see what you mean, Frances, concerning the potential love parallel between the Crawleys and The Greshams. I also suppose that's true, Nicola, that the latter wouldn't have been poor. I remember somehow having a sense of semi-poverty at the time, though that, I think, was Frank's analysis of his father's rather optimistic synopsis of his son's future.


message 31: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Oh yes, Frances, when you say that Mrs Crawley came from a good family, (I can't remember!) does that mean that they were well-off. If so, they could at least have helped them financially ... Or is that unfair?


message 32: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Oh dear my half-written comment has disappeared. It was to answer you, Rosemarie. I did indeed meet the dear Mr Rickman with that inimitable voice, though it was not quite so Slopesque! I'm a jibbering idiot just now thinking about it. He said "You must be the mother!" Then I became a blob of jelly! (Jello/gello?). My husband and he had quite a far-reaching conversation though, ranging from Barchester to Mr R's friend's annual music festival in Galway. He said that they had had such a laugh on the set of Barchester that he always looked back on it fondly.

He had been a student at RADA, (where my son was graduating) and then Ambassador and Vice Chairman of the Council. It's hard to take in that in six months he was to pass away. He kept the cancer secret. Only close friends and family knew. He was such a lovely, unassuming, friendly and shy ☺️ person. He died too soon!


message 33: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2768 comments Mod
My daughter and I were both shaken when we heard that he had died, and we were also upset by the loss of David Bowie.

Getting back to Barchester, I have not seen the series, but he definitely had the voice for Slope, in order to be so convincing with the ladies.

I am looking forward to the next installment. I wonder which characters we will be meeting again.


message 34: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Getting back to Barchester, I have not seen the series, but he definitely had the voice for Slope, in order to be so convincing with the ladies."

He was a wonderfully repulsive Slope. You felt that to touch him would be like touching a slimy, yucky snake.

If he really was a nice person in real life, it just shows how remarkable an actor he was to portray so successfully such an odious creature.


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