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The Golden Lion of Granpere
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Archived Group Reads 2018 > Golden Lion: Week 1: Ch. 1-4

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message 1: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1933 comments Mod
Just a few questions to get the conversation started. You can respond to these or comment on any aspect from this section.

Ch 1-4
•What characters are introduced and what elements of plot are laid down in this section?
•What is the primary problem of the story?
•At present this story seems to follow the formula of a romance. What similarities or differences do you see with that which today would be termed “Chick Lit?”

I found this to be a very light and easy read. It’s so pleasant that you may find yourself reading ahead. Just be careful of disclosing key elements as you comment.

A little armchair travel is a nice way to end the summer.


message 2: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments Since I just read the first section in a couple of hours at most, agreed this is an easy read. So far the characters don’t seem as complex as in other Trollope novels, perhaps that will change.
Marie and George both are good hardworking people, in love but unfortunately had made the mistake of not asking for permission of Michel Voss. After George is sent away to work in the town of Colmar, Marie is left broken-hearted and not knowing if her betrothed still loves her or if she will see him again. For her part, she will remain true to her promise and won’t marry anyone else. This becomes a problem when a prosperous linen buyer Adrian wishes to marry her and has the blessing of her uncle Michel. Marie loves and dotes on her uncle but cannot agree to this and certainly can’t reveal the promise to George.

More than just the rocky road of these two lovers, the theme of duty, specifically that of the individual duty of family members, stands out for me in this first section. Michel feels it was Marie and George’s duty to ask his permission before embarking on a love affair. Now it is his duty to arrange for a good marriage match for Marie, just as he would for any daughter. In his mind, it is Marie’s duty to obey him as head of house and agree to marry Adrian. Marie also knows it is her duty to obey, but she is conflicted because of her promise to George and her continuing love. The issue of duty, both in the private and public spheres, is one Trollope explores in so many of his other novels. Sometimes very darkly, other times in a lighter vein.


message 3: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1933 comments Mod
No, the characters are not as well developed as is usual for Trollope. It’s my understanding that he published this under a pseudonym in the middle of his career. I don’t have any info on why. Perhaps he was trying out a slightly different style.

I love your comments on duty! Very astute observations. This theme shows up throughout the novel. And much of the conflict stems from the duty-related expectations the characters have.


Gregg | 4 comments This is the first novel I’ve read by Trollope, and I’m finding him heavy on exposition in the early chapters. Not an original observation, I know—the narrator himself points it out in the first chapter, I think. But I’m reminded of a snotty comment George Eliot made about Trollope—something like “don’t be a writer who wrote one or twenty books too many” or something like that. I’m wondering where this novel falls in his corpus, that she would have made an observation like that.

Awfully depressing how romance and love is so at the mercy of circumstance. That’s what keeps running through my head as I watch Marie get courted.


message 5: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1933 comments Mod
Circumstance and location!


Nina Clare | 135 comments Renee wrote: A little armchair travel is a nice way to end the summer.

What a total contrast to Wuthering Heights this is! After the passion and angst of WH this feels very tame and gentle.
I'm expecting it to be a straightforward romance between Marie and George, a few twists and turns along the way until they all live happily ever after (not that there's anything wrong with that!)
I feel a teeny bit frustrated at Marie's slavish devotion to her uncle, and to making herself so subservient, but I'm glad that so far she's resisting all attempts at being married off to a man she doesn't care for.



Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Nina wrote: "Renee wrote: A little armchair travel is a nice way to end the summer.

What a total contrast to Wuthering Heights this is! After the passion and angst of WH this feels very tame and gentle.
I'm ..."


I had to start and restart it several times before I managed to get through the first few chapters, just because it is such a contrast to Wuthering Heights, it's maybe like Renee says in her opening comment this opening feels like 'chick lit', where Marie is going to be rewarded by all her good work and obedience by finally being married to George with probably a couple of misunderstandings a long the way.
I do have a place for the light and fluffy and predictable (got to emphaise I don't know if it is predictable that is just my guess from these opening chapters!), but it is hard to immediately adjust to it after all the drama and complexities of our previous read.


Laurene | 158 comments Nina wrote: "Renee wrote: A little armchair travel is a nice way to end the summer.

What a total contrast to Wuthering Heights this is! After the passion and angst of WH this feels very tame and gentle.
I'm ..."


Like button!


Brittany (Lady Red) (ladyred19) | 152 comments I agree about the father. I’ve noticed that in a lot of novels from the era, and in many cases I’d say it’s to do with honoring Victorian behavioral codes without making heroines completely insipid.
But this is Trollope, so he might be doing something else.


message 10: by Laurene (last edited Aug 01, 2018 03:04PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Laurene | 158 comments I am finding The Golden Lion of Granpere light and refreshing compared to Wives and Daughters, Vanity Fair and Wuthering Heights. I think this is the perfect book to transition into the upcoming Autumn reads. I already like Marie -- she has committed herself to George and she takes her commitments seriously even if George has disappeared for a year. Her uncle does not have any idea what is going on behind the scenes. He just thinks he has found the perfect match in Adrian..


message 11: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments I would classify Golden Lion as a minor work of Trollope. I noted in another post, he actually ended up being disappointed with it, but he doesn't say why. I see it as a much simpler, one plot novel as opposed to many of his other major works which have numerous characters and plot lines going at once. I find themes in Golden Lion that also occur in other novels- duty, people constrained by the Victorian rules of proper behavior, the role of women, investigating the interior thinking of the characters so enabling our understanding of their behavior.

In having the story take place outside of England, Trollope seems to be inferring that other cultures (French/German) live by many of the same social rules, even though the class hierarchy here does not exist in the same way. I would think as the story was inspired by his own travels, it reflects his observations of the people in the region.


Rosemarie | 199 comments I am enjoying the European "flavour" of this book, especially since I have actually been in Colmar.
There is a genre of books in German, called Heimatroman, which usually takes place in a small town in the mountains or forest, often with an in or innkeeper.
This novel reminds me so much of those books.
I am really enjoying it so far. Since the book is by Trollope, I am pretty sure it will have a happy ending.

I think Michel Voss is too stubborn to admit he is wrong. But then, George is stubborn too. If those two would only talk to each other.


Brittany (Lady Red) (ladyred19) | 152 comments I didn’t know that! Is that similar to pastoral novels?


Rosemarie | 199 comments The term Heimatroman is hard to translate. Loosely translated it means novel of the Home, as in Homeland. It is usually nostalgic, with family relationships being one of the main themes, generally with a love story.


Brittany (Lady Red) (ladyred19) | 152 comments That’s really interesting, thanks. Shares themes with romance fiction then too.


message 16: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1933 comments Mod
That is so interesting, Rosemarie. Thanks so much for sharing. I love the concept. It seems they would be very comforting.

I’m reminded that the fairy/folk tales of the Grimm brothers were originally called Household or Kitchen Tales, Although I’m not sure of the connection.


message 17: by Kerstin, Moderator (last edited Aug 04, 2018 03:32PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kerstin | 620 comments Mod
I am having a hard time getting into this novel. I read The Warden by Trollope before, and I didn't think it all that great either. Maybe it is his writing style that just doesn't resonate.

Rosemarie's comparison with the Heimatroman is interesting. There is definitely a bit of it, but I find it doesn't dip as deeply into the culture, faith, and customs of the locale as a Heimatroman. Two major authors (and there are many) of the Heimatroman are Peter Rosegger (he was Austrian) and Ludwig Ganghofer, and I find them much better storytellers than Trollope.


Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Kerstin wrote: "I am having a hard time getting into this novel. I read The Warden by Trollope before, and I didn't think it all that great either. Maybe it is his writing style that just doesn't res..."

It is strange because it is very easy to read, but I am finding it difficult to muster more than mild curiosity about what happens to the characters.


Laurene | 158 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I am enjoying the European "flavour" of this book, especially since I have actually been in Colmar.
There is a genre of books in German, called Heimatroman, which usually takes place in a small tow..."


Thank you for the information -- hoping for a happy ending. :)


Brittany (Lady Red) (ladyred19) | 152 comments I agree with Clari it hasn’t the depth of Trollope’s other novels. But that might have been deliberate?


message 21: by Kerstin, Moderator (new) - rated it 1 star

Kerstin | 620 comments Mod
Clari wrote: "It is strange because it is very easy to read, but I am finding it difficult to muster more than mild curiosity about what happens to the characters."

Yup, that sums it up :)


Rosemarie | 199 comments I think that the lack of depth of the characters was probably deliberate, as opposed to his longer works.
I finished the book last night and the pace really does pick up in the second half of the novel. I think it is a good book for a light read as a break from more serious works.


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