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The Trollope Project - Archives > The Claverings Sept 15-21: Ch 29(How Damon parted from Pythias)-35 (Parting)

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

Frances (francesab) | 1775 comments Mod
Lady Ongar does finally appear to extricate herself from the clutches of Count Pateroff and Sophie Gordeloup-can they injure her further, and will she stay extricated?

Archie Clavering and Doodles, after spending £70 for Sophie Gordeloup's presumed assistance, are finally clear on how little she will assist them. What did you think of the scene with Doodles and Sophie?

What did you think of Florence's response to the news of Harry's indecision about their future? Harry has now told his entire family of his predicament, what did you think of their reception of the news?

Sir Hugh is leaving Hermione for four months. Will she be better off in her current situation? Will Julia come to her? Will Hugh survive the trip, particularly after his noble friend's warning?

What of Fanny and Mr. Saul? Were you surprised by her family's reaction? What do you think are Fanny's true feelings?

Harry is falling ill-will this be a turning point in our story? Who will end up nursing him back to health? What was he feeling at the end of our section concerning Julia and Florence? As he walks over to see Mr Saul, he is thinking...Did he wish to escape from Lady Ongar? and if so, how was he to do it? And if he did not escape from Lady Ongar, how was he ever to hold his head up again? What will be his response to receiving the packet from Florence?


message 2: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1280 comments Mod
Oh, a convenient trip on the sea in a little boat that they've been warned not to take. That's one way to get Henry an income.

I don't like Sophie, but she is a highly entertaining character, especially with Henry, Archie, and Doodles.

I think Harry falling ill will just give the other characters some time to make their moves without him.

Florence made the right decision.


Brian Reynolds | 685 comments Lori wrote: "Oh, a convenient trip on the sea in a little boat that they've been warned not to take. That's one way to get Henry an income.

Yep, they all die, Harry gets money, marries Florence and Julia happily lives with her sister as companion. Still have to find Saul a job though.


Brian Reynolds | 685 comments Frances wrote:"Count Pateroff and Sophie Gordeloup-
1) can they injure her further,
YES THEY CAN
2) will she stay extricated?
I HOPE SO

3) What did you think of the scene with Doodles and Sophie?
GREAT SCENE WITH 2 GREAT SLIGHTLY COMIC SIDE CHARACTERS. I LIKE DOODLES' THOUGHT PROCESSES.

4) What did you think of Florence's response to the news of Harry's indecision about their future?
A VERY WISE RESPONSE. TROLLOPE HAS CREATED ANOTHER PRACTICAL, LOVING AND WISE FEMALE CHARACTER TO MATCH UP WITH AN ATTRACTIVE, BASICALLY GOOD BUT WEAK AND FICKLE MALE.

5) Harry has now told his entire family of his predicament, what did you think of their reception of the news?
ABOUT WHAT I EXPECTED, ALTHOUGH TROLLOPE HAD A GOOD DESCRIPTION OF THE MOM'S THOUGHT PROCESS.

6) Sir Hugh is leaving Hermione for four months. Will she be better off in her current situation?
ANYONE WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HUGH.

7) Will Julia come to her?
I PRESUME SO. SHE CAN GET CLOSER TO HARRY.

8)Will Hugh survive the trip, particularly after his noble friend's warning?
VEGAS ODDS SLIGHTLY FAVOR HIS DEMISE, THOUGH TROLLOPE DOESN'T USUALLY KILL OFF CHARACTERS LIKE ARCHIE, BUT IT MAY HELP THE PLOT IN THIS CASE

8) What of Fanny and Mr. Saul?
THIS IS A TROLLOPE RATHER THAN A HARDY NOVEL - I HEAR WEDDING BELLS.

9) Were you surprised by her family's reaction?
NO, TROLLOPE PREPPED US FOR THE REACTIONS, THOUGH MR. CLAVERING'S SNOBBINESS WAS EVEN MORE INTENSE THAN ANTICIPATED.

10) What do you think are Fanny's true feelings?
SHE DOESN'T MEET MANY PEOPLE AND SINCE SAUL IS GOOD, SHE THINKS THIS MIGHT BE LOVE OR AT LEAST AS CLOSE TO LOVE AS SHE IS GOING TO FIND. VERY REALISTIC ATTITUDE.

11) Harry is falling ill-will this be a turning point in our story?
NO IDEA

12) Who will end up nursing him back to health?
MOMMY?

13) What was he feeling at the end of our section concerning Julia and Florence?
I THOUGHT THE LATEST WAS HE WAS THINKING OF HOW TO EXTRICATE HIMSELF FROM ANY COMMITMENT TO JULIA, BUT WE'LL SEE HOW OUR FICKLE INDECISIVE HERO FEELS NEXT.

14) As he walks over to see Mr Saul, he is thinking...Did he wish to escape from Lady Ongar?
SEE #13

15) and if so, how was he to do it?
BE HONEST AND FORTHCOMING?

16) And if he did not escape from Lady Ongar, how was he ever to hold his head up again?
HE'LL BE ABLE TO HIRE SOMEONE TO HOLD IT UP FOR HIM

17) What will be his response to receiving the packet from Florence?
EITHER CHILDLIKE OR HE HAS GROWN AND WILL REALIZE WHAT HE WILL LOSE BY ABANDONING FLORENCE
"


That's 17 moderator questions. Is that your record, Frances?


message 5: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1280 comments Mod
Brian wrote: "HE'LL BE ABLE TO HIRE SOMEONE TO HOLD IT UP FOR HIM"

I cackled. Good answers!


message 6: by Robin P, Moderator (last edited Sep 17, 2019 06:56AM) (new)

Robin P | 2028 comments Mod
Great responses, Brian! I actually gave up on this book because I was trying to read all the other discussion books and I got fed up with one more fickle hero (the women, the good ones at least, are never fickle in Trollope). So I am getting the play-by-play here.

I'm impressed with Frances' questions. I find the hardest part of being a moderator is coming up with questions to ask.


message 7: by Trev (new)

Trev | 267 comments Trollope's novels always seem to pose questions requiring the reader to think ahead. In this section I think some of the answers seem obvious, but others are still unanswerable.
Sophie and the Count are leeches so they will have to find someone to extricate money from. I still haven't convinced myself that Julie has nothing to hide so maybe they will return with some evidence yet unknown. I was reminded that Lady Eustace was also surrounded by leeches and ner do wells. Is that just coincidence?

Florence's response just proves how much she loves Harry, so much so that she puts his happiness before her own. She may feel devastated but she will not influence Harry with her own self-pity.

The boat trip seems to be one of those obvious outcomes so it won't be good for Sir Hugh. Hermione may find freedom at last.

I still believe that Harry loves Florence more than Julia. He can't cope in Julia's presence but away from her it seems to me that Florence has the stronger influence on him. It is interesting that Harry uses the term 'escape from' Julia, something he would never think of saying when referring to Florence. His illness will give him the time to think things out and realise he has been wounded once by Julia and he ought to value the constancy of Florence. He will then be distraught when he receives Florence's package, feeling that he is about to lose the person he treasures the most.


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

Frances (francesab) | 1775 comments Mod
Brian wrote: "Frances wrote:"Count Pateroff and Sophie Gordeloup-
1) can they injure her further,
YES THEY CAN
2) will she stay extricated?
I HOPE SO

3) What did you think of the scene with Doodles and Sophie..."


Wow, I am impressed! Trollope needs to organize his books so that every 6 chapters deals with a different relationship/situation-6 chapters of Harry/Julia/Florence, 6 chapters of Hugh/Hermione/Archie, 6 chapters of Fanny/Mr Saul etc so that I don't have to discuss so many things each week!


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

Frances (francesab) | 1775 comments Mod
Brian wrote: 12) Who will end up nursing him back to health?
MOMMY? "


Of course not-the person who gets to nurse him will be the one who wins his heart for ever!


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

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1280 comments Mod
Trev wrote: "Florence's response just proves how much she loves Harry, so much so that she puts his happiness before her own"

I think it's also a healthy dose of pride. She doesn't want to marry a man who loves another woman more. She deserves better than a guilt marriage.


message 11: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments Women sometimes behave pathetically. Florence should have been furious with Harry for his behavior. And then thrown the packet of letters and presents into the river. Instead she demeans herself by comparing herself to the wealthy and beautiful Julia. In Florence’s mind, it is perfectly understandable that Harry still loves Julia and loves her more than he loves Florence. Of course then she cannot stand in his way. Yuck.

Hermoine is another case in point. She is married to the most egotistical, nasty man. Going away for four months? She should leave for London the next day. Instead she cries and locks herself away alone in a gloomy house. She is too timid for her own good.

If Fanny allowed herself to know her own mind and act upon it, perhaps things would have turned out differently for her and Mr. Saul. She seems not able to think straight, much less talk, when Mr. Saul talks to her for the third time. Perhaps she now that she has acknowledged her feelings for Mr. Saul to her parents she will leave with him in two months to be poor but happy. ( I don’t really think that will happen).

Cecilia meanwhile is willing to overlook all of Harry’s bad behavior to push for his marriage to Florence. How interesting that Theodore remarks she would not have excused such behavior from a woman. Her reply that women are different is a sad statement on the differences in allowable behavior of men and women. In line with this, would a man’s reputation be as tainted by rumor as Julia’s has been?


message 12: by Brian (last edited Sep 18, 2019 11:37AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 685 comments While I don't disagree that the women often act weakly, I am always conscious that women had such minimal legal rights versus men at the time. Unlike Lady Laura, Hermie doesn't have the money to flee Hugh or go to London, Men had ownership of the property and funds and, at least in stories, could institutionalize their wives if they got angry enough. An angry Hugh, who found out she disobeyed him, could do an awful lot to make Hermie's life miserable. I don't think I'd risk the extreme punishment Hugh would almost certainly inflict.


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

Frances (francesab) | 1775 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Women sometimes behave pathetically. Florence should have been furious with Harry for his behavior. And then thrown the packet of letters and presents into the river. Instead she demeans herself by..."

I didn't find this pathetic-more a realistic interpretation of what could be Harry's true state of mind. Florence has tremendous worth, but for many men that would pale beside Julia's beauty and wealth ( in either order!) I think her actions in preparing her little packet to return will probably wake Harry up to the fact that he can't dither forever-Florence will force him to make his decision and perhaps the thought that he might lose Florence will be enough to help that process.

Whether we admire the responses of the women you mention, I think they are quite realistic portrayals of how many women would respond, particularly, as Brian points out, given their lack of rights and the social constraints of the time (although Florence is perhaps more noble and restrained than many would be in her circumstances, which is presumably one reason she won Harry's heart).


message 14: by Trev (new)

Trev | 267 comments There are some people in the world who are not selfish and are willing to put the needs of others before their own. Florence is one of those people, whereas Julia thinks only of herself and what others can do for her. Florence sees the return of the packet as a clean break for her and Harry, which will also help him out of the mess he has got himself into. Yes there is some pride that makes her unwilling to get involved in a tug of love with the formidable Julia, but her main motive was to help Harry. That is why she deserves his love.


Brian Reynolds | 685 comments Linda wrote: "Women sometimes behave pathetically. ."

From her attitude and behavior, I feel that Florence, while loving Harry, would be able to move on if she loses him to Julia. In other words, she won't react like Lily Dale losing Crosbie. Now that was behaving pathetically. Florence seems more pragmatic.


message 16: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1775 comments Mod
But that's not going to happen, right?


message 17: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments Yikes, I had no idea my comments would spark such a discussion! Poor Lily Dale. I do wish she could have loved Johnny Eames and moved on. But if she truly felt no romantic love for him, she did stay true to herself. Evidently Trollope received a lot of backlash at the time for leaving her as a spinster.

As regards Florence, Harry and others, I’ve been reading in some books of literary criticism and analysis and there is a diversity of opinion (both 19th century and modern) about these characters’ behavior. Some involves spoilers so I won’t include any references. But many interesting points of view.


Brian Reynolds | 685 comments Linda wrote: "Yikes, I had no idea my comments would spark such a discussion! "

Yes, thanks for the spark!
As to the main romantic triangle, maybe when we're at the last section discussion thread you can include what you've found about the "diversity of opinion (both 19th century and modern) about these characters’ behavior."


message 19: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1280 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Poor Lily Dale. I do wish she could have loved Johnny Eames and moved on. But if she truly felt no romantic love for him, she did stay true to herself. Evidently Trollope received a lot of backlash at the time for leaving her as a spinster."

I agree. Her mooning on about Crosbie was pretty annoying. But she was right to not marry Johnny or anyone else if she didn't want to. As much as I liked how Johnny turned out, she didn't owe him her affection just because he still loved her.


message 20: by Trev (last edited Sep 22, 2019 04:43AM) (new)

Trev | 267 comments This extract about Florence's apprehensions before leaving for London seems to sum up what she is about. Maybe naive and unworldly to a certain extent, but a woman with self respect and a certain confidence in herself and her actions.

'Florence had never considered the possibility that she herself could become liable to such a misfortune. And then, when the day came that she was engaged, her confidence in the man chosen by her was unlimited. Such love as hers rarely suspects. He with whom she had to do was Harry Clavering, and therefore she could not be deceived. Moreover, she was supported by a self-respect and a self-confidence which did not at first allow her to dream that a man who had once loved her would ever wish to leave her. It was to her as though a sacrament as holy as that of the church had passed between them, and she could not easily bring herself to think that that sacrament had been as nothing to Harry Clavering. But nevertheless there was something wrong, and when she left her father’s house at Stratton, she was well aware that she must prepare herself for tidings that might be evil. She could bear anything, she thought, without disgracing herself; but there were tidings which might send her back to Stratton a broken woman, fit perhaps to comfort the declining years of her father and mother, but fit for nothing else.'

She is already preparing herself for a life without Harry even though she is not certain he has rejected her.


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