[This document is a note to the author's Trollope's Comfort Romances for Men: Heterosexual Male Heroism in his WorkGPL.]

When we read Ayala's Angel on Trollope-l, a number of the active women participants objected to the central concept of the book's title. They said (and I among them) that women don't grow up with an "angel of light" in their minds. They are sufficiently aware of the realities of what men from their experiences of fathers, brothers, boy cousins, uncles and encounters in school. Similarly, they took Elizabeth Bennet's standpoint that they were themselves not such fools as automatically and naturally to refuse a man they wanted to marry on his first proposal. It was averred this was a self-flattering male myth. See, for example, Ayala's Angel: "As a single young woman I reacted almost defensively as I read Ayala's Angel to Trollope's portrayal of his central heroine as, for awhile anyway, unable to come to grips with the realities (i.e. the imperfections) of being human ..." Other readers made less concessions to Trollope's trope and objected less courteously and didn't explain themselves. A series of emails about their own lives suggested most of the women willing to tell had accepted men on their first proposal, indeed had perhaps longed for a long time for that proposal.


Victorian Web Overview Anthony Trollope Gender Characterization bibliography

Last modified 9 August 2006