Posted by Janette K on July 25, 1998 at 23:32:57:
In response to A Plug for Trollope, written by Art on July 19, 1998 at 01:04:19
] Trollope wrote a massive amount of stuff, all of it very worthwhile, most of which I haven't read except for the Barchester books and a couple of others, but I wholeheartedly recommend these particular books to Jane people.
I am a living example of a Janeite who also really enjoys Anthony Trollope. I have read both the Chronicles of Barset series and the Palliser series, as well as miscellaneous ones. One of my favorites is a slightly shorter one than his usual, and not part of a series, although Barset and Palliser characters make cameos. It is called "Miss Mackenzie" and is about a 35 year old "old maid" who inherits a fortune and suddenly becomes prime marriage material.
A similarity between JA & AT might be their openness about the fortunes of their characters and how that realistically influences their chances of marriage.
Whereas JA's romantic couple are the "lead players" in her books and are fully realized characters, AT's couples are usually just a pretty girl and a handsome young man ("Miss Mackenzie" is an exception) and the conflicts surrounding their courtship are AT's excuse to develop other, more interesting characters. AT's romance plots are very formulaic.
AT openly cares little about plot and mainly about character. His plot is an excuse for the characters to reveal themselves. He is a genius at his characters. He has a lot of psychological insight into motives. JA is also very insightful into characters, more consistently so than AT, and she develops marvelous, purposeful plots.
AT intrudes himself as author, like Henry Fielding in "Tom Jones" and talks about why he's making this happen in the plot, etc. JA never does that.
AT can be funny, but he never acheives JA's sparkle.
However, there are very few JA novels and many, many AT novels. He is pretty reliable; you can pick something up of his and depend on at least a *good* book, if not the heights of literary genius. Some of his characters are so good that *their part* of a given book can be considered the work of a genius.
Just as a note of interest, AT was a mailman, later an office worker for the post office. He thought up the plots of his early novel while walking his mail route. He would get up every morning at about 5:00, I believe, and write with his watch in front of him, with the goal of writing 250 words before breakfast.
Look for references to mail delivery in his books. :-)
- Trollope Constanza 14:09:13 8/05/98 (0)
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