June 25, 2012

Cocktail Talk: Barchester Towers

Barchester Towers (which has had a Cocktail Talk entry already) is of course the best known book by Anthony Trollope. Well, at least I believe it is. You can disagree if you’d like–I won’t hoot about it if you have a different favorite or think another of his remarkable novels has more reknown. If you don’t know who Anthony Trollope is, then, well, I don’t think you’re human. Heck, I’ve written a whole slew of Anthony Trollope posts, so you should at least know him through this here blog (and if you don’t, well, I’m not going to hoot, but I am going to wonder what it is, exactly, that’s wrong with you). But that’s as much as I’m gonna stew about it, cause instead I want to get to this little quote that I love so well, cause it is a quote from one of the greatest authors containing a shout out to another great author (if you don’t know who the second is after reading the below quote, then really, go back to watching bad TV). Many authors (like many people in general–outside of rap stars, who give shout outs to tons of contemporaries, often) are afraid of this type of behavior. Not my man Trollope, though. So, check this out, and think about how giving props to those who may, actually, be in the same game as you isn’t a bad thing.

The bishop did it, and a very pleasant day indeed he spent at Ullathorne. And when he got home, he had a glass of hot Negus in his wife’s sitting-room and read the last number of the Little Dorritt of the day with great inward satisfaction.

–Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers

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August 28, 2009

Cocktail Talk: Barchester Towers

It’s Friday, which means yippes, hallelujahs, wowie-zowies, and more exclamations of general merriment, as we communally breathe out one big happy weekend-is-here yelp. Not that all of us hate our weekdays (not at all), but the weekend’s usually more fun, with its sleeping in, and staying up late, its revelries, drinks, and merriment. However (and here’s where that ol’ other shoe sometimes drops), the weekend can also mean things like mandatory work parties and other “parties” which might be funnish, but which you don’t seem to have a choice about attending. Which is why I’m sending you out to your weekend with this quote about parties from Anthony Trollope, taken from his most famous (or top five, at least) book, Barchester Towers, the second book in the Barchester series, the first Trollope I read (I think I’ve got them all now, or darn close, now), and nothing short of a masterpiece of English drawing room comedy. Maybe I like another Trollope or two better, but I’ve read Barchester Towers at least three times, and every time I’ve wanted to skip every other facet of life until I finished it. Which is saying something. While this quote is specific to “morning” parties, it goes somewhat to all parties one feels they have to attend, or, for that matter throw.


Morning parties, as a rule, are failures. People never know how to get away from them gracefully. A picnic on an island or a mountain or in a wood may perhaps be permitted. There is no master of the mountain bound by courtesy to bid you stay while in his heart he is longing for your departure. But in a private house or in private grounds a morning party is a bore. One is called on to eat and drink at unnatural hours. One is obliged to give up the day which is useful, and is then left without resource for the evening which is useless. One gets home fagged and désoeuvré and yet at an hour too early for bed. There is no comfortable resource left. Cards in these genteel days are among the things tabooed, and a rubber of whist is impracticable. All this began now to be felt.


Barchester Towers, Anthony Trollope

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