The Trollope Critics

Frances Milton Trollope
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Anthony Trollope is – try him, you might wake up laughing

Ziegenhagen, Timothy. Anthony Trollope A selective list of online literary criticism for the English Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed sources Main Page 19th-Century Literature 19th-Century Novelists English Victorian Novelists About LiteraryHistory.

Literary Criticism Faulkner, Karen. He has, however, one sad habit for which nothing can wholly atone — a fault which chastens our best desires to claim for him the title of artist: he persists in showing himself as the clever author, as the one who is pulling the strings and controlling the movements of the figures. Quite admirably would his many characters work out their own mild destinies — they are living enough for that; but he is not content to let them do so.

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From the novel which we have taken as representative, one or two examples may be given of this lapse from good taste into a clumsy sincerity — upon which, no doubt, he prided himself. It is truly amazing with what callousness he can ruin an excellent conception.

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And so it was settled between them. And here, perhaps, it may be allowed to the novelist to explain his views on a very important point in the art of telling tales. And then the story, with the reader thoroughly annoyed, is continued. An even more lamentable instance occurs farther on in the same novel. One of the spirited love-scenes between Eleanor Bold and Dr Arabin is in its full tide.

The reader is interested almost to the point of excitement; and this passage suddenly baulks him : —. Had she given way and sobbed aloud, as in such cases a woman should do, he would have melted at once, implored her pardon, perhaps knelt at her feet and declared his love. Everything would have been explained, and Eleanor would have gone back to Barchester with a contented mind.

J. Hillis Miller on reading Trollope with Paul de Man

But then where would have been my novel? She did not cry, and Mr.

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Arabin did not melt. Could anything be more discordant, more indiscreet, than the unfortunate clause we have emphasised? It comes like a blaring false note in a symphony. Trollope seems constantly on the alert for an opportunity to nod and smile and remind us that he is there in charge, that nothing shall go wrong, and that it will all be settled satisfactorily in the end — consequently his men and women, until we recover the sense of illusion and charm, collapse into mere puppets, limp and blank and without volition. In The Warden we have another slip of the same order.

Eleanor Harding proposes to visit John Bold, her lover, to plead for her father, and the author proceeds: —. This intercalation, entirely superfluous, with its two damning words which we have again italicised, deprives the whole of the approaching interview of its dignity. IT IS WELL TO remember that the appearance of the author among his characters, though theoretically a fault, being disruptive and harmful to the dramatic effect, is not always unpleasing; but uncommon discretion and delicacy, and a sure sense of humour, are required if the plausibility of the story is to remain unimpaired.

Introduction, Biography, Lighter Reading

This volume contains selections from the best criticism of Trollope from the past century. The introduction contextualizes the always shifting historical response. The criticism of Trollope's works brought together in this collection has been drawn from books and articles published since his death. Much of the material.

Dickens — since we have mentioned him in comparison — managed the personal note occasionally with results that triumphantly vindicated him; for an instance, take the whimsical opening of Chapter XXVII in Oliver Twist : —. These two long sentences, taking up nearly a page, may not be necessary, strictly speaking; but they certainly do not hinder the story, nor do they irritate the reader by plunging him into the chill atmosphere of disillusion; on the contrary, there is a warmth about them which persuades us that the author thought of his people as real, living persons.

Trollope, when he steps forward, is simply disastrous; Dickens, when he shows himself, is exhilarating. And these books are just as English as a beefsteak. It seemed as if the roof were in danger of being blown off by the vigour of the controversial blasts. Many tempting bypaths open from the broad, critical high road if we consider the novels in lighter vein.

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Neversayeadie, a barrister; Lady Longspade, Lady Ruth Revoke, Mrs Shortpointz and Miss Finesse, card players; Bolus, the apothecary, and Readypalm, the publican; these are some of the queer and rather labored tricks from which a keener sense of humor might have saved him. We are prompted to remember Fielding, with his Mr Arsenic, Dr Dosewell, and Bondum, the bailiff; Smollett, with Lord Trifle, Potion, Staytape the tailor, and Vulture, another bailiff; or Scott, who occasionally indulged in the same play of words.

Dickens gave us Lord Frederick Verisopht, Sir Mulberry Hawk, Mrs Leo Hunter, The Tite Barnacles, Dotheboys Hall, and some more titles of the same description; but he was frugal and cautious in the use of this risky method, and managed, as a rule, with delightful skill, to convey geniality, cunning, pomposity, frivolity, or imbecility in a name without spoiling the effect of naturalness — consider Mrs Whititterly, Bumble, Pecksniff, Chadband, Pyke and Pluck, Dodson and Fog, Smangle, Jingle, Mr Toots, Captain Cuttle, and a host of others.

He definitely makes his confession of a high moral purpose, it is true. I do believe that no girl has risen from the reading of my pages less modest than she was before, and that some may have learned from them that modesty is a charm well worth preserving. I think that no youth has been taught that in falseness and flashness is to be found the road to manliness; but some may perhaps have learned from me that it is to be found in truth and a high but gentle spirit.

Such are the lessons I have striven to teach.

Bitchy reviews? They don’t bother queen of the Aga saga Joanna Trollope

In other ways he presents contradictions which puzzle the student. He seems to have loved his work in a cool, rather calculating fashion.

He need not have written a line of fiction, so far as money was concerned; we must remember that for the greater part of his life he held a position under the Post Office that brought him quite a respectable income. For your sake I will trust that there may be left enough of the prevailing spirit of our present nature to make satire still palatable. Such a statement, deliberately offered, provides a hint as to the one thing lacking in this hearty, fertile soul.

Gifted with the facility in the spinning of paragraphs, with skill in the devising of plots, with a deft and pretty touch in the delineation of men and women, and with extraordinary method and perseverance, what could he not have accomplished with the lovelier gift of inspiration — the power to regard his art as a thing of wonder, mysteriously vital, creative, permanent! If, admittedly, these two characters are downright villains, the argument is weakened by the fact that they are also minor and minority characters and, as such, not representative of their church.

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Similarly, arguing that the clergymen heroes of The Vicar of Bullhampton and Dr. Wortle's School embody the Church's trend towards "moral degeneracy" 40 seems at best far-fetched as their courage, tolerance, and charity suggest on the contrary they represent Trollope's idea of true Christianity they are both Broad Churchmen, incidentally. The chapter is also marred by a few inaccuracies: It is, for example, exaggerated to claim that "towards the middle of the nineteenth century the high church party acquired the title Tractarian" 14 , whereas in reality the Tractarians always remained a faction within the High Church, whose influence waned after Likewise, it was not the very conservative bishop of Oxford Samuel Wilberforce who became Roman Catholic, but his two younger brothers Henry and Robert Isaac Access options available:.

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