Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Return to Barsetshire


CHAPTER I

The Greshams of Greshamsbury
 Before the reader is introduced to the modest country medical practitioner who is to be the chief personage of the following tale, it will be well that he should be made acquainted with some particulars as to the locality in which, and the neighbours among whom, our doctor followed his profession. 
There is a county in the west of England not so full of life, indeed, nor so widely spoken of as some of its manufacturing leviathan brethren in the north, but which is, nevertheless, very dear to those who know it well. Its green pastures, its waving wheat, its deep and shady and—let us add—dirty lanes, its paths and stiles, its tawny-coloured, well-built rural churches, its avenues of beeches, and frequent Tudor mansions, its constant county hunt, its social graces, and the general air of clanship which pervades it, has made it to its own inhabitants a favoured land of Goshen. It is purely agricultural; agricultural in its produce, agricultural in its poor, and agricultural in its pleasures. There are towns in it, of course; dépôts from whence are brought seeds and groceries, ribbons and fire-shovels; in which markets are held and county balls are carried on; which return members to Parliament, generally—in spite of Reform Bills, past, present, and coming—in accordance with the dictates of some neighbouring land magnate: from whence emanate the country postmen, and where is located the supply of post-horses necessary for county visitings. But these towns add nothing to the importance of the county; they consist, with the exception of the assize town, of dull, all but death-like single streets. Each possesses two pumps, three hotels, ten shops, fifteen beer-houses, a beadle, and a market-place.
Doctor Thorne
by Anthony Trollope

Ah, Mr. Trollope, how I've missed you. After reading several nonfiction titles, what a relief it is to return to Barsetshire. While the opening isn't especially exciting or enticing, the first paragraph makes me feel warm, safe, and happy. I know another wonderful tale is about to be told.

"You must marry money!"

This sentence has appeared at least a couple of times already, so I'm surmising the fourth installment of The Barsetshire Chronicles  will focus on social class, marriage, and money.

As yet, there has been no mention of familiar characters except the Thornes at Ullathorne. And time has elapsed since Barchester Towers  ended.. I'm still trying to work out exactly how much.

Are you ready to return to Barsetshire?


40 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! :)

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    1. Audrey - Happy to take this trip with you :)

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  2. You have made me very curious about this author. Hopefully someday soon, I will get a chance to read these books.

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    1. Athira - Trollope is like Dickens, only better.

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  3. I am currently deep in Barsetshire, Chapter XXXIX to be exact, and wishing I could stay home to read.

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    1. Lisa - Yes, you are deep into Barsetshire! I'm up to XVII and am delighted with the recent appearance of an old favorite :)

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  4. Ha - I would probably not read this one, but the "You must marry money!" statement kind of makes me laugh and a little bit curious...

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    1. Sarah - I've read that in Victorian novels before, but after the second or third time, I'm sure it's a theme!

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  5. I really must read these books one day soon. You have made them sound so enticing :-)

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  6. I fantasize finding enough time to sink into this series. I really want to read these novels.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Catherine - I've thought about reading this series for a while and am glad I commit to it this year. Hope you're having a great week.

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  7. Your enthusiasm for Trollope has made me take a look at Trollope's work, and I've even added a couple of his titles to my Classics Club list. But this series looks really interesting . . .

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    1. Monica - Never thought I would enjoy Trollope this much. In fact,I may never read Dickens again until I've read all of T's novels!

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  8. I am intrigued by how the opening lines seem to wrap themselves around the reader, like a cozy shawl....and they definitely draw me in. Thanks for sharing! And thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - Yes! A cozy shawl is exactly right :)

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  9. There's an article in the May 4 New Yorker about Trollope by Adam Gopnik. I have it but haven't gotten around to reading yet.

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    1. Amy - I subscribed to the New Yorker for years and finally let it go because they were piling up too fast. I'll be sure to look up the article on Zinio through the library though. Thank you!

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  10. I have the collection of these books but I haven't yet started them - love that opening and I will return to Barsetshire once I've been for the first time ;-) Thanks for visiting my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/first-chapter-first-paragraph-may-5/

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    1. Cleo - Hope you get a chance to visit Barsetshire soon.

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  11. Ah, there's nothing like returning to the arms of a favorite author, is there?

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    1. Suzie Quint - So true! And Trollope is fast becoming a favorite.

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  12. The opening paragraphs definitely set the scene and the mood of this story. This sounds like a book to read while sitting outdoors under a tree, sipping tea!
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog today.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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    1. Sandra - I think I'll go do that right now! ;-)

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  13. Haven't heard of this title by Trollope but am interested!

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    1. Harvee - This is the third title in his Barsetshire series. I've embarked on a project to read all six of them this year.

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  14. These are not for me, but I'm so happy that you are enjoying them.

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    1. Kay - It would be a dull blogosphere if we all read the same books. Our various reading tastes keep it all interesting! :-)

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  15. I haven't been to Barsetshire yet but you definitely have me ready for a visit! This sounds lovely!

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    1. Katherine - I am certainly enjoying my time there!

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  16. I'm sorry to say it, but that bookcover is much more spectacular than the first few paragraphs. All your talk of this series has made me put it on my to-read list. I do have the first book and hope to start it this summer. I can't do the whole challenge this year, but I'll whittle away at it one book at a time.

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    1. Margot - I totally agree about that cover! The first book of the series, The Warden, is relatively short, but not nearly as good as the second, Barchester Towers. Hope You're able to get to it this summer :)

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  17. I'm in love with the bookcover more than the intro as well😺 I do need to try this author

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    1. Diane - Trollope has rapidly become one of my favorites!

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  18. You've made me even more anxious to return to Barsetshire - hopefully next week.

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    1. Cat - We're having a lovely time... look forward to your arrival :)

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  19. I love Trollope and his world of Barsetshire; it is a charming and happy place to be. Yes, great difficulties arise but there are always several characters I care about.

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    1. Terra - Well said! I'm 85% done with Doctor Thorne now and, once again, am sorry to see my time in Barsetshire winding down.

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  20. For some reason, until recently I thought of Trollope as being dull. But so many bloggers I respect enjoy him and I thoroughly enjoyed The Warden. I may just have to journey to Barsetshire myself!

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    1. Lisa - Trollope is certainly not dull! In fact, the more I read, the more he reminds me of Jane Austen.

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