Thursday, July 16, 2015
Dr. Thorne, book and new tv series
I am so happy that Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, loves Anthony Trollope as I do. He has a new tv project in the works based on the book Dr. Thorne. This is the third book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series. Fellowes says these books are very influential on his tv work.
I think each book, of the 4 of the 6 I have read, is perfection. Lots of humor, the author makes funny asides and pokes fun at himself. He wrote about "if I were a better writer, I could ... ", which is just so charming. At another point Trollope interrupts the story to write "Fear not dear reader. I will not make you wait in horror for the next book" when a heroine's fate is in jeopardy.
Some of you already know the charms of Barsetshire. Some of you may not care for the books. Could this be? But I love these books, written in the 1850s and carrying the reader to those times of country homes, middle and upper class people, poor people, and many lovely ladies and young men ready or not ready for romance. In the second book Barchester Towers is the best and most romantic description of a proposal of marriage I have read or can imagine.
Trollope uses very funny names for some of his characters. A few are: Dr. Fillgrave. Would you choose him for your doctor? Not me. Mr. Quiverful for a man who has 14 children. Mssrs. Slow and Bideawhile for a law firm. Just little welcome touches of humor.
Perhaps there will even be romance in store for "old" Dr. Thorne! Dr. Thorne is 50, not really so old at all, but he is a confirmed bachelor. I'll never tell.
I sometimes cry when I read or hear about something truly beautiful, and Trollope's books have done that for me. Usually it is when a difficult conceited or selfish person sees what is right and does it, just for the sake of doing what is good. A person in need is greatly helped, perhaps lovers are united or someone is saved from financial catastrophe. And not by a saintly character but by a flawed one who rises to the occasion. What beautiful writing by Mr. Trollope.