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Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope

Framley Parsonage (original 1861; edition 2004)

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

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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. ( )
  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 |
I listened to this entire book on Audible.com.

I appreciate the exquisite prose, and the story about the countryside of England during the early Victorian era. I was left wishing I could read everything Trollope ever wrote. ( )
  Benedict8 | Jul 16, 2014 |
This is the book that started the whole readalong. After reading and loving Jo Walton’s “Tooth and Claw” I found out that it’s a retelling of Framley Parsonage using dragons. The entire Chronicles of Barsetshire readalong was started because I was curious how the original novel compared to the dragon-filled version and I’m OCD, so obviously I had to read the first three books in the series before getting to this one.

There are two main plots in the book; the first revolves around the young impetuous clergyman, Mark Robarts and a shady financial decision. He guarantees a bill for an untrustworthy man, which puts his own future in jeopardy. The second plot regards his sister Lucy and the wealthy Lord Lufton who falls for her. Lufton’s mother is opposed to the marriage and Lucy feels that to accept the Lord without his mother’s approval would be wrong.

The strength of the novel lies in its characters’ sincere struggles. We feel for Lucy as she wrestles with her feelings. Our hearts break for Mark Robarts even though we know he made a stupid mistake. Trollope has built a fascinating world within the Barsetshire society and now four books into the series we recognize characters and remember their stories from previous books.

**A few of my favorite SPOILERY scenes:

When Fanny Robarts finds out about her husband’s financial ruin she is beyond kind and patient. She makes it clear to him that no matter what happens, she is on his side. He already feels ashamed and sick for what he’s done and nothing she could have said would have made him regret his actions more. Choosing to show him love and forgiveness in that situation was such a demonstration of strength and compassion.

I was absolutely giddy over Doctor Thorne’s sweet romance with Martha Dunstable. They were not young, but with the help of his niece they both realized how happy they would be together. His honest-to-a-fault love letter was too funny. It’s never too late to find love.


BOTTOM LINE: I so enjoyed this one, but I will say I couldn’t help comparing it to “Tooth and Claw” throughout the book. Both are great, but adding dragons to the mix adds a special layer of fun. I love that this novel has more depth and a few additional side plots that the retelling skipped. Mark Robarts character was particularly good, since in “Tooth and Claw” he becomes a straightforward villain. After Doctor Thorne I think this is my favorite of the series so far. ( )
  bookworm12 | Jul 2, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miles, PeterIntroductionsecondary 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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5 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140432132, 0141199768

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