Trollope not Gothic shock!

Having discovered last week that Trollope’s world view was definitely of the rosy tinted spectacles variety (business ventures aside), we are now informed by The Guardian that he is not Gothic enough either. His novels fail to register on the scales used to measure the Gothic qualities of a novel which are (with potential reasons to believe that Trollope should in fact be included in the genre) as follows:

1 The villain has scary eyes
(but see Josiah Crawley who has “deep, angry remonstrant eyes [and] the shaggy eyebrows, telling tales of frequent anger”.)

2 The heroine is prone to fainting
(but note the tendency of Lily Dale to swoon in the arms of Adolphus Crosbie.)

3 It is set in a spooky castle
(Castle Richmond may not be that spooky but it’s still a castle)

4 There is a ghost
(OK, no actual ghosts as such in Trollope’s novels but the Sebright family do play a parlour game of ghosts in Orley Farm.)

5 It is set in the olden days
(La Vendee is Trollope’s only serious venture into the historic novel genre but nevertheless…)

6 It takes place in foreign parts
(Nina Balatka is set in the heart of Bohemia – how much more foreign do you want?)

7 The weather is always awful
(There must have been an awful lot of rain to enable The Landleaguers to burst the river banks and flood the field and ruin Philip Jones.)

8 Anyone who isn’t white, middle class and Protestant is frightening
(The most intimidating figure in Trollope’s fiction is Aaron Trow, an escaped convict who is definitely not middle class; or perhaps it is Pat Carroll, a Catholic leader of The Landleaguers, who exercises a sinister power over the community.)

9 The laws of the land are brazenly flouted
(What with the murder of Mr Bonteen in Phineas Redux, or the attempted murder of Daniel Thwaite by Lady Lovel in Lady Anna, or the blackmail of John Caldigate by Euphemia Smith and others, there is plenty of crime in Trollope’s novels.)

10 People talk funny
(Trollope faithfully reproduced phonetically the Irish brogue in his early novels The Macdermots of Ballycloran and The Kellys and the O’Kellys.)


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