in Barchester Towers

Chapter 01 – Who will be the New Bishop?

preparing his thunder

Here Trollope paints a picture of an outgoing prime minister very active in his correspondence, sending letters forth like Jupiter might send his thunderbolts.  But then Trollope proceeds to explain that, in reality, the outgoing prime minister is no father of the gods, and rather than readying thunderbolt missives he is to be found lounging in his office, reading a list of racehorses, and a French novel is open on the table beside him.  [JM 2005]


nolo episcopari

Latin “I do not wish to be a bishop.” Said by someone who wishes to accept the office of bishop, having first appeared to modestly or honourably refuse it.  Here Trollope discusses how contrary to the normal behaviour of career men such a practice is:  men of other professions do not feel compelled to turn down offices they actually desire, yet clergymen are expected to be piously unambitious.  Such is not the case with Dr. Grantly, who wishes the office but does not receive it, and in losing the chance of it, grieves for it.  [JM 2005]