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The Trollope Project - Archives > Last Chronicle of Barset: Chapters 19-24 - June 4-June 10

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message 1: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments One, Mr. Crawley admits to Mrs. Crawley that he questions his sanity. However, he stubbornly refuses a lawyer. What is Mr. Walker's advice to Mark Robarts? How does Mr. Crawley take Mark Robarts' advice? Who will Mark Robarts send a letter to asking for help regarding Mr. Crawley?

Two, Major Grantly decides to go to Allington to propose to Grace. How does Mr. Grantly try to bribe Henry? How does Mrs. Grantly react to Henry's news?

Three, Crosbie writes to Mrs. Dale. What does he say in the letter? What is Mrs. Dale's reaction to the letter? What is Lily's reaction to the letter?

Four, John Eames is invited to a dinner party at Mrs. Dobb's Broughton's home through is friend Conway Dalrymple. Who is Conway and what does he do? Who are some of the other attendees at the dinner party?


message 2: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1322 comments Mod
It was nice to see the Grantlys and Mr. Harding again! Such distinctive voices.

I was worried about Crosbie's letter to Mrs. Dale. I'm glad Lily has decided to refuse him (although I didn't like her reason - but she did show more wisdom than usual in coming to it), and I hope she sticks to that decision.

Will Eames be interested in the young lady he met at the dinner party? I hope so!


message 3: by Robin P, Moderator (last edited Jun 04, 2017 10:54AM) (new)

Robin P | 2115 comments Mod
I was pleased that Mrs. Dale admitted that Lily is an adult who can make her own decisions. I'm actually surprised Lily didn't jump at the chance to take Crosbie back. Looking at this objectively, what is the point of punishing him and herself for his mistake? Of course we all detest him because we know what went through his mind at the time and how he put money & position above love. But Lily doesn't know that for sure. I do think he has learned something. I'm also surprised that Alexandrina gave him up so easily. Sure, she didn't really like him or want him, but I would have thought her pride would force her to stay with him and pretend everything was great.


message 4: by Nicola (last edited Jun 04, 2017 02:38PM) (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Lori wrote: "It was nice to see the Grantlys and Mr. Harding again! Such distinctive voices.


It was nice to see Mr Harding again and to hear his comments on the church which made his father a little uncomfortable I think. I was also pleased with Major Grantley's behaviour. He was polite to his father but his mind is made up regarding his choice of wife. Good for him.


I was worried about Crosbie's letter to Mrs. Dale. I'm glad Lily has decided to refuse him (although I didn't like her reason - but she did show more wisdom than usual in coming to it), and I hope she sticks to that decision.

I was a little more cynical in my response to her reaction. I think she did show some wisdom but I also think that she's rather lying to herself and everyone else about the strength of her attachment to Mr Crosbie. I thought her very silly in the previous book with her excessive devotion springing out of nowhere and I thought it was more a case of her determining that such excessive sensibility was how a properly passionate young woman should be. A little like a less authentic Marianne Dashwood.

And now she has the opportunity to get him back,,, and, no. She talks a good game about her sacrifice and her renunciation but... I think the plain truth is that she doesn't love him any more and being now confronted has decided to make herself 'interesting' in being the devoted daughter who renounces her love for her mothers sake. All that crook she talked about Crosbie coming to despise her for remaining in love with him. Excuse me but that's just horse****! The same reasoning wouldn't apply to her because she's a woman and therefore it's against her pefect nature I suppose? That girl is just scrambling around looking for a way to make herself even more of a martyr. It didn't wash with me in the last book and it still doesn't.


Will Eames be interested in the young lady he met at the dinner party? I hope so!


And speaking of insincere young women if you are talking about Miss Demolines I hope he won't! Now there's a woman doing all she can to 'appear interesting' with her stupid opening comments about dinner parties being stopped by Act of Parliament. What a totally asinine thing to say! And then all of her conversation afterwards, just gossip and feeble attempts to make herself look knowing so she would 'stand out and be different'.

As to the rest of her character if she isn't another Amelia Roper in a better dress then I'll eat my hat.

"But Miss Demolines, though she had said nothing as yet, knew her game very well... when she found herself seated, and perceived that on the other side of her was Mr. Ponsonby, a married man, commenced her enterprise at once, and our friend John Eames was immediately aware that he would have no difficulty as to conversation."

If you meant Miss Van Siever then I certainly think she's far more interesting (despite being denigrated for not being softly feminine). She seems intelligent and secure in her own self esteem without having to roll out the goods like a cheap street hawker. I don't think she'd suit Eames though. Conway certainly seems to be interested - quite the change from his initial supercilious disdain based on what she looked like.


message 5: by Nicola (last edited Jun 04, 2017 01:45PM) (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Lynnm wrote: "One, Mr. Crawley admits to Mrs. Crawley that he questions his sanity. However, he stubbornly refuses a lawyer. What is Mr. Walker's advice to Mark Robarts? How does Mr. Crawley take Mark Robarts' a..."

I found the discussion between Mr Crawley and Mark Robarts to be fairly puzzling. I don't have enough background knowledge on Victorian thoughts on madness to know that Mark's belief that Mr Crawley is certainly mad after listening to him lay out his reasons for declining a lawyer would be a reasonable conclusion to reach for Trollopes readers. To me Mr Crawley is clearly sane in all respects - he may certainly have had moments of distraction caused by great stress of mind, but in his basic personality there is not the slightest hint of madness. He may be frustratingly stubborn, but mad? No, not a bit.

So I'm wondering if this is another of Trollopes wild plot stretches (read complete pile of b.s.) that we are supposed to shut our eyes to and pretend that it all makes perfect sense? Or, is this in fact a genuine Victorian belief, that a man must be insane to refuse to hire a lawyer regardless of his character or fortune.

I suppose it might also be attibuted to Marks immense stupidity. Seeing that the opinion I have of the man is that his horse might have more common sense I guess that might be it. It certainly seems a bit rich coming from Mr I'll Stick My Head In The Sand And Refuse To Do Anything, to be critcising any man for his actions when in legal difficulties.


message 6: by Frances, Moderator (last edited Jun 06, 2017 04:54PM) (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1822 comments Mod
Nicola wrote: "I was a little more cynical in my response to her reaction. I think she did show some wisdom but I also think that she's rather lying to herself and everyone else about the strength of her attachment to Mr Crosbie. I thought her very silly in the previous book with her excessive devotion springing out of nowhere and I thought it was more a case of her determining that such excessive sensibility was how a properly passionate young woman should be. A little like a less authentic Marianne Dashwood.."

Marianne Dashwood is a perfect analogy! I also thought she was rather wallowing in her martyrdom, and now has come up with an equally ridiculous excuse for not seeing him-if she wants to martyr herself she can do so just as easily married to him as single! I was also amused to hear John Eames' impression of him, balding and heavier than previously-I was rather hoping she would agree to see him and then reject him on the basis of his not having aged well!

As for Miss Demolines, I'd like to have John enter into a rather public flirtation with her, causing Lily to decide she does want him after all, now that he might be slipping away.

P.S. I'm not this nasty and scheming in real life!


message 7: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1822 comments Mod
Nicola wrote: "I found the discussion between Mr Crawley and Mark Robarts to be fairly puzzling. I don't have enough background knowledge on Victorian thoughts on madness to know that Mark's belief that Mr Crawley is certainly mad after listening to him lay out his reasons for declining a lawyer would be a reasonable conclusion to reach for Trollopes readers. To me Mr Crawley is clearly sane in all respects - he may certainly have had moments of distraction caused by great stress of mind, but in his basic personality there is not the slightest hint of madness. He may be frustratingly stubborn, but mad? No, not a bit.."

Speaking of wallowing in martyrdom, I think that Crawley has reached the point where he is emphasizing his poverty and humiliation as a form of self-flagellation, which would be fine if he wasn't also humiliating his family in the process. I'd earlier been concerned that he was depressed, which may still be the case, but this insisting on for example walking all the way to Barchester in his torn jacket and worn shoes, refusing all refreshments and assistance is getting a bit much.


message 8: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments I'm wondering if the Victorian definition of madness might have included depression. In which case, Crawley's behaviors would seem mad. He is certainly making choices which put himself (and his family) in jeopardy. The choice to refuse a lawyer, even one he doesn't have to pay for, probably seems quite mad to anyone with a healthy sense of self-preservation.


message 9: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Renee wrote: "I'm wondering if the Victorian definition of madness might have included depression. In which case, Crawley's behaviors would seem mad. He is certainly making choices which put himself (and his fam..."

That's a very good thought Renee! Quite possible.


message 10: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 311 comments Frances wrote: P.S. I'm not this nasty and scheming in real life!

LOL!


message 11: by Terrence (last edited Jun 07, 2017 12:55AM) (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 48 comments How did Mr Crawley get the cheque? He does not know! He first said that he got it from Mr Soames and he then said he got it from the dean. Both have denied they gave it to him and now he cannot imagine how he got the cheque.

He says, “Either I ought to be in Bedlam as a madman or in the county goal as a thief”. That is the tragedy of his situation!


message 12: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 48 comments In chapter 20 Trollope explores the Victorian concept of who constitutes a “gentleman”. There was a sharp distinction between “gentlemen” and those of the supposed lower orders who were not considered as such.

Mr Crawley, despite his poverty, his shabby clothes and his muddy boots, is considered a gentleman by everybody, including the servants and grooms. In fact, Trollope says there are “no better judges of the article than the grooms”. It is indeed doubtful whether the grooms considered Mr Thumble a “gentleman” despite his being better off than Mr Crawley.

The concept of the “gentleman” and how he should behave pervades 19th century England. In "Pride and Prejudice", Elizabeth tells Darcy, “had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner...”. Then, in the Military, a good officer was “an officer and a gentleman”.


message 13: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 311 comments I liked how Eames handles Miss Demolines during the dinner - he didn't seem to be taking her very seriously, laughing at her really though with perfect civility. At least there seems to have been some good results of his growing confidence. I also liked his discussion about 'what makes a Gentleman'. I've been growing more aware of the class theme in this Barsetshire series and this is one of the few open discussions of the issue that I can remember.


message 14: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2803 comments Mod
What is it about Lily Dale that I don't like? Her actions don't ring true. In the last book, she considered herself Crosbie's widow, and a few years later she doesn't want to see him. I am not convinced about her reason for doing so-that he would feel scorn for her because she went back to him. At this point, I don't see her getting married to anybody.
To me Johnny may consider himself grown-up and sophisticated, but he still has a lot of growing up to do. He is just drifting along.
The Crawley situation is difficult for all of them. He is such a proud man, too proud, and does not consider how his pride has harmed his family over the years. He is suffering from mental illness, but is not "mad", and certainly doesn't belong in Bedlam. If only he weren't so stubborn!


message 15: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Lori wrote: "I was worried about Crosbie's letter to Mrs. Dale. I'm glad Lily has decided to refuse him (although I didn't like her reason - but she did show more wisdom than usual in coming to it), "

I thought her reason was punk, and stupid. Actually, I don't know why she doesn't go ahead and marry him. Hasn't he learnt his lesson? They still love each other. He's got a good position, and if he's realized his stupidity in abandoning Lily for wealth and position, and has realized the vacuity of both, won't he make a perfectly good husband for her now?


message 16: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Nicola wrote: "I thought her [Lily] very silly in the previous book with her excessive devotion springing out of nowhere "

What do you think of the speculation that she had allowed him to take advantage of her?


message 17: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Frances wrote: "Speaking of wallowing in martyrdom, I think that Crawley has reached the point where he is emphasizing his poverty and humiliation as a form of self-flagellation, which would be fine if he wasn't also humiliating his family in the process.."

Good point. He really is totally self-centered, isn't he? If my pride leaves my wife dressed in rags and my children hungry, so be it. When I was younger (and single) I used to admire Crawley for his integrity, but once I had a family I realized that one can no longer live solely on own principles but has to consider their new obligations.


message 18: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Terrence wrote: "In chapter 20 Trollope explores the Victorian concept of who constitutes a “gentleman”. ."

I should probably pull my book on The Gentlemen in Trollope off the shelf and at least browse it for this discussion.

The Gentleman in Trollope: Individuality and Moral Conduct


message 19: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments I may be a lone voice but I do actually like Lily. She is very like someone I know and whom I like. I do think she's scatty and probably loud and that I'd have to take frequent breaks from her.

There does seem to be more than a smidgen of martyrdom in her behaviour, though how much she is aware of it I'm not sure. I suppose that I allow her a bit of a fool's pardon as she doesn't really seem to have matured. She's more like a child than an adult hence her falling head-over-heels in love with Crosbie without even really knowing him. It seemed more like the love from a fairytale: the happy-ever-after kind. I did expect her to succumb to Crosbie's overtures though I can see that there may be a little revenge in her rejection of him. After all he didn't treat her as a princess and that she would see as her due.


message 20: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1822 comments Mod
I don't find Lily nearly as irritating as others seem to, but I do find her decisions about her future and her refusal even to consider moving on to be frustrating and annoying.


message 21: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie | 217 comments Frances wrote: "I don't find Lily nearly as irritating as others seem to, but I do find her decisions about her future and her refusal even to consider moving on to be frustrating and annoying."

She is twisting religion around for her own ends. Not that she's wrong about the theology, but still she is deciding what she wants from her own psyche, and then finding some Biblical stuff to spout to defend it.


“Only because we have been thinking of him. Out of the full heart the mouth speaketh;—that is, the mouth does so when the full heart is allowed to have its own way comfortably."

"There are things which should be forgotten."

"Forgotten, mamma!"

"The memory of which should not be fostered by much talking.”


But, mamma, when you go to heaven—"

"My dear!"

"But you will go to heaven, mamma, and why should I not speak of it? You will go to heaven, and yet I suppose you have been very wicked, because we are all very wicked. But you won't be told of your wickedness there. You won't be hated there, because you were this or that when you were here."

"I hope not, Lily; but isn't your argument almost profane?"

"No; I don't think so. We ask to be forgiven just as we forgive. That is the way in which we hope to be forgiven, and therefore it is the way in which we ought to forgive. When you say that prayer at night, mamma, do you ever ask yourself whether you have forgiven him?"

"I forgive him as far as humanity can forgive. I would do him no injury."

"But if you and I are forgiven only after that fashion we shall never get to heaven."




message 22: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1822 comments Mod
Yes, I truly started to feel that she wanted to be something of a martyr, which is always a bit annoying.


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