George Costanza excepted, I know less about women than anyone in the world, but Id imagine that even liberated, post-feminist women could relate to the three feisty chicks at the centre of Can You Forgive Her? More to the point, maybe: each has to work out for herself a solution to another familiar dilemma, summed up by the novels heroine: What should a woman do with her life? , its the female characters who are fully developed moral agents, and the men who are stock figures out of Victorian central casting. Lady Glencora, one of Trollopes most fascinating creations, is a good example of this. In Can You Forgive Her?, he shows her seriously contemplating adultery, a crime for which the Victorians had a special horror. Trollope feels it to be bad. If this book were a person, it would be a blubbery shut-in lolling in its own feces, waiting for the work crew to knock down the wall and bring in the special Sea World harness.
Trollope liked to send his characters abroad to places he had recently visited and use the scenes and atmosphere of those places to enhance his stories. There's a wonderful inheritance plot, always interesting and important in Trollope novels. the reader is introduced to one of literature's most scintillating characters, Lady Glencora Palliser, the richest woman in Britain aside from the Queen, who is in love with one man but must marry another because she is too young to fight the countesses and marquesses who are her guardians. Ostensibly we are judging Alice Vavasor, who breaks her engagement (a serious sin in itself) with the man she loves and becomes engaged to her cousin because she can't face the boring life she would lead with her beloved in Cambridgeshire, a place Trollope apparently felt was the most cheerless in England. But we are also asked to judge Lady Glencora who marries a man she doesn't love, the worst sin in Trollope. This is almost beyond possibility in Trollope as in most Victorian novels. Whether she elopes with this other man or not, can the reader ever really forgive her for even thinking of it?
(view spoiler)the story of a mama's boy who has his heartbroken by a lesbian.
Trollope tells a good story and I think his female characters are stronger, better developed and more believeable than any other male Victorian novelist. Incidentally, a clergyman wrote to Trollope to complain that he had been forced to stop his daughters reading this novel; what better recommendation could you have!!
This is the second Trollope book I read, after a one-off of the Barset books, and I was astounded. I loved the respect and care that Trollope took with Alice.
In ogni caso ho notato che le donne nei romanzi di Trollope spiccano positivamente rispetto ai personaggi maschili: in particolare, in questo romanzo, le cui vicende ruotano intorno alla signorina Alice Vavasor e alle sue indecisioni matrimoniali, sono proprio Alice Vavasor, sua cugina Kate Vavasor, anche la loro simpaticissima zia Greenow a spiccare positivamente quali donne dallo spirito indipendente, decise a vivere delle loro ricchezze senza necessità di consegnare l'intero loro patrimonio nelle mani di un marito, anche se poi ....l'ammore, ah l'ammore vince sempre!! Insomma, ne esce un bell'affresco dell'epoca vittoriana, è una lettura che ti fa compagnia, però per adesso non ho intenzione di proseguire con gli altri libri del ciclo.
I've always been vaguely intrigued by the title of this novel. There's an Alice Munro story called "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage". It could be the title of this book too. This book is written in the third person, but the writer comes in every now and then and has a remark for us, I am not going to describe the Vavasors' Swiss tour. I've watched several episodes and, like most BBC dramas, it's very good - but not nearly as good as the book. Here are a few of the illustrations: I'm as round as your hat and as square as your elbow I am Baker you must put Dandy in the bar The most self-willed young woman I ever met in my life Burgo Fitzgerald Friendships will not come by ordering said Lady Glencora Alice Oh George, she said, you won't do that Trollope's writing method really bugged his contemporaries.
At the centre is Alice Vavasor whom the author asks us to forgive as she begins the story by jilting her very eligible and nearly perfect fiancée. Her husband, the oddly named Plantagenet, is a Karenin-like character albeit less interesting (Trollope isnt Tolstoy, after all). Trollope knows how to write women which is just as well because the novel is entirely about the condition of women in society. Their endings feel inevitable even when the narrative logically demands otherwise - in the case of Alice Vavasor, for instance, that she simply remains single. This is an excellent novel with good characters, good plot, good structure, interesting ideas.
******************************************* I definitely enjoyed this book and I am utterly amazed. This is a book of character studies. Don't think it is difficult to read because it was written so long ago; it is not in the least. What I think is special is that characters, even those very different from myself, I came to understand. Well, I think I understand better, more intimately what it may have been like to live back then in a society so socially restrictive. I am reading it for the lines. I am reading it for the care that is taken in drawing the characters. I am reading it for the dialog and for watching each step the characters make in their indecision. This is a book for readers who enjoy character studies. Real, complicated people, not caricatures. It is a book for those who enjoy subtle humor.
Anthony Trollope became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era.