intense sensations

Indecent Victoriana

Posted on: October 16, 2013

Can You Forgive Her? (Palliser, #1)Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recommend the Kindle version of this for two reasons.

1. It’s free.

2. You won’t realise how long it is until you start reading, after which it won’t matter because you’ll be hooked. Although the little percent sign at the bottom of the page will stay in demoralisingly low single figures for so long that you might think your device is broken.

There’s a third reason for recommending it. It’s awesome!

It’s not erotic but, on the other hand, it’s hardly decent. At least, it doesn’t seem decent to me that a middle-aged Victorian gentleman (he was just the right side of 50 when he wrote it) should be able to get so effortlessly into the heart and mind of an excitable young maiden in the first flush of youth and dissect her vacillating intentions with the precision of a modern micro surgeon.

How dare he! Yes, and make us love her! And love him too for his audacious charm!

Trollope is sometimes looked down on by arbiters of quality in Victorian fiction. I often hear people apologising for liking him. The trouble with Trollope, you see, is that his books are so hugely enjoyable; and they are without a scar or a blemish so there is nothing for the critics to critique.

Sometimes his works are not even looked on as fiction but as social history. Why? Because his plots are not fanciful. They are robust. And his characters are intensely alive. So when you read him, it is like looking at real life.

Except it isn’t. Everything is much simpler and clearer and funnier than real life because Trollope is so sharp, so witty, so light. He has the driest sense of humour of any Englishman I’ve met and, believe me, I’ve met some very dry Englishmen in my time. Yet you take in every word and nothing is above your head. It just falls into place beautifully.

And there I should end because the book is quite long enough; you don’t want to delay starting it a moment longer.

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2 Responses to "Indecent Victoriana"

I downloaded this book to my Kindle purely on Vanessa’s review and am still reading it but I have to say the prose and descriptions of surroundings and situations are amazing. While long winded it is a beautiful read. I thought that it might be a bit “girly” for my taste but good writing is just that whether to my usual choices or not. Thank you for introducing me to another new author and it was free!

I’m glad you’re enjoying the book, Byron. What a relief!

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