I spent this entire afternoon reading and listening to rain pattering on the windows.
Over several years some decades ago I was rash enough to collect Anthony Trollope’s entire oeuvre as presented by the Folio Society. It is the sheer volume of this work that prompts me to consider this enterprise rash. I doubt that I will ever finish reading all the books.
Like any other Victorian novelist in the age before blogging and television soaps, Trollope wrote at considerable length for the avid readers of his serialised instalments.
In order to try to catch up with my reading of this author, picked up again with a volume of stories, of a shorter length than the other books. I finished reading it today. This is
boards bound by cloth imprinted with this elegant design.
The contents are ‘The Parson’s Daughter of Oxney Colne; La Mere Bauche; Father Giles of Ballymoy; The Spotted Dog; and ‘Alice Dugdale’.
The apparently effortless prose flows along with excellent description, insightful characterisation, and well-placed dialogue. Trollope has a sound understanding of human nature and of his times. Without giving away any detail I can say that he deals will betrothal, match-making, scheming parents, gossip, and social standing. One apparent ghost story is ultimately humorous. Endings are not always happy, and there is one heart-rending tragedy. Most tales are set in England; there is one in France, and one in Ireland.
John Hampden’s well written introduction is informative about the author.
Regular readers will understand that I am enamoured of Joan Hassall’s careful wood engravings. Each story has a title page vignette; an introductory illustration; and, with one exception, a tailpiece.
Here they all are.
For our dinner this evening Jackie produced a fusion of her own savoury rice and succulent ratatouille; Tesco’s aromatic won ton and spring rolls; and Lidl’s lean meaty rack of ribs in barbecue sauce. The Culinary Queen drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc, and I finished the Garnacha.