Friday, January 4, 2008

How I Fell in Love With Anthony Trollope

I first heard about Trollope while reading What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool. Trollope was touted as the “anti-Dickens” for writing non-sensational stories about normal people in normal predicaments. He prided himself in being boring! I was intrigued enough to buy one of his books, but it remained on my book shelf for over a year. Then I became ill and was bed-ridden for a month. While devouring almost one book per day during my convalescence, I finally opened Trollope’s The Small House at Allington. I smiled with delight at the opening lines: “Of course there was a Great House at Allington. How otherwise should there have been a Small House?”
I happily plowed through the next 600 pages. Honestly, there were some very dry, dull moments. But suddenly I would come upon some Trollope gem (one of his keen and witty insights into human nature) and it would encourage me to keep on going. I was hooked! Later I read all of the books in the Barsetshire Chronicles. The Warden  (book one in the series) is probably the most readable of all of Trollope’s books. Another series, The Complete Palliser Novels, is only for diehard Trollope fans (much harder going, but still worth it.) Here’s hoping some of you get seriously (but not fatally) ill and give Trollope a try.

1 comment:

Carol in Oregon said...

I am doing one of my favorite things: reading through archives of blogs that are new to me.

And here I come upon this post. Hope, we are kindred spirits. You make me want to ignore Christmas preparation, put my feet up and dive into another Trollope. I haven't read through Pallister. I have 8-10 unread Trollopes on my shelf, though. They are money in the bank.