With its scathing depiction of American manhood, it's jousting with convention, and its amiable, egotistical protagonist, Dr Wortle's School is one of the sharpest and most engaging of Trollope's later novels.
(P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Timothy West turned in his usual five star performance with this story. He has an amazingly flexible voice, narrating seemingly without effort bringing out the nuances of Trollope's work. This narrative was of special interest to me because the two villains as well as the heroine are fellow Louisianans. I say the two villains but actually I think their blackest crimes are almost venial in comparison to the evil done by the gossiping women, particularly Mrs. Stanalope in this story. Indeed, the pain and damage inflicted by gossips is a real evil today as it was during the time of this story.
Trollope had a talent for picking hot topics, in this case, the heroine was a bigamist albeit unwittingly. This subject is just as hot today judging from stories in the press. What paper or television news program could restrain itself from leading with such a story? Trollope, I think rather liked taking on heroines with flaws. For instant, in Doctor Thorne the lady was born illegitimate. In essence, Trollope digs a hole for himself to scramble out dragging his heroine with him. The author's job is to make the reader like the heroine. Bigamy certainly didn't make his job any easier but these stories sold newspapers, then and now.
Trollope is no too popular these days, which is a shame. This a good story, with modern sensibilities. The narration is excellent, with the exception of Mrs. Peacock's voice. Fortunately, as in much of Dickens, the female characters in Trollope are not very important actors, so this is not such a big deal.
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just loved all the characters and the story just moved right along - sorry it ended so soon
the shock of the storyline - couldn't believe it in victorian times
the doctor who timothy west plays to perfection - makes you see that person.
as much as i love mr. west i am always amused the way he portrays american women with a deep voice
This is my first and only review of a Trollope novel. It is not my favourite of his novels, but I think it’s in the top five. I love ALL of Trollope’s novels and have listened to almost all of them available on Audible.
I’m a fan of classic fiction and I appreciate good classical writing. My favourite another’s are Dostoevsky, Jane Austen, Willkie Collins… and now Trollope. I went through an Audible Trollope marathon and started to find the books all resembled one another so much I was losing track of which characters stared in which books. So I went on to some modern fiction (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and some other classics like the Count of Monte Cristo and Madame Bovary. Then I went back to Trollope and am now convinced that he is one of the best writers I’ve come across. His characters make you love them AND hate them, sympathize with them AND censure them. I’m very sad that I’ve almost listened to them all.
My favourite is The Way We Live Now, but they are all really good. I recommend listening to the chronicled books in their proper sequence, so you don’t get confused (there are websites that can help) and I recommend the recordings narrated by Timothy West; his voice is perfect for these novels.
If you are already a Trollope addict you'll enjoy this sharply etched study of manners and morals among the rural Victorian clergy and gentry. If you're new to the master, start with one of the more famous classics, where the pace is faster and the humour more pronounced. Timothy West, as always, is superb.
"Dr Wortle's School"
Timothy West reads the book with great clarity. The characters are clearly delineated. Trollope has the ability to describe a character so that you are able to know not only what they look like but how they think and act. Timothy West does justice to the author and I was completely absorbed in the story from beginning to end. The mark of a great author is that even though this is set in a time far removed from ours as regards marriage, living in sin and other moral situations we can easily identify with the moral dilemmas.
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