I’m finally posting about Framley Parsonage. Earlier this year I read Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton. It was my first Five Star book of the year (not including re-reads). Since I loved it I wanted to read the book it was based on – Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope.
To me, Trollope’s style feels like a cross between Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. He writes about everyday events in the lives of his characters, much like Austen, but he does so in rather a twisting, convoluted, verbose fashion, à la Dickens. Austen and Dickens are two of my favorite authors, so Trollope was quite a treat!
I loved how Trollope treated his characters. Each one had his or her flaws and weaknesses, as well as strengths. There was no decided villain of the piece. Everyone was real and human.
But to have squandered the acres which have descended from generation to generation; to be the member of one’s family that has ruined that family; to have swallowed up in one’s own maw all that should have graced one’s children, and one’s grandchildren! It seems to me that the misfortunes of this world can hardly go beyond that!
Mr. Sowerby, in spite of his recklessness and that dare-devil gaiety which he knew so well how to wear and use, felt all this as keenly as any man could feel it. It had been absolutely his own fault. The acres had come to him all his own, and now, before his death, every one of them would have gone bodily into that greedy maw.
By far, my favorite character was Fanny Robarts, the fiercely loyal parson’s wife. I loved the way she stood up for her husband, her sister-in-law, and her friends. She had a knack for appreciating the good in others without being blinded to their flaws.
When she was in any way displeased with her husband, she could not hide it, even though she tried to do so, and fancied herself successful;—no more than she could hide her warm, constant, overflowing woman’s love. She could not walk through a room hanging on her husband’s arm without seeming to proclaim to every one there that she thought him the best man in it.
I was also delighted with this quote that tied Framley Parsonage back to Tooth and Claw:
She’d like me to bring a dragon home, I suppose. It would serve her right if I did,—some creature that would make the house intolerable to her.