Monday, December 21, 2009


My project (described earlier here) of reading Trollope's six "parliamentary novels" (as a sort of life boat to get me across the troubled sea of the Holidays) is moving along. Having finished Can You Forgive Her? I moved on to Phineas Finn, where the character of Madame Max Goesler is introduced about halfway through the book.

She is seated at a dinner party next to Phineas Finn, a young Member of Parliament. Madame Max chooses to tell him about her own political views, warmly advocating "... manhood sufferage, womanhood sufferage, unlimited right of striking, tenant right, education of everybody, annual Parliaments, and the abolition of at least the bench of bishops."

"That is a strong programme," said Phineas.

"It is strong, Mr. Finn, but that's what I should like. I think, however, that I should be tempted to feel a dastard security in the conviction that I might advocate my views without any danger of seeing them carried out ..."