[In chapter 5 of Framley Parsonage Trollope draws upon his knowledge of the British postal system to explain how an important letter made its way to its addressee, a Sabbatarian who refused to accept mail on Sundays. This passage allowed Trollope to do three things: show off, create ethos (or credibility) by displaying interesting knowledge of how something works, and also to fill out the required verbiage for a novel that would eventually see publication in parts (and only later in volume form). Emphasis added. — George P. Landow]

And now, with my reader's consent, I will follow the postman with that letter to Framley; not by its own circuitous route indeed, or by the same mode of conveyance; for that letter went into Barchester by the Courcy night mail-cart, which, on its road, passes through the villages of Uffley and Chaldicotes, reaching Barchester in time for the up mail-train to London. By that train, the letter was sent towards the metropolis as far as the junction of the Barset branch line, but there it was turned in its course, and came down again by the main line as far as Silverbridge; at which place, between six and seven in the morning, it was shouldered by the Framley footpost messenger, and in due course delivered at the Framley Parsonage exactly as Mrs. Robarts had finished reading prayers to the four servants. Or, I should say rather, that such would in its usual course have been that letter's destiny. As it was, however, it reached Silverbridge on Sunday, and lay there till the Monday, as the Framley people have declined their Sunday post. And then again, when the letter was delivered at the parsonage, on that wet Monday morning, Mrs. Robarts was not at home. As we are all aware, she was staying with her ladyship at Framley Court.

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Trollope, Anthony. Framley Parsonage. Project Gutenberg E-text prepared by Andrew Turek and revised by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D., and an anonymous Project Gutenberg volunteer.

Last modified 4 October 2013