Trollope is my fall back author When I ve had my fill of to and fro of books which jump about in time and place the current trend for many modern novels , and other literary gimmicks, I always return to Trollope, and I am never disappointed.Framley Parsonage, like all Trollope s novels, has its star crossed lovers Lucy Robarts and Lord Lufton , its gentry Lady Lufton , its clergy, its poor the wetched Crawley family its politics, and as always in Tollope s novels, but perhaps especially in this one, he never uses one sentence when three or will do, but it is a still story that held me Perhaps the padding was a bit than usual, and I could have done without some of it, and this is not my favourite of his novels, but I still loved it I was disappointed in the marriage of Dr Thorne towards the end He has always been one of my favourite characters in Tollope s novels , but I must allow this gentleman to make his choice, and be happy for him Trollope s acute insight into human beings and their relationships is as sharp as ever, and some of the characters names just as preposterous A must for all lovers of this great author. A Timothy West reading, unabridged, of a long and satisfying, funny and sad Trollope so much better than any dramatised version due to this brilliant narrator This is a whole series of audiobooks which have a different shape from most, but you may like them enough to acquire a whole bookshelf They are read in English English when appropriate and American English where it suits, in case you are wondering. I enjoyed this novel thoroughly, including the way that Trollope manoeuvres the reader listen and their expectations For all his playfulness, Trollope s capacity for forgiveness is the key in this novel The mix of peoples, societies, manners, prejudices, vanities, loves and slights fill the novel wonderfully It was good to see characters reappearing, not least Miss Dunstable This reader is not taken with the frequency of classical references, but then the original Victorian readership were, no doubt, better schooled.Thank goodness for this Oxford World s Classics edition with its sensible footnotes, introduction and appendices Oxford World s Classics are my favoured editions and have never been disappointed I recommend the novel and the edition. In this fourth novel of the Barsetshire Chronicles Trollope entertwines two main storylines The first centers on Mark Robarts who has recently, and at an uncommonly young age, become vicar at Framley He has a doting wife and children, a loving patroness in Lady Framley, and a good friend in her son Lord Lufton Things could not be going better for Mark Robarts it seems, but then he gets carried away by his success He starts to mix in high circles and with politicians, and before he fully well realizes what s happening finds himself in debt to the scheming politician Sowerby, with financial and social ruin threatening The second storyline is about Lucy Robarts, Marks younger sister living with him at Framley parsonage She s in trouble too she has fallen in love with Lord Lufton and he with her, but Lady Lufton firmly opposes the match, and Lucy out of a sense of pride rejects Lord Lufton and says she will not take his hand unless his mother asks her to accept it.This may not seem much to write than 500 pages about, but Trollope does so brilliantly and keeps you engaged throughout As always he concentrates on the inner life of his characters, and their thoughts and feelings are described in great detail As often with Trollope too, you have the feeling from the very start that in the end all will turn out well for Lucy and Mark, but this too strangely so perhaps doesn t in the least diminish one s appetite for reading on Framley Parsonage is mainly a reflection on the qualities of a gentleman, and the changing perception of such in Victorian times where birth and rank still counted for a lot, coupled with a growing belief that it is first and foremost moral standing and behaviour that really makes a gentleman.I found Framley Parsonage a very absorbing read, superb in its depiction of country life in Victorian times Definitely the sort of book where you cannot help but read on, simultaneously anxious that the end is drawing ever nearer Luckily there s still two novels to go in the series, and I immediately started the fifth novel The small house at Allington. This is my fourth novel by Anthony Trollope As usual, the characters were beautifully portrayed However, having read several of his novels, Framley Parsonage lacked originality and told the same old story, that is, of two young people who fall in love with each other but are hindered from concluding a marriage because they belong to different social classes The next time I am going to be fastidious when bying a Trollope novel Four stars for this one. Trollope s Barchester novels are masterpieces of comic fiction, although they deal with serious matters Timothy West s reading of them is brilliant, with well constructed voices for each of the characters, and an excellent narrative voice which keeps the story moving along. Another of the Barchester stories with the usual mix of romance, humour, general considerations and social satire A happy ending, who could ask for I do not read it and enjoy This is the fourth of Trollope s Barsetshire novels He is always to me an engaging companion and a wonderful chronicler of middle class life in Victorian England and Ireland He is also especially acute on the working of political and ecclesiastical organisations, especially the connections between ambition and petty rivalries on the one hand and the core beliefs underlying religious and other ideological groupings He gently exhorts us not to lose touch with those core belief.Trollope generally eschews overt drama in favour of quiet observation and gentle insights into human nature He is also extremely good on money in all it s practical aspects the many ways the search for wealth or the effects of poverty can encroach on attempts to live decently and indeed to survive in an uncertain and class obsessed society.Framley Parsonage is one of his finest works, and not a bad place to start for new readers you do not need to have read the previous works in the sequence to thoroughly enjoy it At its core is the common human dilemma of a young, mildly ambitious man, rising rapidly through the ranks of the Anglican hierarchy, who is seduced by the lure a set who live not just beyond his means but, in some cases, even beyond their own The perils of debt is a theme Trollope often explored and it was a painful aspect of his own early life and perhaps a spur to his extraordinary work ethic Mark Robarts is a good man who has to learn from mistakes any of us could identify with.Bu there are many other themes and a range of rich characterisation and interlaced plots in a novel which is superbly crafted and gently pulls the reader along, including, of course, a charming romantic sub plot a love across social classes which was seemingly a great talking point at the time of its serial publication.I believe this is one of Trollope s most satisfying works It also concludes with a meditation on marriage in general and the various marriages portrayed in the novel which I found balanced and profound.The introduction to this edition gives some excellent insights and a context for understanding the role of the Church of England at the height of it s authority, but also at a point when the beliefs underlying that authority were about to be threatened and ultimately to go into a long decline. Exclusively from Audible In the fourth audiobook in Anthony Trollope s series known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, the values of a Victorian gentleman, the young clergyman Mark Robarts, are put to the test Though he lives a comfortable life, has a doting wife, children and a patroness in Lady Lufton, his ambitions stretch beyond the little village of Framley Through a combination of naivety and social climbing, Robarts is compromised and brought to the brink of financial and social ruin by the disreputable politician, Sowerby Meanwhile, a romance develops between Mark s younger sister, Lucy, and Lady Lufton s son He proposes, but the marriage is firmly opposed by his mother Lucy recognises the difference in their social positions, which forces her to reject Lord Lufton s proposal unless his mother asks her to accept him Working with the prose of one of the most successful and respected English novelists of the Victorian era, narrator Timothy West captures Trollope s customary humour, offsetting the drama of the tale with great compassion Like all in the Barsetshire series, it is an extraordinarily evocative picture of everyday life in th century England that delves deep into the social issues of the time Narrator Biography Timothy West is prolific in film, television, theatre, and audiobooks He has narrated a number of Anthony Trollope s classic audiobooks, including the six Chronicles of Barsetshire and The Pallisers series He has also narrated volumes of Simon Schama s A History of Britain and John Mortimer s Rumpole on Trial Timothy West s theatre roles include King Lear, The Vote, Uncle Vanya, A Number, Quarter, and Coriolanus and his films include Ever After, Joan Of Arc, Endgame, Iris, The Day of the Jackal On television, Timothy has appeared in Broken Biscuits BBC , Great Canal Journeys acrossSeries , regular role of Stan Carter on EastEnders BBC Last Tango in Halifax Bleak House, Bedtime and Brass Trollope has few if any truly villainous characters but Mr Sowerby in this novel has so fallen into disrepute that his conscience is smothered He picks his prey, a young, impressionable cleric who wanting to be kind and friendly falls for a trick, not once, but two or three times Eternal optimimist Yet he is so eager to help his so called friend that he hides his troubles from his dear wife I love the way Trollope weaves together the stories of the four couples, all distinctly personal but contributing to the overall story I surmised that Dr Thorne would find a wife in his niece s friend This happy man marries off his niece with an unexpected large inheritance to one of higher status although he believes he is an old man makes a very eligible marriage himself The underdog triumphs in Lucy Robart s story, she gives up and lets Lady Lufton have her way but mother love and Lucy s sweet but firm persistence wins the day I give Ludovic Lufton much credit for sniffing out Griselda Grantley s personality and leaving her to be reaped by Lord Dumbello Another fun thing about Trollope, his names rock This volume moves away from church politics to electioneering, simony and nepotism showing that those in the church were not immune from such contaminations.