Friday, 30 December 2011

REVIEW:- Anthony TROLLOPE - “Rachel Ray“

Year Published: - 1863
Where the book was from:- On my Kindle

Pages: - pp
Genre: - Classic Victorian fiction
Location:- Devon
How I came across it: - Reading the Trollope's that I have not previously read – in chronological order.
Rating: - ***** *****

One sentence summary:- Rachel Ray offers a masterly and entertaining evocation of a small community living its life in mid-nineteenth-century England.

Describe the plot without giving anything away:- Innocent Rachel Ray is wooed by a visitor to their village but her widowed sister, Mrs Prime, is very suspicious and the community is given reason to dislike him. Rachel's mother, swayed by Mrs Prime, discourages Rachel. But whose judgement is right?

General comments:- An excellent Trollope - all one could ask from a Victorian romance.

The prettiest scenery in all England - and if I am contradicted I will say in all Europe – is in Devonshire on the southern and south-eastern skirts of Dartmoor ...

There are women who cannot grow alone as standard trees--for whom
the support and warmth of some wall, some paling, some post, is absolutely necessary-
-who, in their growth, will bend and incline themselves towards some such prop for their
life, creeping with their tendrils along the ground till they reach it when the
circumstances of life have brought no such prop within their natural and immediate

I think there was much in the hardness of the weeds she wore. It seemed as though Mrs
Prime in selecting her crape, her bombazine, and the models of her caps, had resolved
to repress all ideas of feminine softness--as though she had sworn to herself, with a
great oath, that man should never again look on her with gratified eyes.

"A hundred years ago there wasn't all this writing between young people, and these
things were managed better then than they are now, as far as I can understand."
and it was Cherry's voice that she first heard, "A penny for your thoughts," said
Cherry. "Oh, you have so startled me!" said Rachel. "Then I suppose your thoughts were
worth more than a penny. Perhaps you were thinking of an absent knight." And then
Cherry began to sing--"Away, away, away. He loves and he rides away." Poor Rachel
blushed and was unable to speak, " (I wonder how old the expression 'A penny for your thoughts' is?)

All this she said, in a voice not so soft as should be the voice of woman to her betrothed.

"We have always advocated", said one of these articles, "the right of absolute freedom of choice for every borough and everycounty in the land; but we trust that the day is far distant in which the electors of Englandshall cease to look to their nearest neighbours as their best representatives."

"My own dear child!" said Mrs Rowan again; "for you know that you are to be my child
now as well as your own mamma's." "It is very kind of you to say so," said Mrs Ray. "Very
kind, indeed," said Mrs Prime; "and I'm sure that you will find Rachel dutiful as a
daughter." Rachel herself did not feel disposed to give any positive assurance on that
point. She intended to be dutiful to her husband, and was inclined to think that
obedience in that direction was quite enough for a married woman. 

AUTHOR Notes:- Anthony Trollope – see Orley Farm

New or unusual words:- Mrs Tappitt had frequently offered to intromit the ceremony when calling upon his generosity for other purposes, but the September gift had always been forthcoming. Intromit – introduce; admit; allow to enter; grant entry to.

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