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Communities in Fiction$
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J. Hillis Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263103

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263103.001.0001

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Trollope’s The Last Chronicle of Barset as a Model of Victorian Community

Trollope’s The Last Chronicle of Barset as a Model of Victorian Community

(p.18) 2 Trollope’s The Last Chronicle of Barset as a Model of Victorian Community
Communities in Fiction

J. Hillis Miller

Fordham University Press

A novel such as Anthony Trollope’s The Last Chronicle of Barset can be thought of as a “model of community.” It represents in miniature what Trollope and his readers apparently thought Victorian middle- and upper-class small town communities were like, as opposed to the corrupt London non-communities presented in the novel. This big multi-plotted novel is read in detail from this perspective and from the perspective of what Trollope says in An Autobiography about his own life. The conclusion of this reading is that, somewhat surprisingly perhaps, The Last Chronicle, far from dramatizing a happy community that was a wish-fulfillment or successful compensation for Trollope’s sense of being a “pariah,” his novel writing was a way of projecting into fictions his permanent and ineradicable sense of his forlorn difference from others. Trollope’s novels in the end confirm his own singularity and bring his readers news of theirs.

Keywords:   Anthony Trollope, Victorian, Pariah, Autobiography, Difference

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