Wednesday, 24 March 2010

DR THORNE by Anthony Trollope


Honestly, massive props to gutenberg.net. I don't know how anyone gets through their workday without it. DR THORNE has been keeping me company many a long day. Here's where I first blogged about it ages ago, and I've finally finished it. I ran out of stuff to read on the train, so I finished it on the tiny screen of my mobile, to the not very Victorian, but very tinny, music coming from some moron's i-pod.

The props go direct to the guy in the picture, who dreamed Gutenberg up in 1971.

DR THORNE tells the story of a young lady, neice of Dr Thorne, who is illegitimate and poor. A young man of good family falls in love with her, but obviously his whole family opposes the romance, as his estate is in debt because of his father's extravagance, and he ought to marry money. Surprise, surprise, Mary is found to be a heiress and all ends happily.

This sounds thoroughly lame, but the charm of the book lies not in its plot. It's the warmth of the narrator's voice - if you've lived in England, you can't help but love "Let no man boast himself that he has got through the perils of winter till at least the seventh of May." It's also the loving way the characters are presented. Note that the book is called Dr Thorne, but not because the story if about him, or because he's the narrator, but just because Trollope likes him. That's the kind of book it is.

Here it is. I recommend beginning immediately.

I am off to Zimbabwe for three months, so I've ordered a ton of books. DR THORNE is the third of the Barchester novels (I've also read the first two) and please don't doubt I've ordered the remaining three. It will be very Victorian, as Zim has non-stop power cuts at the minute so I am sure I will read a lot of them by candlelight . . .

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