What Is Your Favorite Trollope Novel?

A set of the Pallisers books.

A set of the Pallisers books.

It is Anthony Trollope’s 200th anniversary, and all are frenziedly reading Trollope.

It is just like the nineteenth century!

Trollope the prime minister older oxford 0192815903.01.LZZZZZZZI became a Trollope junkie after I saw The Pallisers on TV in the ’70s. Since then I have read 40 of his 47 novels.  I recently reread the fifth book in the Palliser series, The Prime Minister.   I love the mix of politics and doomed romance in this parliamentary pageturner:  Planty Palliser, now the Duke of Omnium, becomes  Prime Minister, and his wife Lady Glencora schemes to bolster his reputation  by hosting extravagant over-the-top parties.  Trollope also tells the  story of the marriage of Emily Wharton, the daughter of a rich lawyer, and Lopez, an unscrupulous speculator who everyone knows is not a gentleman.  The novel rambles, but I enjoyed the rambling.

So it is a normal year of Trollope at Mirabile Dictu. Well, almost.   My Trollope consumption has not been entirely normal.  I purchased a copy of the Folio Society’s complete edition of The Duke’s Children  for $330 and then gave it to charity because it was too big to read in bed. I am as extravagant as Lady Glencora! only with less political effect.  By the way, the book has received excellent reviews from the TLS, The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Irish Times.

Anthony Trollope The Prime Minister 51NptJzrXmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_At The Guardian, in a roundup of writers choosing their favourite novels by Trollope, I was surprised that the Palliser books are so popular. Antonia Fraser chose Can You Forgive Her?, Roy Hattersley and Kwasi Kwarteng chose Phineas Finn, and Anthony Quinn and Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, chose The Prime Minister.

What are your favorite Trollope novels?  Anybody for the Barsetshire series?  My favorite is He Knew He Was Right.   More on that later.  I’ll reread it one of these years.

13 thoughts on “What Is Your Favorite Trollope Novel?

  1. Ahem. *whispers* I’ve not yet read any Trollope – I’m sure I will soon though – where do you recommend I start? 🙂

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  2. I never read a Trollope I did not enjoy, but my favorite is The Way We Live Now. It shows two master manipulators at work: the lady novelist of small talent and the financial rascal of great skill.

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  3. Orley Farm, I don’t know why, it just is, closely followed by Framley Parsonage. Anyway they’re the ones that I’ve read more often than any other Trollopes. I loved ‘I enjoyed the rambling’; quite right
    all true Trollope fans enjoy the rambling.

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    • I wonder if Trollope would enjoy the Allman Brothers’ “Born a Ramblin’ Man”?

      You have very good taste! It’s been a while since I read either of these but I was intrigued by Lady Mason and the contention over the will in Orley Farm. I’ll put Framley Parsonage on my list because I read it so long ago that it will now be a new book to me.

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  4. My favourite thing about Trollope is collecting his books; I’ve done a shoddy job of actually reading them (only The Warden and part of the second in the B series) but I i-m-a-g-i-n-e- I will enjoy them if I ever get my head out of contemporary fiction and back into the pre-1960 shelves!

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    • Collecting is good because then they’re on your shelf when the Trollope mood strikes. Yes, the mindsets are different: if I read too much Victorian lit I become a a Victorian, and it it’s late 20th century I become much more blase about everything!

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