Online Conversazione ~ Intriguing Women and their Friendships …

Ellen Moody Lecturer, Oscher Institutes of LifeLong Learning at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., and at American University, Washington, D.C.

Dr Moody holds a Ph.D in British Literature and taught in American senior colleges for more than 40 years. Since 2013 she has been teaching older retired people at two Oscher Institutes of Lifelong Learning, one attached to American University (Washington, DC) and other to George Mason University (in Fairfax, Va). She is also a literary scholar with specialties in 18th century literature, translation, early modern and women’s studies, film, nineteenth and 20th century literature and of course Trollope. For Trollope she wrote a book on her experiences of reading Trollope on the Internet with others, some more academic style essays, two on film adaptations, the most recent on Trollope’s depiction of settler colonialism: On Inventing a New Country.

Intriguing Women and their Friendships in Trollope

I will discuss women characters who act, think, and feel in unexpected ways, who cause controversy. My first central pair are Clara Amedroz and Mrs. Askerton (The Belton Estate). I will dwell on Clara’s refusal to give up her friendship with Mrs. Askerton, a woman who fled an abusive husband and lived with him before her husband died. I’ll move to the women characters, Matilda, Lady and Hetta Carbury, Marie Melmotte, Georgiana Longestaffe (with Julia, Lady Monogram) and Mrs Hurtle (with Mrs Pipkin and Ruby Ruggles) in The Way We Live Now and Lady Mabel Grex (with Miss Cassewary) in the unabridged The Duke’s Children. I will be showing how viewing these women from the vantage point of their relationships with one another reveals more about the inner lives and decisions of all these women, how the books treat the hard psychological and iconoclastic realities of their lives – and the structures of all three books than the usual concentration on their relationships with the male characters of the books and male-drive plot-designs allows.

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