Talk:The Last Chronicle of Barset
|WikiProject Novels / 19th century||(Rated Stub-class, High-importance)|
The focus of the novel
The plot summary gives too much emphasis to the romantic subplot. The real focus is: who believes in Crawley's guilt or innocnce in the absense of evidence, and what does that reveal about their character? Mrs. Proudie carries a grudge against Crawley because he once criticized her; Bishop Proudie supports Crawley to spite his wife; Rev. Roberts (though also criticized by Crawley) admires his blunt honesty. Mr. Harding's unerring instincts to do the right thing lead him to judge Crawley correctly, etc. The focus is on a wide selection of individuals and their various motivations.
For a modern reader the novel shows interesting glimpses of how Victorian customs and attitudes could differ from ours. For example, Rev. Harding is far too old to work at his church, yet "retirement" has not been invented. As long as he lives he is considered the priest of his church, and the poor man actually doing the work is stuck with the title of "curate" (i.e. substitute). The "She-bishop" Mrs. Proudie, who might have been a good leader in another culture, is reduced to working through her non-entity husband and gets heavily ridiculed for that. Lily's refusal to marry a man she likes and admires (but does not love) sounds normal to us but clearly required a lot of justification to Trollope's original readers. The vigillante group that runs the cheque's real thieves out of town at the end is not condemned by Trollope but presented as an expression of popular support for the framed Crawley. CharlesTheBold (talk) 14:36, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Adopting this Entry
I am adopting this Wikipedia entry as part of a special class assignment at Kansas City Kansas Community College. I am currently enrolled in a Modern English Literature course. My updates will include a more thorough summary of the plot and characters, as well as providing citations and references for reviews and critiques. My updates will be completed by May of 2012, but I will continue to watch the page for edits for at least a few months beyond that. Please feel free to contact me on my talk page. Bdhook (talk) 19:41, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Update: I've been working my way through the novel and I am forming a strategy for summarizing the plot and related information. There are a lot more characters central to the story line than I had anticipated from reviews and summaries I had looked at before beginning. My plan at this point is to list out the major characters and create a simple diagram that shows at-a-glance how everyone is connected. Connection types would include family, romance, close-friend, and ecclesiastical ties, and they would probably be differentiated by color. I also plan to identify some of the more obvious influences on the story line, such as the strong analysis of the criminal law system, the prolonged discussions of ecclesiastic law and ecclesiastic hierarchy under the Church of England. There are also some direct and indirect references to Freemasonry that warrant mention, and other issues may abound as I finish reading the book. I also have numerous books for reference material that I will add to the page and hopefully point out some specific points made in the published reviews. Any comments on this plan of action are welcome. Bdhook (talk) 03:43, 20 April 2012 (UTC)