View Full Version : Whatever happened to La Signiora Neroni?

10-30-2008, 12:54 AM
Barchester Towers is one of the best books I've ever read. It is the best known novel in the Chronicles of Barset series. I am particularly overwhelmed by two female characters: the Bishop's wife and La Signora Neroni. The Bishop's wife is absolutely credible but La Signora Neroni is as rare as gold on Mars. (We need more strong women like her!). I was never fed up with the Bishop's wife although I cringed every time she interrupted the Bishop; I am sorry that Trollope, spurred on by an irate reader, has her die of a heart attack in the sixth novel. As far as La Signora Neroni is concerned, I only regret she never shows up in the subsequent novels of the series. A woman that amazing, endowed with the virtue of solertia, would have had so many unmasking replies for some of the men who try to fool others, like Mr. Slope, a real Tartuffe.

One of the difficulties for readers is getting into the initial flow of the book. One should read the first chapter attentively, with curiosity about who will be the next bishop. And, although not absolutely necessary, it helps first to read The Warden , a short book in which many of the characters are introduced and the situation is set up for what happens at the outset in Barchester Towers: the delayed, but untimely, death of the old bishop. The other four books in the series have less need of being read in sequence.

Those involved in church "politics" will also enjoy Barchester Towers immensely. This will provide a real catharsis for them, rarely found elsewhere.

12-15-2008, 05:11 PM
All of the "Barchester Chronicles" are brilliant books. From what I remember, Signora Neroni and her daughter ("the last of the ceasars") returned to Italy with the rest of her dissolute family.
I, too, loved Mrs Proudie, the Bishop's wife - what a Gorgon! We've all met someone like her. It was a shame that she died, as there was a lot of mileage left in such a bigoted, arrogant cjharacter.

I would also have liked to see the reverend Mr Slope appear in another book, attempting to oil his slippery way into society.

01-04-2009, 06:20 PM
I would have to agree. I read the whole Barset series this summer and am now reading Orley Farm. What will I read next, I wonder. Have you read the Palliser series, and is it any good? I might try that later this year.

Frankie Anne
04-15-2009, 12:40 PM
I loved the "Barchester Chronicles." The Rev. Septimus Harding is one of my favorite characters of literature and I will never forget Mrs. Proudie!

10-14-2009, 07:41 PM
I would have to agree. I read the whole Barset series this summer and am now reading Orley Farm. What will I read next, I wonder. Have you read the Palliser series, and is it any good? I might try that later this year.

This was from ages ago so the author is probably not even around anymore but just in case...yes! The Palliser series is wonderful. Some books in the series are better than others, they aren't all gems but the ones that are, are well worth getting through the others.

07-23-2011, 02:55 PM
Dear Idryl,

You mentioned the Palliser series. I'd like to start reading some of the books in the Palliser series. I have read The Eustace Diamonds, and found it rather unsatisfactory compared with Orley Farm which I found to be extremely good. Give me some suggestions. I've read all of the Barset Chronicles series.

Jackson Richardson
11-14-2013, 09:20 AM
My impression was that after Barchester Towers Trollope never had characters as outrageous as the Signora and her brother, which is why I feel the later novels (and I've read a lot) are stodgy by comparison.

Lizzie Eustace in The Eustace Diamonds is comparable, but Trollope devotes far more attention and analysis of her than he does to the Signora, which is why she isn't so interesting. However, he chapter with Lizzie reading Shelley on the Highlands sea shore is a very funny exposure of literary pretension.

Although unspoken, there is a tragic possibility about the Signora's future (and indeed her brother's) which gives a depth to the character.

06-10-2015, 02:01 PM
Yes, it doesn't look so rosy for her or her siblings...

I just finished Framley Parsonage and Trollope mentions that the house in the Cathedral Close at Barchester given to Mark Robarts in preferment after Dr Stanhope's death will first be scrutinised by family and creditors... But even worse, right at the very end, he says the house was once visited by bailiff's, which prompted Stanhope to go off in the middle of the night... I wonder whether that was the point when he went to Italy and never came back...