To mark the 750th anniversary of the first Parliament gathered by Simon de Montfort at the Palace of Westminster (now the Houses of Parliament) on 20 January 1265, the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the BBC have asked a panel of experts and MPs (note the distinction!) to say which they believe are the most important speeches that have been made in the two chambers.
Their top selection list is surprising more for its omissions than for the speeches included. No room for great orators such as Churchill or Disraeli. No room either for any of the speeches described by Anthony Trollope in his Political Novels so Phineas Finn, Plantagenet Palliser, Mr Daubeny et al are also sadly missing. And would Trollope himself have made the list had the result gone the other way in the Beverley by-election? We shall never know.
We have been informed by a reliable source that Nicholas Shrimpton who has just completed editing a new publication of Trollope’s An Autobiography for Oxford University Press will be interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s The World At One programme this week (exact day of broadcast is unknown as yet).
Nicholas has re-evaluated Trollope’s own rather downbeat assessment of himself and his chosen career and considers it in the context of contemporary Victorian writers and Trollope’s own writings on his “trade” elsewhere to shed important new light on both the writer and his Autobiography.
For more information on the new edition of An Autobiography you can go to the Oxford University Press site:
It is customary to look backward on the year just gone at this time before looking forward tomorrow to the year to come. In the case of Trollope there is so much to look forward to next year in his Bicentenary Year that there is a risk that 2014 will be overlooked as a mere prelude to the Big Thing. But that would be to overlook what a great year 2014 has been for Trollopians.
There has been the publication of Dr Nigel Starck’s superbly researched book,The First Celebrity: Anthony Trollope’s Australasian Odyssey, describing Trollope’s visit to Australia which revealed living descendants of his wife’s maid who remained and married in Down Under.
We have also seen the publication of a new novel, continuing the (mis-)adventures of Phineas Finn, Trollope’s Irish-born politician who featured as a central character in Trollope’s political novels. The novel, Phineas at Bay, by John Wirenius, takes up the eponymous hero’s story some years after the events described by Trollope in Phineas Finn and Phineus Redux and features the next generation heavily. Not a new Trollope, but perhaps the next best thing.
We have also had tantalising glimpses of another book which will actually make its appearance next year. The Trollope Society’s annual lecture was presented by Professor Steven Armanick who described the decade of work that he has conducted to painstakingly reconstruct the full length version of Trollope’s The Duke’s Children as it would have been prior to the cuts demanded by his publisher to conform to the length expectations of readers and libraries of the time. This restored approximately 65,000 words that had been excised.The full length version issued by the Folio Society will be one of the publishing highlights of the Trollope Bicentenary next year.
The Society’s London group also had privileged early sight of a excerpts from a graphic novel, Dispossession, by Simon Grennan that is based on the Trollope novel John Caldigate. This too will be published in 2015 and offers the possibility of reaching a new audience that has hitherto not had access to Trollope.
Another continuing series that has been bringing Trollope to new audiences is the radio adaptation of Trollope’s Barchester novels for radio broadcast on BBC Radio 4. As I write, I am listening on the BBC iPlayer to the second instalment of The Small House at Allington, which is being broadcast in three episodes over the Christmas/New Year holiday period. The final part is to be broadcast on Sunday 4th January at 3pm. During the year we have heard the first five books starting with The Warden back in January. The prospect of The Last Chronicle of Barset concluding the series in 2015 promises to be a radio drama highlight of the year.
So, as the old year closes, we at the Jupiter, wish everyone a very Happy New Year and look forward to 2015 and the prospect of many events to celebrate Trollope’s 200th birthday.
The BBC has just begun its broadcast serialisation of The Small House at Allington, the fifth in its series of adaptations of Trollope’s Barsetshire novels. Written by Michael Symmons Roberts and directed by Gary Brown it promises to be an entertaining and skillful re-working of the story, if previous adaptations are any guide.
The first episode was broadcast last Sunday, with further episodes at 3pm on each of the next two Sundays – taking us beautifully into the new year – Trollope’s Bicentenary.
For those who missed it, the episode can be heard on the BBC iPlayer for the next 4 weeks.
If someone you love is into historical films, costume dramas, mini-series, TV films, 19th to early 20th century classic and serious novels as adapted by British TV, and you are still wondering what to get them for Christmas then shame on you but we may have found just the thing for you to give to them. Well, to be more precise, Ellen Moody has found it…
Included among the essays is Ellen’s own — on Andrew Davies’s adaptations of Anthony Trollope’s He Knew He Was Right and The Way We Live Now.
Here is the contents list:
Jerome de Groot
James Leggott and Julie Anne Taddeo
Part I: Approaches to the Costume Drama
1 Pageantry and Populism, Democratization and Dissent: The Forgotten 1970s — Claire Monk
2 History’s Drama: Narrative Space in “Golden Age” British Television Drama — Tom Bragg
3 “It’s not clever, it’s not funny, and it’s not period!”: Costume Comedy and British Television — James Leggott
4 “It is but a glimpse of the world of fashion”: British Costume Drama, Dickens, and Serialization — Marc Napolitano
5 Never-Ending Stories?: The Paradise and the Period Drama Series — Benjamin Poore
6 Epistolarity and Masculinity in Andrew Davies’s Trollope Adaptations — Ellen Moody
7 “What Are We Going to Do with Uncle Arthur?”: Music in the British Serialized Period Drama — Karen Beth Strovas and Scott M Strovas
Part II: The Costume Drama, History, and Heritage
8 British Historical Drama and the Middle Ages — Andrew B. R. Elliott
9 Desacralizing the Icon: Elizabeth I on Television — Sabrina Alcorn Baron
10 “It’s not the navy-we don’t stand back to stand upwards”: The
Onedin Line and the Changing Waters of British Maritime Identity –
11 Good-Bye to All That: Piece of Cake, Danger UXB, and the Second World War — A. Bowdoin Van Riper
12 Upstairs, Downstairs (2010-2012) and Narratives of Domestic and Foreign Appeasement — Giselle Bastin
13 New Developments in Heritage: The Recent Dark Side of Downton “Downer” Abbey — Katherine Byrne
14 Experimentation and Postheritage in Contemporary TV Drama:
Parade’s End — Stella Hockenhull
Part III: The Costume Drama, Sexual Politics, and Fandom
15 “Why don’t you take her?”: Rape in the Poldark Narrative — Julie Anne Taddeo
16 The Imaginative Power of Downton Abbey Fan Fiction — Andrea Schmidt
17 This Wonderful Commercial Machine: Gender, Class, and the Pleasures and Spectacle of Shopping in The Paradise and Mr. Selfridge — Andrea Wright
18 Taking a Pregnant Pause: Interrogating the Feminist Potential of
Call the Midwife — Louise FitzGerald
19 Homosexual Lives: Representation and Reinterpretation inUpstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey — Lucy Brown
20 Troubled by Violence: Transnational Complexity and the Critique of Masculinity in Ripper Street –Elke Weissmann
The first episode of the BBC’s latest adaptation of Trollope’s novels of Barsetshire will be broadcast at 3pm on Sunday 31 August 2014.
Dramatised by Nick Warburton, this is the fourth novel in the series and will be broadcast in 3 hour long episodes. It is produced and directed by Marion Nancarrow.
The BBC has commissioned an adaptation of Iain Banks’ novel Stonemouth to be broadcast next year. Set in a fictional village in Scotland, the book explores the complex relationships and events that culminated in the death of the protagonist’s close friend which bring him back to the place where he grew up.
One wonders if this production may be affected by the outcome of the referendum on Scottish independence.