Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Fond Farewell to Barsetshire

... or #6Barsets, The Best Reading Experience Ever!


Sometime toward the end of November, I finished The Last Chronicle of Barset... the final novel of our year-long #6Barsets project. It all began in January... Audrey got us organized, set the schedule (one novel every two months), made a lovely button, and we never looked back.

We read. We chatted on twitter... comparing notes, sharing quotes, and tempting each other with books for further reading. We even posted on our blogs... though in my case, not very faithfully.

And what a journey it has been. Every moment in Barsetshire was a pleasure!

The Last Chronicle of Barset was the culmination of our project and, in many ways, our just reward. After spending an entire year with these characters, they seem like old friends. I developed a cumulative love for many of them ... and for Anthony Trollope, our narrator, who interjects his thoughts and opinions from time to time. I laughed, I cried, and I gasped in surprise as he skillfully brought so many story lines to a close.

I'll wrap up our project by giving you my awards for....

The Best of Barsetshire

Favorite novel
It is impossible for me to choose a favorite from this series! I'm calling a three-way tie between Barchester Towers, Dr. Thorne, and The Small House at Allington. All were 5 star reads and have been added to my list of all-time favorites.

Favorite character
Mr. Harding, of course, is my sentimental favorite. But I also grew very fond Archdeacon Grantley, loved to hate Mrs. Proudie and Mr. Slope, and quite enjoyed Mary Thorne and Miss Dunstable, too.

Favorite word
An easy choice... hobbledehoy! There should be a picture of Johnny Eames next to the definition. Hobbledehoyhood and hobbledehoya also made me smile.

Favorite coined expression
"Trolloping with friends" ... with credit to Audrey. I love that she made Trollope into a verb!

Biggest surprise
You don't think I'm going to spoil it, do you? Let's just say there was an unexpected death in The Lasr Chronicle of Barset  and leave it at that...

The silver lining
Though I am sad to leave Barsetshire behind, there is already talk of a #PalliserParty... possibly in the  fall, or probably in January 2017. Maybe you'd like to join us?


Bottom line...
I have another favorite author. To my mind, Trollope is infinitely more readable than Dickens and similar in style to Jane Austen. I am thankful he has such a large body of work to explore.

Thank you, Audrey for inviting me to read along with you. #6Barsets has been my most enjoyable reading experience... ever!


34 comments:

  1. I love how you loved these books!

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    1. Debbie - I'm usually horrible when it comes to finishing any kind of series. Definitely not the case here!

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  2. It's been such a joy to Trollope with friends, after so many years of reading him on my own, unable to convince any of my reading friends what they were missing.

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    1. Lisa - Most of the people I know in real life have never heard of Trollope, let alone read him. Looking forward to much more "Trolloping with friends"!!

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  3. No, thank you! It wouldn't have been the same without you. :) It is hard to big a favorite, isn't it? I share two of yours, and all of your favorite characters. And as for that silver lining, I can't wait. (Maybe literally!)

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    1. Audrey - You're so right... it never would have been as much fun to read these books alone. So glad for your push to give Trollope another try!

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  4. 'Bigging' a favorite is not meant to be a new coined expression. Yikes! :)

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  5. I've enjoyed your #6Barsets posts. I was aware of Trollope before but never really considered him readable. Now I'm very much looking forward to reading him and visiting Barrsetshire myself.

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    1. Katherine - Others may disagree, but I found Trollope much easier to read than Dickens. Barchester Towers would be a great place to start!

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  6. I'm not familiar with this series at all, but you make it sound so fun. Hobbledehoy will now be my new word; I can't wait to try it out on my students. lol

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    1. Kathy - Isn't it funny when a word strikes you like that? I had to smile every time I read it... have yet to use it in an actual conversation though ;-)

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  7. I love Anthony Trollope! I haven't yet finished the Barsetshire series, but I will. We were assigned Barchester Towers in a college English class, and I remember being pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

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    1. Patience_Crabstick - I'm surprised Trollope isn't more widely read. I plan to try a few of his stand-alone novels this year... then it's on to the #PalliserParty. Hope you'll think about joining us!

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  8. So glad you enjoyed Trollope! Count me in for a #PalliserParty - whenever you decide to have it will be fine with me. I'll be reading the remaining Barsetshire novels in the meantime :)

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    1. Sharon - So happy you'll come to the #PalliserParty! You'll have plenty of time finish the Barsetshire novels first... I'm hoping to try a few of his stand-alone novels in 2016.

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  9. And it was fun to watch your love affair with Trollope evolve!

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    1. Care - We should read one of his stand-alone novels next year!

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  10. I very much enjoyed reading your posting, and I'm now motivated to revisit Trollope (i.e., your enthusiasm is contagious). Regards from new blog -- http://invitationtotheclassics.blogspot.com/

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    1. Charles - It's nice to meet you. Welcome to the world of book blogging! I can't get your link to work right now... maybe you're making some adjustments? Will try again later.

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  11. I am so glad you enjoyed reading this collection so much!

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    1. Pat - I never expected to enjoy Trollope as much as I did :)

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  12. I have these books in my Penguin collection and I know I need to read them. Everybody raves about them. Add them to my ever growing impossible list!

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    1. Pam - You're in for a treat whenever you do get to them. I sympathize with the impossibly long list!

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  13. I will read these someday soon and totally because of you!

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    1. Patty - I found that it was much easier to get into the story if I listened to the first chapter or two. Hope you enjoy them, too!

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  14. Well done! I LOVED this series, but I STILL haven't read the Pallisers! I must get to that.

    Mr. Harding is my favourite too :)

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    1. O - If you decide to wait another year, you can always read the Pallisers with us :)

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  15. I just went and purchased your 3 favorites LOL (free in Kindle format)

    You really seemed to enjoy these.

    Have a happy and healthy New Year.

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    1. Diane - The Warden was harder to get into, but I loved the rest of the series. I think Barchester Towers is a good place to start with Trollope!

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  16. I read my first Trollope this year and really enjoyed it. Perhaps I'll take on this series next.

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    1. Lisa - I cannot recommend this series highly enough. The Warden (the first book) is a little slow, but Barchester Towers (book 2) is excellent.

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  17. Trollope really ought to be as well-known as Dickens or Austen. I've enjoyed following the #6Barsets posts through your blog this past year!

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    1. Christy - I completely agree!! Glad you enjoyed the #6Barsets posts. I'm missing Trollope already.

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