June 23rd, 2011
I am just returned from a fortnight’s sojourn in sunny California, and I have a confession to make. I was wrong about Anthony Trollope.
Three days after we arrived, an old ballet injury that had been aggravated by the plane ride began to act up with a vengeance. I spent the next week lolling about with an ice pack. Despite the pain and frustration, I have to admit that there are worse places to be stranded with a sore back (note the snapshots littered throughout this post) and I was waited on hand and foot by the world’s most attentive helpmate. Plus, for the first time I can remember, I was allowed to read just as much as I liked.
Among others, I made my way through two more from the Barsetshire Chronicles: Barchester Towers and The Small House at Allington. (Yes, I know I missed a couple in between, but my favorite Central Coast bookstore didn’t have them in stock.) I have to admit they were beyond charming. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, and spent any number of chapters laughing myself silly. I still hold that The Warden doesn’t show Trollope at his best, but perhaps he was still hitting his stride. And yes, I guess it took me a little while to get used to his style. It was sort of like the first time I read Murders in the Rue Morgue and bewailed its lack of sophistication when compared to later crime dramas; forgetting of course what those later, slicker stories owed to Poe’s trailblazing.
So I bow my head with just a touch of shame for my prior jump to conclusion, and present myself as very fond indeed of Mr. Trollope, with thanks to all those who encouraged me to give him a second chance.
Since I didn’t sew a single stitch while I was away, you’ll probably hear next about the rest of my recent book pile while I get back into the swing of things with my needle. It was lovely to be away; the weather was ideal and we stayed in a real California Bungalow of the most darling proportions. Despite my injuries I still managed to drink more than one cup of tea with dear friends, soak in the palm-bedecked Avila sulfur spring, and even got to feed carrots to a certain threesome of handsome horses.