Dear friends and readers,
Despite some disillusion, I’ve sent in proposals to teach next spring (beginning sometime in late February) and summer (6 weeks June-July) to the Oscher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason. What I’m enjoying most of all I’m doing is the return to Trollope: I had forgotten (it seems) how sustaining, intelligent, stimulating, ironic, moving, his texts are.
So when I’ve done Beyond Barsetshire (at the OLLI at American University), I shall reverse myself — or go backwards — and concentrate on the phase of his career in which he produced the famous six.
Course Proposal for Spring Term, 2015, OLLI at Mason
The first Barsetshire novels: Trollope conceived of his famed Barsetshire series while walking in the beautiful purlieus of Salisbury Cathedral in England, and of the writing of 2nd Barsetshire novel, Barchester Towers, an enormously wide-selling book at the time and never out of print since, Trollope wrote he took “great delight” and predicted Barchester Towers would be one of those by him which “live” on and are read for a long time to come. It has never been out of print. Nowadays some see it as the first academic and job market satire. By the 3rd, Dr Thorne Trollope knew he had created more a world for many characters to exist in, and by the 4th, Framley Parsonage, he was mapping his imaginary places, and its characters and sites spilling over into a real political England through railway lines. In an 8 week course we’ll read Barchester Towers and Dr Thorne, and see excerpts from the 1982 BBC The Barchester Chronicles, which begins with The Warden, the 1st Barchester book, a novella, which students may read on their own or see in the form of the 1st seven episodes of the series before the course begins.
Sadleir’s redrawn version of Barsetshire from Trollope’s map after Framley Parsonage
Course Proposal for Summer 2015, OLLI at Mason
Framley Parsonage and the Cornhill. We will read Trollope’s Framley Parsonage, the crucial novel which transformed Trollope’s career and made him a central experience for Victorian middle-class readers. It describes the life of a country parson and the townspeople he interacts with, to the point that it was said to give “a strong impression of life as it was really lived at the time.” Elizabeth Gaskell wrote of Anthony Trollope’s th Barsetshire novel, Framley Parsonage, she wished Trollope would “go on writing it forever.” Framley Parsonage serialized made the Cornhill magazine the centrally read voice of the age. “How good this Cornhill Magazine is!” Elizabeth Barrett Browning exclaimed, “Anthony Trollope is really superb.” We will look at the illustrations to Barsetshire, by Pre-Raphaelite, idyllic and political illustrators, including such people as John Everett Millais. Finally, we will look at how Framley Parsonage is a political novel which anticipates elements in Trollope’s next famed series, the Pallisers. 6 weeks.