Talking about ‘Barchester Towers’

The book group discussion on Barchester Towers was wide ranging. We considered the religious and political preoccupations of the time as well as the social conventions that drove the story.

On a more literary side we liked the structure of the novel and Trollope’s little asides added to the enjoyment, even though such a device could not be used now.

We had quite a lot to say about the behaviour of the press then and now. Thank you, News of the World, for giving us an added dimension to our discussions.

Trollope Society summer read

The Trollope Society is holding an online Barchester Towers Summer Read. All Trollope fans are welcome.

Further information on their website or on Facebook.

Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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July book group meeting: ‘Barchester Towers’ by Anthony Trollope

Barchester Towers coverFollowing The Warden we are now reading the next in the Barsetshire series, Barchester Towers.

This is a much longer and more complex story with a large number of characters and several sub-plots.

While the controversies that create the factions of the novel may now seem silly, Trollope’s analysis of the roots of dissension in human nature will always be to the point.

Despite being a long book with the usual Victorian descriptions and digressions, it is very readable. Trollope himself comments on his tale, almost as if he were one of the characters – and a very pleasant and understanding character at that.

Picture from Catherine Pope – Victorian Geek blog.

Book group discussion of ‘The Warden’

Most of us had enjoyed The Warden by Anthony Trollope, though one or two had found it hard going at first. It was interesting to note that the length of the paragraphs was something that they found difficult. We have all become used to a different layout with less dense-looking pages – most of us agreed that we preferred the modern page style.

While we understood the dilemmas the characters faced, we did feel that they didn’t try very efficiently to deal with them. No one seems to have read Hiram’s will properly, nor to have got together as a group and discussed the issues fully.

We could relate to the idea of well-meaining people starting things that have unexpected and undesirable results. No doubt such mistakes are still being made.

Published in: on June 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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