The Claverings by Anthony Trollope

This book was first published in 1867.

At first I thought that The Claverings was going to be very similar to The Belton Estate which was the last book by Trollope which I read but it ended up being quite different. I did enjoy it although it took me longer to read than I had expected but that was really just down to me being a bit too busy.

Joan Kyler and I have been doing what I think is called a buddyread together and we plan to exchange our thoughts on the book, anybody else who has read it please feel free to add your comments.

I do think that Trollope was a master of observation, even today all of his characters are very recognisable in society. I suppose human nature never really changes from one generation to the next.

As Joan has already mentioned – the men in this book are all fairly unlikeable really. The best that can be said for most of the male Claverings is that they are a completely lazy and feckless bunch and if they hadn’t been born into comfortable circumstances there wouldn’t have been much hope for them being able to make their way in the world, and Sir Hugh is an absolute swine of a husband.

The book begins with the beautiful Julia Brabazon jilting Harry Clavering because although she loves him she can’t see him ever having much money and she wants wealth and a position in society, consequently she marries a rich young lord instead and her troubles begin.

I’ll leave it there to see if Joan wants to add her observations.

6 thoughts on “The Claverings by Anthony Trollope

  1. I’m going to have to keep reading Trollope. Haven’t read this one yet but I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve read. He does do a great job of developing characters that realistic completely. I love that.

    • Rebecca,
      I’m hoping to start on The Palliser series soon. I know some people can’t stand Trollope but I’ve begun to think that his books could teach people a lot about human psychology, especially the young. Of course they have their funny moments too.

  2. This is not one of my favorite Trollopes. Most of the men were asses: the rector was an uncompassionate, lazy snob, Sir Hugh was miserly and cold, Harry Clavering was lazy and weak, and others were manipulative and / or idiots. The women had more integrity and kindness but suffer because of their men. It’s hard to like a book if you don’t like half the characters.

    The plot was simple, but complicated by all the players. I did read on because even though I didn’t like most of the characters, I wanted to find out what happened to them. Trollope sews everything up nicely at the end. Marry for love is the message I took from it, and, after 37+ years, I think I’ve done nicely in that respect!

    • Joan,
      I regard you as a Trollope scholar because you’ve read so many of them and I agree with you about the characters. Indeed, marry for love or be true to your heart whatever seems to be the message. I enjoyed his observations though, particularly the one by Mr Burton, Cecilia’s husband “At four-and-twenty a young fellow has achieved some wonderful success and calls himself by some outlandish and conceited name a ‘double first,’ or something of the kind. Then he thinks he has completed everything, and is too vain to learn anything afterwards.” – and so on.

      I’ve known quite a few people like that so it struck a chord with me. Anyway, I’m hoping to get on to Can You Forgive Her? – soonish. I’ve seen that one changed to Can You Stand Her? – so that’ll be interesting!

      Joan, You two are beating us! It’ll be our coral anniversary in the summer, 35 years. There aren’t many of us about nowadays!

      • I’m far from a Trollope scholar, but I do enjoy him. I’ve only read about a dozen of his. I, too, think he’s very perceptive. I sometimes have to remind myself that he wrote in a very different time. I read Can You Forgive Her a long, long time ago. I still have a lot to read!

        Yes, one of my best friends in high school introduced me to Jack in 1970. Oddly, a former boyfriend kept telling me how much I’d like this guy Jack. Fortunately, we had broken up before I met Jack. Jack and I knew each other for two years, moved in together (much to my parents’ dismay) for two years, and got married in 1974. I joke that tenacity and lack of imagination has kept us together, but that’s not really true. We apparently really love each other!

        • Joan,
          We would have moved in together but it would have caused more heart attacks amongst our parents!
          I joke that nobody else would have either of us so we might as well stay together! It’s probably that jokey attitude that keeps us together, apart from that love thing of course. Love was a four letter word as far as my mother was concerned – never to be used! Trollope would have approved though, we certainly weren’t getting married for money.

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