This little gem of a novella manages to include a number of the same themes found in the longer novels in a much more compact form. Young Bessie falls in love with a man "above her station" and, although the love is returned, the social implications lead to many trials and tribulations before true love conquers all.
©1987 Jimcin Recordings
This story has an attractive fairy tale quality about it. Perhaps it is due in part to the narrator Dianne Burroughs' style but the story is different in feel from other Trollope stories. The language is different from every Anthony Trollope story I have read. I compare it to those of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Frances Hodson Burnett, Louise May Alcott, Eleanor H. Porter or even perhaps Johanna Spyri. I like the story.
Like ten year old Fanny Price who was brought to Mansfield Park to grow into the woman who captured Edmund Bertram's heart, six year old Bessie Pryor, a penniless orphan was brought to the house of Launay to grow into a lovely woman and can we be surprised at the results? Did the young man of the house have a chance? Could the old woman win this contest? It is a lovely story. I enjoyed it greatly.
This little novel wasn't Trollope at his best (he's much better at extended tomes with complex plots and detailed characterizations); it's a fairly typical story of lovers being thwarted by a class-conscious mother. But the reader was truly dreadful. She seemed to be focusing so much on pronouncing every single consonant that I doubt she even got the gist of what she was reading. At other times, I felt like I was listening to a children's Story Hour reader--and a bad one at that. She'll definitely go on my list of readers to avoid in the future. Trollope deserves better.
I will be wary of this narrator, Dianne Burroughs, in future. Her narration of The Lady of Launay is atrocious. I was thankful the book was so short and end the imbecilic word by word dictation. The limited action and internal struggles which Trollope obviously thought out with care demand a fluid and expressive (and urbane) narrator. How does such a poor reading pass production standards?
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