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Old 05-11-2013, 12:14 PM   #16
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I think it's a tribute to the sturdy British constitution that they were able to drink the stuff after such treatment and not poison themselves!
At least there was no grating of goat cheese into the wine, as is the case in the Iliad (Nestor's drink).
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:27 PM   #17
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I started this, but I'm not sure how far I'll get before I give up. It's not as painfully detailed as Dickens, but these older classics move way too slowly for me. I tried The Warden as an audiobook last year and didn't get far.

I've put it on my tablet so I can read it at night before bed, it's certain to put me to sleep.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:01 PM   #18
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I started this, but I'm not sure how far I'll get before I give up. It's not as painfully detailed as Dickens, but these older classics move way too slowly for me. I tried The Warden as an audiobook last year and didn't get far.

I've put it on my tablet so I can read it at night before bed, it's certain to put me to sleep.
Hang on, Synamon, I had the same. The first two chapters are full of strange things and a boring family tree, but that's just setting the scene. Like building a decor for a play.
In the third chapter the story begins to roll and the sentiments and gossip does not differ that much from this day.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:12 PM   #19
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Yes, I found the same - a rather tedious start but then the story gets going.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:10 PM   #20
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Hang on, Synamon, I had the same. The first two chapters are full of strange things and a boring family tree, but that's just setting the scene. Like building a decor for a play.
In the third chapter the story begins to roll and the sentiments and gossip does not differ that much from this day.
I'm on chapter 12, so I'm already into the story. Fox hunt details are right up there on my yawn scale, although the writing flows and I do appreciate the inclusion of the American character as a surrogate for us, the reader. Mostly I was dismayed to find that there are 600+ pages to the book, I was really hoping this was shorter.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:49 PM   #21
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I guess I'm missing it. I see references in that guide to beating some other ingredients and putting them in a wine cask, but nothing about beating the wine itself nor any sign of how it would fit in the context of the book. :-(
Look closer at the passage about beating the wine.
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Flat wines may be restored by 1 lb of jar raisins, 1 lb. of honey, and 1/2 a pint of spirits of wine, beaten up in a mortar with some of the wine, and then the contents put into the cask.
So basically you mix raisins, honey, spirits of wine, and some of the wine from the cask together in the mortar and then add them to the cask where they mix with the rest of the wine and revive it.

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Old 05-12-2013, 12:43 PM   #22
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I am enjoying the book so far. I'm through Chapter 20. The directness of speech and dry humor are amusing. I'll be curious if someone who has read other books by Trollope can comment on how this one compares.

There's a Trollope Society, and their website is interesting. I was not aware that he was such a prolific writer or that he also wrote so many travel and non-fiction books. http://trollopesociety.org/

They have an "all things Trollopian” website too. http://www.anthonytrollope.com/
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:00 PM   #23
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I am enjoying the book so far. I'm through Chapter 20. The directness of speech and dry humor are amusing. I'll be curious if someone who has read other books by Trollope can comment on how this one compares.

There's a Trollope Society, and their website is interesting. I was not aware that he was such a prolific writer or that he also wrote so many travel and non-fiction books. http://trollopesociety.org/

They have an "all things Trollopian” website too. http://www.anthonytrollope.com/
Thanks for the links. I didn't know that.
I read a lot of Trollope a long time ago, but I remember I liked his books, as I went through several of them.
For books from this period, it always takes some time to 'get into' the story, but sofar (chapter 5) I like The American senator.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:05 PM   #24
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Hm....an interesting development in this book. There is talk of red herrings (page 88) and strychnine. I wondered if the expression 'red herring' was already in use in Trollope's days. And presto(from Wikipedia):

"Red herring is an English-language idiom, a logical fallacy that misleads or detracts from the issue.[1] It is also a literary device that leads readers or characters towards a false conclusion, often used in mystery or detective fiction.
The origin of the expression has a number of theories. Conventional wisdom has long attributed it to a technique of training hounds to follow a scent, or of distracting hounds during a fox hunt, but modern linguistic research suggests that it was most likely a literary device invented in 1807 by English polemicist William Cobbett, and never an actual practice of hunters

That makes me wonder if ' beating the wine' also has an ulterior meaning.
There is more to this book than meets the eye....

Last edited by desertblues; 05-14-2013 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Haste, haste, forgot some lines, mistakes in spelling...
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:54 PM   #25
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I was glad that the question of “beating the wine” had been resolved before I even begin reading this. It allowed me to skip right over that without giving it much thought. It allowed me to devote full attention to trying to guess the location of the State of Mickewa in the United States. The state that elected Senator Elias Gotobed .

I am struck with how similar Trollope is to Dickens, at least based on what I have read of Trollope so far. I would have to say that of the two I prefer Dickens, but since I have already run through the entire bibliography of Dickens Trollope does provide a whole new set of similar works to read. I was also curious if Trollope's books were originally published in serial form like those of Dickens, and this was so for The American Senator at least.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:03 AM   #26
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I was glad that the question of “beating the wine” had been resolved before I even begin reading this. It allowed me to skip right over that without giving it much thought. It allowed me to devote full attention to trying to guess the location of the State of Mickewa in the United States. The state that elected Senator Elias Gotobed .

I am struck with how similar Trollope is to Dickens, ............[/I] at least.
Yes, that 'Mickewa' nags at my mind. I rather like the American Senator (for the moment; am at chapter XXIV now).

And I keep 'beating the wine' at the back of my mind. Perhaps there will be another reference to it which explains why Trollope used this expression.

The same goes for the red herrings. I don't know how Trollope meant this and it is mentioned after the first one as well.

Trollope makes me think of Jane Austen, although their books are some sixty years apart. I don't know why.
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:32 AM   #27
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I know what you mean, desertblues: it's all the angling to land a husband and of course some lovely little snide remarks in the narration. A couple of examples I particularly liked:

In Chapter 3 the reference to the drawing-room - its elegance made it unfit for general family use, but "It added, however, not a little to the glory of Mrs Masters' life."

In Chapter 24, when it was decided to go ahead with the ball despite the hunting accident: "They all took their places with a lugubrious but business-like air, as aware that they were sacrificing themselves in the performance of a sad duty."

Despite all the angling and conniving, you have to feel sorry for women in Arabella's situation: no independent wealth, not able to go out and get a job to support themselves ... I don't blame her for feeling weary with it all!
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:52 AM   #28
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I know what you mean, desertblues: it's all the angling to land a husband and of course some lovely little snide remarks in the narration. A couple of examples I particularly liked:

In Chapter 3 the reference to the drawing-room - its elegance made it unfit for general family use, but "It added, however, not a little to the glory of Mrs Masters' life."

In Chapter 24, when it was decided to go ahead with the ball despite the hunting accident: "They all took their places with a lugubrious but business-like air, as aware that they were sacrificing themselves in the performance of a sad duty."

Despite all the angling and conniving, you have to feel sorry for women in Arabella's situation: no independent wealth, not able to go out and get a job to support themselves ... I don't blame her for feeling weary with it all!
As I understand it up til the last 60-70 years that was the way life was for most women. Few jobs outside the home were available and if she had one (prior to marriage) she gave it up after taking her vows, and any inheritance she received was controlled by her husband (for good or ill) since he was the head of the household. WWII brought in a lot of changes I think.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:15 AM   #29
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But even after WW2 women were expected to go back to being the little wife at home. When they objected to this after their experiences working in factories and elsewhere, they were treated as hysterical ninnies and given medication.

When I first started work in the 1960s, women were expected to leave work when they got married. The (male of course) bosses found that they were losing their good and experienced secretaries, so their solution was ... no, not to keep them on the payroll as before, but to employ them as casuals, so they had no membership of the superannuation fund, no paid holidays, etc.

Equal pay came in in the 1970s and I remember it well as it made a big difference to my income - it made the difference between just scraping by and having a bit of extra money for more than the bare necessities.

But of course in the 19th century there were plenty of working women, and the work they and the men of the "working classes" had to do was pretty back-breaking and soul-destroying. But at least they were able to get on with their lives, such as they were, rather than finding themselves an eligible bachelor to keep them in the manner to which they would like to be accustomed.

The women are hunting for husbands while the men are hunting the foxes.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:13 AM   #30
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Bookpossum, the snide remarks keep coming and many are laugh-out-loud funny. That's why I am enjoying this book. Your last comment made me think of a quote once Lord Rufford realizes that Miss Trefoil is in serious pursuit of him:

Quote:
He was being hunted and run down, and, with the instinct of all animals that are hunted, he prepared himself for escape.
Arabella's job is to find the best husband that will help her achieve maximum "idleness" as Mrs. Masters would put it. All that business of constantly adapting to what she thinks the man wants in a woman and putting on such performances for him and everyone else in their society has got to be very weary. I think at one point she says she has been at it for 6 years! But she must keep going to win her prize. It's not about love. It's about country estates, London homes in the right neighborhoods, titles, servants, etc. The contrast with middle-class Mary, who is not in love and cannot accept a "good match" that her family/friends support with a man who wants to marry her for her sweetness of character, is quite apparent.

Desertblues, wine is used as a tool in one of the chapters about 50% through. I think you'll like that chapter because the American Senator features prominently in it. It inspired me to pour a glass as I was reading. Although my California vintage could hardly compare to a world-class French Bordeaux, even 150 years later.
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