The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

23 views
The Trollope Project - Archives > Last Chronicle of Barset: Chapters 7-12 - May 21-May 27

Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments One, more of a statement than questions: I feel sorry for Mr. Crawley. While he would make me crazy in real life, his beliefs are sincere, and while many of his misfortunes are his own fault, it is because he won't compromise his beliefs. One thing that I'm confused about - they make it seem that his only defense is that he's "mad." To me, he's more like someone who is absent-minded because he has more important things on his mind - like an absent-minded professor.

Two, Henry Grantly speaks with Miss Prettyman about Grace. What are Henry's intentions regarding Grace? How does he seem himself and what he will do regarding Grace in his daydreams vs. what he feels must be done on a practical level? In the end, what do they/he decide?

Three, Grace Crawley visits Lily and Mrs. Dale in Allington. Lily talks about how Grace doesn't know her own power; what does she mean by that? Also, in that same chapter, Trollope considers poverty. What does he say? What is Grace's hope regarding her own poverty - her "relief on this side of the grave"?

Four, in the dinner at Framley, Lord Lufton, Mark Robarts, Mr. Thorne, and the Archdeacon discuss Mr. Crawley's situation. What do they decide? How does Lord Lufton explain his own decision regarding Mr. Crawley's case? What is Lord Lufton's belief regarding the jury in Mr. Crawley's trial?

Five, we see another battle between the Bishop and Mrs. Proudie. What is Mrs. Proudie's intentions regarding Mr. Crawley?


message 2: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1280 comments Mod
As an aspiring writer, I've been paying attention to how authors create a distinctive voice for each character. Trollope and Scott are very good at this, better than Dickens for example (especially with women).

I feel sorry for Crawley, but I think I feel even sorrier for his family and those who are trying to help him.


message 3: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments Agreed. Mrs. Crawley must have some serious strength of spirit to have chosen and live with such a man. Huge integrity, but little common sense.

I do love seeing so many characters from the series coming together in this novel. I think Mrs. Proudie is being cast as the villain, while Soames may merely be mistaken about the wallet. The truth will probably bring about a crashing loss of face for several of the characters. I still don't believe Crawley even picked it up absentmindedly... Although his absentmind-ness may be why he can't remember where the money comes from.


message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 29 comments Lynnm wrote: "One thing that I'm confused about - they make it seem that his only defense is that he's "mad." To me, he's more like someone who is absent-minded because he has more important things on his mind - like an absent-minded professor. "

I'm torn here. I think that he's clearly suffering from a mental illness. Not just because of his actions here (there's much rending of hair etc but frankly I'd be doing the same in these circumstances) But looking backwards too. I think he is a deeply principled rigid person who suffers from depression, something not understood very well at the time. I read somewhere that Trollope based him partially on his father. He (Crawley) used to drive me bonkers but I'm much more sympathetic this reading round. As I became with Lily. Perhaps it's age creeping up :-)


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 29 comments Lori wrote: "As an aspiring writer, I've been paying attention to how authors create a distinctive voice for each character. Trollope and Scott are very good at this, better than Dickens for example (especially women..."

Yes! I think Trollope is an amazing writer of women (one of my favourite characterisations being Lady Laura) He has such insight and sympathy. I haven't read any Scott but I'll add that to my list now. Thanks!


message 6: by Terrence (last edited May 24, 2017 11:24PM) (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 48 comments Major Grantly thinks Mr Crawley is guilty and wishes to break off his attachment to Grace. He visits Miss Prettyman in the hope that she will condone his doing so. However, Miss Prettyman does just the opposite and hence he continues with his attachment. However, the big question is whether he will follow Crosbie’s example and eventually abandon her?

I do not think so and I feel that their story will follow the same pattern as the Lufton-Lucy love story and the Frank Gresham-Mary Thorne love story.


message 7: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 48 comments It’s nice to be back again in Allington with Lily Dale and the occupants of the Small House and the Great House. There is a Mr Green staying at the Great House and I do hope he does not turn out to be another Crosbie!


message 8: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 48 comments Mrs Proudie is against Mr Crawley for two reasons. Firstly, he does not show that obsequiousness towards her that she expects from the clergy of the diocese. Secondly, he has been brought into the diocese by Dean Arabin and belongs to that party that is opposed to the bishop.

Hence, Mrs Proudie in her vindictiveness is all out to deprive Mr Crawley of his living.


message 9: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1776 comments Mod
SarahHannah wrote: "I'm torn here. I think that he's clearly suffering from a mental illness. Not just because of his actions here (there's much rending of hair etc but frankly I'd be doing the same in these circumstances) But looking backwards too. I think he is a deeply principled rigid person who suffers from depression,"

I agree, this was my impression of Crawley, and I think it is a very clear description of depression-the low mood, the hopelessness, the anger and poor sleep and sense of worthlessness. He is so fortunate to continue to have the love and support of his wife (who was brought up in ease and comfort) and of his friends.

Mrs Proudie is back and just as awful as previously-her combination of arrogance and ignorance (misunderstanding both the legal process and the ecclesiastical laws) is maddening and I do so wish that the Bishop could stand up to her for once.

I'm not sure what to make of Henry Grantly-he has chosen the woman of his heart over the woman with money, and it appeared that in choosing not to see Grace on the day he visited the school he was in some ways being guided by Miss Prettyman, so for now I am classifying him as one of the good ones.


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 29 comments Frances wrote: "Mrs Proudie is back and just as awful as previously-her combination of arrogance and ignorance (misunderstanding both the legal process and the ecclesiastical laws) is maddening and I do so wish that the Bishop could stand up to her for once."

I don't know why but I never find Mrs. Proudie maddening. She seems to me to be such a delicious comic character. She's so awful that she's fantastic She's a sort of OTT harridan in a similar way to Lizzy Eustace being an OTT minx. But I know how easily it is to read characters in different ways.


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 29 comments Here's a link to today's The Trollope Jupiter which features the illustrations in various versions of the LC. But *SPOILER ALERT* there may be plot spoilers within the commentary and illustrations, but it might be something interesting to delve into later for first time readers.
https://thetrollopejupiter.wordpress....


message 12: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Renee wrote: "Mrs. Crawley must have some serious strength of spirit to have chosen and live with such a man. Huge integrity, but little common sense. ."

I'm not sure I see the lack of common sense. Where do you see that come out? She seems pretty sensible to me, given what she has to deal with.


message 13: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 29 comments I think the lack of common sense refers to the Rev Crawley rather than the Mrs :-)


message 14: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments SarahHannah wrote: " think Trollope is an amazing writer of women (one of my favourite characterisations being Lady Laura) "

He already has three strong wives, each definitely influential in the home, but all quite different. I really enjoyed Mrs. Grantley knowing full well that her husband's threat to withdraw Henry's income will never happen. And Mrs. Proudie -- is there any husband in all of literature more henpecked than the bishop?


message 15: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Frances wrote: "Mrs Proudie is back and just as awful as previously"

Awful,for sure, but maybe as much in its original sense as its modern sense!

But she is so earnest and domineering that it's hilarious to read. When she makes her husband take out "confession," I couldn't help reading the passage to my wife.


message 16: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2032 comments Mod
Of course, Mrs. Proudie had no outlets for her "talents" such as being a bishop herself, or Member of Parliament. i agree that she is delightfully awful. The other wives are more subtle in their influence over their husbands. The Bishop did stand up to her once in Barchester Towers but apparently that was his only rebellion.


message 17: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Robin wrote: "Of course, Mrs. Proudie had no outlets for her "talents" such as being a bishop herself, or Member of Parliament.

True, and well worth keeping in mind.


message 18: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Robin wrote: "Of course, Mrs. Proudie had no outlets for her "talents" such as being a bishop herself, or Member of Parliament. "

I have been rolling around in my mind the image of Mrs. Proudie during Question Period. (Did they have that in Parliament back then?) I can't really wrap my mind around it, but I'm sure it would have been exciting to watch.


message 19: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2032 comments Mod
She wouldn't have been any good at compromise as she never doubts her own interpretation and priorities. The other wives, Mrs Grantly, Mrs Robards and Lucy Lufton, are subtler in influencing their husbands. Even Mrs. Crawley tries to influence her husband without much success.


message 20: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1776 comments Mod
Except that Mrs Proudie is that dangerous combination of ignorance and arrogance-she is completely convinced of her own rightness and righteousness, even when she has her facts wrong. A wonderful, awful, infuriating and amusing character!


message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 29 comments Frances wrote: "I'm not sure what to make of Henry Grantly-he has chosen the woman of his heart over the woman with money, and it appeared that in choosing not to see Grace on the day he visited the school he was in some ways being guided by Miss Prettyman, so for now I am classifying him as one of the good ones."

I'm with Frances. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, but a tiny part of me is a little disappointed that he didn't man up and 'pop'.


message 22: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 29 comments Robin wrote "The Bishop did stand up to her once in Barchester Towers but apparently that was his only rebellion.

That was fantastic! She starved him out as I recall and it was the beginning of the end of Mr. Slope.


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 29 comments Everyman wrote: "And Mrs. Proudie -- is there any husband in all of literature more henpecked than the bishop?"

Great question! I've been racking my brains and can't think of one. I cheated and googled but could only find reference to Walter Mitty. Surely there must be some more famously henpecked husbands?


message 24: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2032 comments Mod
I suppose you could say Macbeth though that's on a grand scale. Did we see anyone in Dickens? Maybe Sam Weller's father who has to clean up his life after he gets remarried.


message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahbethie) | 14 comments My sympathy for Mr. Crawley was short-lived. I can't recall if it has come out thus far but I will say that while he's poor he views his poverty through a very different guise from those he encounters. And there's the not so subtle insinuation throughout of his superiority to his peers due to the intellectual prowess he believes he holds over others. He believes himself a victim rather than the contributing factor of his fate.

There are a lot of Mr. Crawleys today. Our modern day iteration is the philosophy that college equals wealth and 'the good life.' This was the route to the promised land that many traversed. But that ideology has been handily disrupted and we're beginning to see the tipping point. Credentials are fine but they are not the bee's knees for most. The Internet has proven this point.

It isn't that Crawley is a bad person. It's his misguided belief that intelligence entitles him to monetary success wholly due to the facts he's absorbed. I believe he would have been better served by a large measure of shrewdness as opposed to the archaic Greek he extols. That is what many successful men of that age (and the current) have in spades.

SarahHannah, you are very patient. I don't think I could handle a second reading of him. ;-)


message 26: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Frances wrote: "Except that Mrs Proudie is that dangerous combination of ignorance and arrogance-she is completely convinced of her own rightness and righteousness, even when she has her facts wrong. A wonderful, awful, infuriating and amusing character! ."

Nobody any of us know, of course! [g]


message 27: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments SarahHannah wrote: "
I'm with Frances. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, but a tiny part of me is a little disappointed that he didn't man up and 'pop'. ."


I think there was more respect for the opinions of parents then than there is today. It was still largely a Christian culture, and the
fifth Commandment was still influential.


message 28: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 29 comments Sarah wrote: "It isn't that Crawley is a bad person. It's his misguided belief that intelligence entitles him to monetary success wholly due to the facts he's absorbed.."

I totally get what you mean when you say " And there's the not so subtle insinuation throughout of his superiority to his peers due to the intellectual prowess he believes he holds over others. He believes himself a victim rather than the contributing factor of his fate. " (Gorgeously worded) Absolutely! But I don't think he expects any monetary success. I think, to the contrary, he despises money. I can imagine him as one of those priests in a hair shirt, lashing himself to mortify his flesh and soul :-)


message 29: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2770 comments Mod
There are two infuriating characters:
Mrs. Proudie-she is just awful. The concept of Christian charity is alien to her.

Mr. Crawley-who suffers from the sin of pride. If he could only see that other want to help him, not humiliate him, his family would not be living in such dire poverty.

I can't wait to see how this will all turn out. I am hoping that Lily Dale gives Grace a chance to make her own decisions concerning Major Grantley. And like some other members, I think he will not let her down.


message 30: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Everyman wrote: "Renee wrote: "Mrs. Crawley must have some serious strength of spirit to have chosen and live with such a man. Huge integrity, but little common sense. ."

I'm not sure I see the lack of common sens..."


I agree in that I think Mrs. Crawley has a lot of sense when it comes to dealing with her husband and her lot in life. I found myself comparing her to Mrs. Proudie. Mrs. Crawley is a true Christian and a loving and steadfast wife whereas Mrs. Proudie is anything but. Mrs Crawley sees her role in life to be a support to her husband and to encourage the best in him and Mrs. Proudie seems to view her husband as a means to getting her own way no matter what the cost to him.


message 31: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Mr. Crawley seems to have mental issues that have probably been worsened by the conditions under which he has lived. He seems to have some sort of personality disorder or maybe he has bipolar disorder. He is obviously very intelligent and depressive disorders are more common in those with a high IQ. His periods of not speaking and then of being very eloquent would be typical and he is cycling between mania and depression fast as the condition worsens. Mrs. Crawley I believe knows this of her husband but not what he is suffering or how to help him. Anyone living with someone like this has to have great patience and love and Mrs. Crawley has become a favourite with me.


message 32: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments I agree, Tracey. Mrs. Crawley is essentially a supporting character but Trollope makes her very real. She stands out for me, as well.


back to top