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The Claverings
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The Trollope Project - Archives > The Claverings Sept 8-14: Ch 23 -28

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message 1: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1904 comments Mod
This section sees Harry getting more deeply involved with Julia, to the extent that he is now seriously considering abandoning Florence and marrying his first love. Theodore Burton is driven to ask him why he no longer writes to Florence and Harry confesses his situation first to him, and then later to Cecilia in a private tete a tete. While Harry is clearly struggling, he seems determined to marry Julia, come what might, and despite her protestations, this is clearly what Julia wants as well. Can Harry be saved? Is he weak, or true to his first love? (For those who read Wyllard's Weird, the parallels between Harry and Edward Heathcote now, as well as those between Harry and Bothwell, are striking).

There is also something further happening with Mme Gordeloup and Count Pateroff, and it is unclear what hold Count Pateroff believes he may have over Lady Ongar. Do you think that at least, after the obvious betrayal of her location to her brother, Lady Ongar will terminate her friendship with Sophie Gordeloup? Can Lady Ongar ever hope to regain any position in society as she now stands?

Finally, in our opening chapter, there is the merest hint that Fanny may be softening her position towards Mr. Saul. What do you think of this development? Do you think Fanny's mother possibly supports Mr Saul in his proposal?

We've now passed the half-way mark, what do you think of our novel so far?


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan | 86 comments Fanny’s mother is appalled at a Saul Fanny possible relation. He’s broke and odd. However, she seems the kind of mom who will let her daughter choose for herself.


message 3: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1426 comments Mod
I've changed my mind on a couple of things since the previous section. I had thought that perhaps Lady Ongar should see the count, that maybe he had something to say to her that really was important and not related to him just wanting to marry her. That there may even be some international intrigue since he, his sister, and Lord Ongar were connected to embassies. Clearly that's not the case, and he's just trying to intimidate her into marriage, as she had thought.

Second, I had speculated that perhaps Harry should just marry Julia. I still have sympathy for Julia, but I think Harry has no business entertaining affection for her when he was engaged to Florence, though I do understand his position. He should break things off with Julia and marry Florence.

Julia was happy on the seashore before the count showed up. I wonder if she could go abroad, somewhere pretty she hasn't been before. She might be happy in nature and might even make new friends.

I'm not sure what's going to happen with Mr. Saul. Will he find a better-paying position nearby that might put him in a position to marry? It's clear that Fanny's feelings for him are changing, but in what way? Could she love him, or does she just respect him more and feel more friendly toward him? This being Trollope, I suppose she will marry Mr. Saul.

I'll probably have to read ahead and finish the book. I can't put it down!


message 4: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments I have no sympathy for Harry despite the narrator coming to his defense to a limited degree—What would any man do if his first love came back to him? The narrator does go on to say that Harry would have been heroic if he had done his duty by remaining true to the woman he was engaged to. Once a man makes that commitment it is his responsibility to care for her and do everything to ensure her happiness. I will be surprised if he doesn’t end up married to one of them, but I don’t think he deserves either. Julia had no idea of his engagement when she hoped that they could marry and she could help him in his career. Florence is just a totally good hearted person who is willing to forgive anything of Harry so far as long as she is sure of his love.

I have liked Mr. Saul from the beginning despite his awkwardness. He is sincere in his love and truthful with Fanny. As she now is recognizing his good qualities- he’s the best man she’s ever known- I keep hoping some financial surprise will enable them to be married.

Poor naive Archie is just a fool being played by Sophie. His ideas of her entertaining bigwig diplomats and spies are comical, but pathetic. The narrator makes it quite clear that Sophie is out for herself and I think she’s quite good at it. Luckily for Julia informing her of Harry’s duplicity is to Sophie’s advantage. She manages to keep herself quite close to Julia, despite Julia’s wish to escape and her recognition of Sophie’s lack of honesty. What still is ambiguous to me is why she tells Pateroff exactly where they will be on the Isle of Wight. She and her brother have different objectives regarding a second marriage for Julia, so why give her brother the opportunity to confront Julia? Does Sophie plan to play savior in this scenario? What information does Pateroff think he has with which to blackmail Julia into marriage? If it is just that Ongar’s wish was for Julia to marry Pateroff that would be rather thin and illogical given Julia’s hatred of her dead husband.

I know it would be totally out of character for Trollope, but it’s too bad that Julia can’t just happily take her money and move somewhere where she is unknown and find a new love there. That she would have the strength of character not to need the protection she keeps seeking. Actually there are other Trollope heroines with inherited money, Madame Max for one, who live independently and on their own terms but they have inner strength.


Brian E Reynolds | 747 comments I also flip-flop on characters and what I hope to happen. I had been hard on Julia but now that she has done her time, I think Harry and Julia is a proper outcome. As Trollope explains, Harry's first love is a true love, maybe replaced but never discarded. I think Julia does love Harry.

Julia needs Harry more than Florence does. The scenes with the evil foreigner siblings show how much Julia needs Harry's support, as she gets none from her sister, brother-in-law, other family or anybody in society. She may have money, but she is alone. Florence has plenty of family support and can always marry her Dad's next trainee. Julia going overseas is no solution for her woes. Last time she went she came back with the evil sibling leeches. I anticipate, though, that Harry will end up with Florence while Julia is left with her money. Maybe she can become friends with Lady Laura.

Initially I found Saul a bit creepy. I'm surprisingly reluctant to accept that he is actually an odd but moral and good person that is deserving of Fanny. However, that is how Trollope depicts him so I'm coming around. I'll be surprised if they don't get together. Maybe Harry and Julia can marry and be rich enough, like others in Barsetshire, to have a church and employ Saul as their own vicar or curate.


message 6: by Trev (last edited Sep 12, 2019 04:48AM) (new)

Trev | 342 comments I don't think that Trollope will allow Harry to marry Julia. It will mean that he also drinks the poison chalice that is Lord Ongar's wealth, now transferred to Lady Ongar. Harry may be weak but he is still honest and a good person, too good for Julia. He would squirm every morning, waking up disgusted to think he was living on Julia's money, earned the way it was.

I keep going back to chapter one to reread the part describing the way that Julia jilted Harry before she went off to marry Lord Ongar. She laughed at his protestations of love and treated him as if he was not fit to wipe her boots. Not much love was coming from her direction. Her attitude has only changed now because her circumstances have changed. She has gambled on a dodgy Lord with plenty of money. She has won the money but, even without the lies about her indiscretions, she has lost her integrity and therefore her claim on Harry. Even when she knows Harry is engaged she still wants to win him back and probably won't care who gets hurt in the process. She should retire gracefully, licking her wounds and turn her attentions elsewhere. If she did that I might have more sympathy.

Fanny's admiration for Mr. Saul has grown steadily during the frequent times they have been working together. He probably realised that, even though nothing was ever said, and it gave him the courage to pop the question. Fanny might not have realised her own true feelings until he came forward but it is obvious she does now. I think that there will only be one outcome one way or another.


Bill Kupersmith | 175 comments Julia could live abroad, at some spa in Germany or in Italy, and have discreet affairs with minor nobility. But she clearly wants Henry, and intends for him to have a career like Phineas Finn’s with her money to advance him.


message 8: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1904 comments Mod
As far as Harry and his choice goes, I struggle with "doing the right/honourable thing" vs "the heart wants what it wants". Should Harry, on realizing that he truly loves Julia best, stick with Florence because he promised he would? Is that what Florence would ultimately want? Nonetheless, he should see Florence and stop seeing Julia, and give his head a chance t clear and make sure he knows what he is doing. He seems like the sort of young man who can love different women, depending on who he is with. What I do blame him for at this point was not telling Julia from the beginning that he was engaged and continuing to go and see her when he realized that he was falling under her spell again (though of course we wouldn't really have a novel, then, would we?)


message 9: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1904 comments Mod
I also found Mr Saul a bit creepy at first, but that is because of his physical description of a man who doesn't care about appearance and is somewhat odd-looking to begin with. He appears to have good intentions-both towards Fanny and towards the parish/his work-and a good heart. I think he is doing the right thing in terms of making Fanny aware of his feelings and then allowing her to get to know him better in that possible context. I think it is sometimes human nature to love someone we know loves us, and so perhaps over time Fanny will reconsider him in light of his good qualities and his love for her.


message 10: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1904 comments Mod
Bill wrote: "Julia could live abroad, at some spa in Germany or in Italy, and have discreet affairs with minor nobility. But she clearly wants Henry, and intends for him to have a career like Phineas Finn’s wit..."

It seems strange to me that Julia appears to have no one-no female friends, no family beyond Hermione, who could slowly reintroduce her into society. There have been rumours but no proof of her bad behaviour, and a beautiful woman with money and land should be able to make her own way eventually.


Brian E Reynolds | 747 comments Frances wrote: "It seems strange to me that Julia appears to have no one-no female friends, no family beyond Hermione, who could slowly reintroduce her into society. "

That is a devise of Trollope's to further the plot, by requiring her reliance on Harry. that doesn't ring quite true. If there was an explanation for the lack of any extended family and friends, I have forgotten it.


message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments It seems as if those people who occupied a similar status in society as Julia did not want to associate themselves with the likes of her. It didn't matter to them that there was only innuendo but no proof of inappropriate behavior on her part, that was enough. It certainly was enough for her brother-in-law. They did not want to be tainted. So she was “forced” into friendship Sophie who obviously is not of the same social class.


message 13: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1904 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "It seems as if those people who occupied a similar status in society as Julia did not want to associate themselves with the likes of her. It didn't matter to them that there was only innuendo but n..."

It almost needs another novel-Julia's tale-without all the Harry stuff to mess up her story!


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