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Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope
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Framley Parsonage (original 1861; edition 2004)

by Anthony Trollope, David Skilton (Introduction), Peter Miles (Introduction)

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
There are a lot of new characters in this fourth of the Barsetshire series, and they have complicated relationships with each other and also familiar characters. First, there is the parson of Framley Parsonage, Mark Robarts, his wife Fanny, and his sister Lucy who comes to live with him after the death of his father. Second, there is Lady Lufton, who is responsible for Mark getting to be the parson because her son, now Lord Lufton after the death of her husband, grew up with Mark, going to school and university with him. She has plans for her son to marry Griselda, the daughter of the Grantlys (who readers of the Barsetshire will remember), but Lord Lufton falls in love with Lucy, who Lady Lufton disapproves of partly because she has no money and partly because she is lower in class. Then there is the Chaldicotes "set" consisting of Mr. Sowerby, who has mortgaged all his land to the Duke of Omnium and borrowed from everyone, and Harold Smith, who is married to Mr. Sowerby's sister who is known throughout the novel as Mrs. Harold Smith. Mrs. Smith is very good friends with Miss Dunstable (who readers of the series will remember), a heiress of a commercial enterprise who has tons of money, and cooks up a plan to have her marry her brother and cancel all his debts. But Miss Dunstable wants someone who doesn't want to marry someone who doesn't want her for her money and is intrigued by Dr. Thorne who she has met through her friends the Greshams. There are more new characters, and familiar characters, but I won't complicate things further.

Not only is this a tale of romantic problems, but it is also a tale of financial double-dealing as Mark Robarts uncharacteristically and foolishly agrees to sign a "note" for Mr. Sowerby, which compels him to pay money if Mr. Sowerby doesn't pay it by a certain date. He doesn't tell Fanny until all is lost and the bailiffs are almost at the door. It is also a political novel as the government fails partway through the novel, but not before Harold Smith gets a job in the government and as a favor for his brother-in-law, Mr. Sowerby, gets an additional church job for Mark Robarts. Meanwhile, Griselda Grantly receives a proposal from Lord Dumbello, who is the son of the woman who is the Duke of Omnium's mistress and Lord Hartletop, and is of much higher rank than Lord Lufton, so is a better catch. The Proudies and Arabins also make appearances and a very poor clergyman and his wife also play a role. It is a complex novel and i thoroughly enjoyed it, even though, having read the Palliser novels first, I miss having the same characters throughout the series. I always like it when familiar characters show up.
  rebeccanyc | May 18, 2016 |
After having a little trouble getting into Doctor Thorne, I was sucked into Framley Parsonage almost immediately, and enjoyed every minute of this fourth journey into Barchester. Another bunch of fascinating characters dealing with the everyday machinations of English life, including the wonderful Lady Lufton, the indomitable Miss Dunstable back again, and some other good old friends from previous volumes. More than once I wanted to smack Mark Robarts upside the head for being a doofus, and he would have deserved it, too. But the story is a good one, and I think reading this in the three-chapter sections as which it was originally serialized lent a certain extra punch to the book. ( )
  JBD1 | Sep 8, 2015 |
The fourth book in The Chronicles of Barsetshire is really quite wonderful. A young clergyman, Mark Robarts, gets himself into financial trouble when he co-signs loans for an aristocrat, Nathaniel Sowerby, with whom he has just become acquainted. Mark is tempted by the society which he is introduced to, but of which he has no understanding. He has a most forgiving wife named Fanny. His patron is Lady Lufton and her son Ludovic, Lord Lufton, who has, to his mother's dismay, fallen in love with Mark's sister, Lucy. There are at least four love stories here, some of which include characters that we have met in previous books in the series. Politics is at a minimum, and character descriptions are clever and witty. Miss Dunstable is back - she is a great character, along with Doctor Thorne, the Granthems, Grantleys, Arabins, and Proudies. Trollope's descriptions of the society of the time are clever. I love the way he handles his female characters. ( )
1 vote NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
(34) This has been my favorite of the Barsetshire chronicles thus far. We do have a new family in the Robarts and Lady Lufton, but all our old friend such as the Proudies, the Grantlys, the Thornes, and Greshams play roles as well. This is the story of Mark Robarts, a young clergyman on the estate of the noble Lady Lufton, who likes the good life a little too much to be becoming for the clergy. He gets himself in debt; his younger sister comes to stay and scandalously becomes attached to to Lady Lufton's son; and good ol Miss Dunstable again comes in and mixes things up. Very Austeneque at times and the satire is good. There is some boring electioneering politics but not as much as in other novels and the church and the newspaper columns do not have as big of roles. It is really about the characters we have come to know and love with the Robarts being a good addition. Lucy Robarts' love story being the satisfying counterpoint of the story for those who need a little romance in a Victorian selection.

Trollope is gossipy, repetitive, long-winded - but I have gotten used to his style and have really enjoyed the last two novels in the series - this one and 'Dr. Thorne' - certainly more than his other works I have read. Very readable Victorian fiction with excellent less prototypical characters and less melodrama than many a novel of this error. I look forward to the next doorstopper - something about a small house in Allington, I believe. ( )
  jhowell | Dec 17, 2014 |
The story of Mark Robarts, a vicar who guarantees the debt of a dishonest, unreliable "friend" and suffers for it, and of his sister Lucy, who falls for Lord Lufton, Mark's friend. There is a lot going on in this book: apart from Mark and his disastrous financial dealings and Lucy's love affair, there is politics, Miss Dunstable's romance, Mrs Crawley's illness and the danger that Lord Lufton might be forced to marry the heartless Miss Grantley. In terms of characters from the earlier novels in this series, it was fun to meet the Proudies again and to witness the war of words between Mrs Proudie and Mrs Grantley. I am very glad that Miss Dunstable married for love, although it bit more back story would have been more satisfactory here. I also liked the fact that we met the clergyman who saved Mr Arabin from going over to the RC church.

Trollope seems to make his women almost all admirable in some way, but his male characters are weaker. I found Mark's stupidity almost criminal and I do not understand why he did not agree with Mr Forrest at the bank to pay the debt back over two years, rather than allowing the whole area to learn of his plight and ending up borrowing from his friend. ( )
  pgchuis | Dec 3, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miles, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mullin, KatherineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Gorman, FrancisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skilton, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, TimothyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When young Mark Robarts was leaving college, his father might well declare that all men began to say all good things to him, and to extol his fortune in that he had a son blessed with so excellent a disposition.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140432132, Paperback)

Mark Robarts is a clergyman with ambitions beyond his small country parish of Framley. In a naive attempt to mix in influential circles, he agrees to guarantee a bill for a large sum of money for the disreputable local Member of Parliament, while being helped in his career in the Church by the same hand. But the unscrupulous politician reneges on his financial obligations, and Mark must face the consequences this debt may bring to his family. One of Trollope's most enduringly popular novels since it appeared in 1860, Framley Parsonage is an evocative depiction of country life in nineteenth-century England, told with great compassion and acute insight into human nature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:42 -0400)

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Clergyman Mark Robarts has fallen in with the unreliable Mr Sowerby, and through his dealings with Sowerby finds himself in severe financial difficulties.

(summary from another edition)

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140432132, 0141199768

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