The Warden (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

The Warden (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

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Overview

The first book of the Barsetshire series, The Warden, finds the Reverend Septimus Harding accused of financial misconduct with his reputation besmirched. This false accusation is used by Trollope to satirize both the religious establishment and the narrow-minded locals. With his deft hand for characterization, the author reveals both the hypocrisy and integrity inherent in the common man.

One of the most prolific writers of the Victorian era, Anthony Trollope (1815-82) did not begin his career as a novelist until he was in his thirties. In addition to his novels, most of them multi-volume "triple-deckers," he also wrote sketches, short stories, travel books, and biographies of classical figures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780760773611
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 12/22/2005
Series: Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading , #1
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 139,322
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) was one of the most successful, prolific, and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of his best-known books collectively comprise the Chronicles of Barsetshire series, which revolves around the imaginary county of Barsetshire and includes the books The Warden, Barchester Towers, Doctor Thorne, and others. Trollope wrote nearly 50 novels in all, in addition to short stories, essays, and plays.

Introduction


The Warden (1855) is a comic satire that tells the story of Reverend Septimus Harding, a man of scrupulous integrity who is accused of financial impropriety. The first book in Anthony Trollope's popular Barsetshire series, The Warden is based on an actual case of financial profiteering, but Trollope is less interested in the reform of clerical endowments than in the moral dilemma the situation presents. The novel contains recognizable caricatures of his Victorian contemporaries, Thomas Carlyle and Charles Dickens, but its central appeal, as in all of Trollope's novels, is his engaging, lifelike, complex characters. Although he had published three novels previously, Trollope claimed that after publication of The Warden, "people around me knew that I had written a book."1 Trollope's reputation and popularity remain strong today: most of his forty-seven novels are still in print, and in the twentieth century, The Warden and several other perennial favorites--Barchester Towers, He Knew He Was Right, The Way We Live Now, and the Palliser series-were adapted for British television and film.

One of the most prolific writers of the Victorian era, Anthony Trollope (1815-82) did not begin his career as a novelist until he was in his thirties. His mother, Fanny Trollope, was a professional writer best known for Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832), one of the most popular and controversial travel books of the era. Her son became even more famous and was incredibly productive; in addition to his novels, most of them multivolume "triple-deckers," he also wrote sketches, short stories, travel books, and biographies of classical figures. To produce this tremendous volume of work, he set himself a daily schedule of writing, including the time he spent traveling on business by train and ship, even when he was seasick. This literary output is even more astounding since writing was Trollope's second job. He worked thirty-three years for the Post Office, first as a clerk and subsequently as an inspector; he is credited with introducing the pillar mailbox. His thirty-eight-year marriage to Rose Heseltine was happy, harmonious, and uneventful-except for producing two sons. In middle age he developed a friendship with a young American woman, Kate Field. Her feminism may have influenced his creation of several outspoken and independent women characters, but Trollope's relationship with Field apparently resulted in nothing more intimate than a spirited correspondence. He also took a strong interest in politics, evident not only in the central role politicians play in many of his novels but also in his unsuccessful run for Parliament in 1868, when he was defeated in the borough of Beverley in an election characterized by voting corruption and bribery.

The idea for this novel, centered on a circle of small-town clergymen, came to Trollope during a visit to Salisbury "whilst wandering . . . on a mid-summer evening round the purlieus of the cathedral."2 Reverend Septimus Harding is the "warden" of Hiram's Hospital, a charitable residence for impoverished, retired workingmen. Timid but conscientious, Harding has served as a loving steward to the residents, administering to their spiritual needs and providing them with an allowance out of his own pocket. Harding is first astounded and then devastated to learn that the public believes he is profiting by accepting the generous salary that has accrued from the funds left to the almshouse by John Hiram in 1434. The scandal even affects Harding's once-loyal almsmen, whose greed is fuelled by the delusion that they will receive the income if the warden gives up his post. Plagued by gossip and the town's crusading journalist, Harding ultimately finds serenity in his decision to resign. The novel's subplot supplies a love interest: Harding's younger daughter Eleanor in an ironic twist is courted by John Bold, who heads the movement to remove her father from his position. Moreover, Bold is depicted as a man who suffers from a lack of faith in his fellow men--a reformer who does not believe in the honesty of others. Harding is defended by Archdeacon Grantly, a higher-ranking clergyman and his elder daughter's husband, who is more concerned with his father-in-law's loss of status and income than the moral issue involved.

Some of the novel's sharpest barbs are directed at those who exploit social criticism for their own gain. Trollope attacks the kind of opportunistic journalism that sensationalizes Harding's financial situation through his comic depictions of the fictional journalist Tom Towers and his newspaper, the Jupiter, which publishes articles attacking the Reverend. Through thinly veiled portraits of Carlyle ("Dr. Pessimist Anticant") and Dickens ("Mr. Popular Sentiment"), Trollope satirizes major figures of his day. He imitates the overwrought, highly rhetorical style of the eminent social philosopher in the fictional essay by "Anticant" included in the novel. The Warden not only contains satires of Trollope's contemporaries but is also forward-looking as it engages in metafiction, literature that suspends disbelief and acknowledges to the reader that it is in fact fiction. Trollope thus pokes fun at Dickens the social critic as his fictional "Mr. Sentiment" publishes a new novel--which strikingly resembles The Warden--in installment form. Sentiment's novel the Almshouse provides "a direct attack on the whole system." And, as the narrator points out, "It's very well done, as you'll see. His first numbers always are." These caricatures of contemporaries were considered in bad taste by some of Trollope's critics because both Carlyle and Dickens were still living.3

Like his fellow novelist Dickens, Trollope gives his characters comic and suggestive names such as the lawyer, Sir Abraham Haphazard; the fecund minister, Mr. Quiverful (father of fourteen children); or the retired workingman, Abel Handy. His Septimus Harding is characterized through a signature, that is, one telling, distinctive trait: his habit of playing an invisible violincello when preoccupied. Yet while Trollope's characters are often comic, they are rarely caricatures. In contrast to Dickens, who has often been criticized for his saccharine female characters, Trollope is known for the creation of memorable women such as the spirited, indiscreet political wife Lady Glencora (from the Palliser series) or the enchanting, crippled La Signora Madeline Vesey Neroni (of Barchester Towers), who manipulates her admirers while reclining on her sofa. Trollope himself found the characters he created so real that he was constantly preoccupied with their fates: "So much of my inner life was passed in their company, that I was continually asking myself how this woman would act when this or that event had passed over her head, or how that man would carry himself when his youth had become manhood, or his manhood declined to old age."4

The American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne praised Trollope's novels for their national character: "just as English as a beef-steak . . . written . . . through the inspiration of ale."5 A devotee of the perennially English tradition of fox hunting, Trollope depicts the excitement of the chase through incorporating dramatic hunting sequences-before the end of the hunt someone is sure to fall into a ditch or have his bones crushed-into many of his novels. Although he satirizes aristocrats who devote their entire lives to the hunt, Trollope loved the sport and hunted until he was over sixty years old. His novels are subtly nuanced anatomies of mid-Victorian society, an era in which social class was a major concern even as British culture was evolving into a less-stratified system. Despite his own impoverished youth, Trollope creates sympathetic portraits of upper-class characters, such as the Duke of Omnium, the major character in the Palliser novels, who is compelled to adjust to the demise of aristocratic power and authority. At the same time, Trollope also presents the incursion of wealthy Americans and the rise of a newly comfortable British middle class. M. A. Goldberg claims, "It is understandable why the tide of Trollope's literary affairs turned with the publication of The Warden in 1855. Here, for the first time, Trollope managed to capture the spirit of his age. . . ."6

Trollope told his publisher that if The Warden proved successful he intended a sequel.7 Accordingly, the next novel in the series, Barchester Towers (1857), continues the story of Reverend Harding and his marriageable daughter; the sequel introduces other memorable characters as well, such as the conniving, sycophantic chaplain, Obadiah Slope, and the dictatorial, meddling Mrs. Proudie and her husband, the hen-pecked Bishop. With the Barset and Palliser series, Trollope popularized the multivolume sequence novel or roman-fleuve. They were formed of a series of interrelated volumes with recurring characters, but the individual novels stand well on their own. Yet when read as a series, the books gain the appeal of familiarity, and the characters become a circle of old friends. As in soap operas or serials, they gain their popularity from pleasurable returns to past experiences. In addition to cultivating and popularizing the sequence novel, a genre well suited to the gargantuan reading appetites of Victorian audiences, the Trollopian novel introduced the fictional exploration of a moral case, a major contribution that is particularly evident in The Warden. Ruth apRoberts views this strategy as a kind of situation ethics. She argues that "[h]is concern is always moral, and he is always recommending, by means of his cases, a more flexible morality."8 In The Warden, Trollope creates a complex dilemma not only by constructing a plot around a moral conflict, but through the subtlety of the case. Harding is less bothered by his opponent than by his own conscience; his most significant conflict is internal. As the man accused, Harding exemplifies a higher morality and conscience than those who persecute him. Moreover, although Harding loses his sinecure, he gains even greater moral credibility. The Trollopian social problem thus "present[s] moot questions, gray areas, unanticipated embarrassments."9 The novel unfolds the moral dilemma with the momentum of Greek tragedy, as a small initial event precipitates a landslide that none of the participants could foretell and that none can stop.

The major interpretive crux of the novel centers on the precise motivation of the protagonist-whether Harding is a hero who resigns because of his conscience, or a fainthearted quitter who abdicates his position because he cannot tolerate the confrontation. Most critics find Harding to be a meek, mild-mannered hero, but Goldberg argues that Harding "prefer[s] compromise to strife."10 Another critic who takes this less flattering view of the protagonist is Kevin Floyd, who finds that "Harding's motive is . . . a simple longing for the quiet that an end to the controversy will bring about."11 Alternatively, this interpretation might be viewed as suggesting not so much as the failing of the protagonist as the promotion of an ethos that values a less competitive society. James Kincaid claims that "Mr. Harding's resignation . . . is a radical affirmation, a refusal to live by a morality which crudely equates virtue with success and therefore disregards the private life altogether."12 One of Trollope's major critics, Kincaid finds this theme to be reinforced in the following Barset novel: "The real winners are those who do not fight. At the heart of the book is a profound protest against the competitive mode of life . . . ."13 This interpretation, moreover, has autobiographical support since Trollope inveighed against public competition for civil service jobs; he believed that examinations were ineffective in identifying the most qualified candidate for positions such as the one he himself held with the Post Office.14

Trollope's immense popularity with a wide public was fueled more by his sympathetic characters than by any driving suspense in his plots. He wrote in his Autobiography: "No novel is anything, for purposes either of comedy or tragedy, unless the reader can sympathise with the characters whose name he finds upon the page. Let an author so tell his tale as to touch his reader's heart and draw his tears, and he has, so far, done his work well."15 Only rarely did Trollope imitate the highly suspenseful sensation fiction popularized in the 1860s by Wilkie Collins and Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Although his novel The Eustace Diamonds introduces one of the early Victorian detectives and revolves around a mysterious theft of a valuable diamond necklace by a man who is discovered to be a bigamist, Trollope generally disdained the manipulation of readers that is a major feature of mysteries. He claimed, "the highest merit which a novel can have consists in perfect delineation of character, rather than in plot."16 Most of his plots center on romantic complications: love and marriage thwarted by irrational jealousy, imprudent marriages later regretted, or rejected lovers who subsequently become the subject of obsessive love. It is the vivid emotional insight into characters that gives these simple plots their fascination. Perhaps Henry James, himself a nineteenth-century novelist and critic, best summarized Trollope's appeal when he wrote upon the occasion of the author's death that "[h]is great, his inestimable merit was a complete appreciation of the usual."17 A best-selling author in his own lifetime, Trollope's reputation suffered with his descendants, the modernists, who felt compelled to reject their Victorian precursors in their own efforts to revolutionize literature and "make it new." Phillip Holcomb claims that the low point of Trollope's popularity was from his death in 1882 until the 1930s. Trollope regained popularity during World War II, when his novels again became best sellers.18 Ironically, the posthumous publication of his Autobiography (1883), with its account of his method of writing three hours each morning, producing 250 words each quarter hour with his watch before him, may have most damaged his reputation, suggesting Trollope was concerned with commercial success rather than art. Discipline and imagination are not mutually exclusive, however. Trollope's perennial popularity is attested to by the high praise he received from twentieth-century writers as diverse as Somerset Maugham and Rebecca West. More recently, Cynthia Ozick praised Trollope's novels for their length and mourned, "What disappoints in any novel by Trollope is the visible approach of its end: when more has been read than remains to be read."19 Something of a literary phoenix, Trollope continues to delight readers attracted to the complex humanity of his characters and the pure escapism of a good read.

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The Warden 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful tale brilliantly told, and good to visit with an old master
blbooks More than 1 year ago
This is a charming little classic concerning ethics. While that, strictly speaking, is true, it's not really the half of it. It's about one man, Mr. Harding, and his family: two daughters, one married, the other quite single. It's also about Harding's neighborhood and circle of friends. It's about the necessity of having a good reputation and a clean conscience. Eleanor is the apple of her daddy's eye. Susan is married to an Archdeacon. (I *believe* his name is Grantley). Because of his eldest daughters good fortune in marriage, Mr. Harding, has been named warden of Hiram's Hospital (alms house). The 'enemy' of Mr. Harding (and the suitor of Eleanor) is a young man named John Bold. When we are first introduced to these characters, we are learning that Bold is encouraging a law suit against Mr. Harding. He feels that Mr. Harding is in violation of the will. (Way, way, way back when (several centuries past), a man left his (quite wealthy) estate to the church. The church followed the will for the most part, but as times changed, they changed the way they carried it out. They were following it through in spirit in a way: still seeking to take care of twelve poor men (bedesman) but over time the salary of the warden increased.) Bold has stirred up the twelve bedesmen into signing a petition demanding justice, demanding more money, demanding 'fairer' distribution of funds. The book presents this case through multiple perspectives: through two Grantleys (father and son), a few lawyers, Mr. Harding and Mr. Bold, of course, and through a handful of the twelve men involved that would profit from the change. There is one man whose voice seems louder than all the rest. And that voice comes from the newspaper, the Jupiter, one journalist writes harsh, condemning words directed at Mr. Harding--he assumes much having never met Harding personally. These words weigh heavy on the heart and soul of Mr. Harding. (And they don't sit easy on Mr. Bold either.) Can Mr. Harding get his reputation back? What is the right thing to do? Is he in violation of the will? Is the church? What is his moral responsibility in caring for these twelve poor-and-retired men? What is his responsibility to the community? The Warden is a charming little book. In part because of the language and style. There's an easiness and rightness about it. It was one of those cases where I knew almost from the start that Trollope and I would come to be good friends. Though I'd never read any Trollope before, never seen a movie based on one of his books, reading Trollope felt like coming home. Trollope was good at characterization and equally good at storytelling.
SheReadsNovels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Being a lover of Victorian fiction, I have wanted to read something by Anthony Trollope for a long time but didn't know which of his books to begin with. I've heard a lot about The Way We Live Now and Can You Forgive Her? but I decided to go with The Warden because it's relatively short and I thought that if I wasn't enjoying it I'd be more likely to finish a book with 200 pages than one with 800. Luckily, this wasn't a problem ¿ I enjoyed the book and wouldn¿t have minded if it had been longer.In the year 1434 John Hiram established a hospital (or almshouse) in the town of Barchester where for centuries to come, twelve elderly, infirm men could live under the care of a warden. At the time when the story takes place, Septimus Harding is the current warden and whilst the amount of money given to the old men has barely changed at all over time, the warden's income has increased to eight hundred pounds a year. When reformer John Bold decides to investigate, Harding finds himself facing a moral dilemma.The book really made me stop and think, because none of the characters seemed to be either completely in the wrong or completely in the right. Although it was clearly unfair that Mr. Harding was receiving so much money, I sympathised with him because as soon as the unfairness of his position was brought to his attention he became determined to do the right thing. As for the other main characters ¿ John Bold and Harding's son-in-law Archdeacon Grantly ¿ although they are on opposite sides of the debate and have very different opinions regarding the warden's situation, Trollope presents them both as well-intentioned people with normal human flaws. The female characters don't play a very big role in this book, but I loved the relationship between Mr. Harding and his daughter Eleanor.I really liked Trollope's writing style which is elegant, insightful and witty in a gentle way. There are a few chapters where he departs from the main storyline to spend several pages talking about politics or the media but this is a common trait of Victorian writers. Although it was slow moving in places, Trollope managed to keep me interested from beginning to end. I'm sure some of his other books will be better, but this one was good enough to make me want to read more of his work.
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Warden is the first book in Anthony Trollope's Barsetshire novels, and deals with a sticky legal question involving the Church of England's financial responsibilities. Under the will of John Hiram, twelve aged workingmen are to be supported in a hospital (or home) and overseen/served by a warden of the church. Since Hiram's 1434 will, the income from his estates has increased dramatically and the surplus monies have been routed to the warden rather than to the workingmen (whose needs are fully satisfied in their current arrangements). When a young liberal activist named John Bold learns that Hiram's will is not being followed to the letter, he immediately opens a lawsuit to investigate the church's appropriation of the money. What complicates matters is that Bold is in love with Eleanor Harding, the daughter of the current warden ¿ and Bold considers Mr. Septimus Harding himself to be a good friend. Can he reconcile what he feels is his civic duty with these personal loyalties? Who really should get that eight hundred pounds a year?Mr. Harding is a wonderfully endearing character. In addition to being the warden of the hospital, he is also a preceptor and delights in the music for the church services. He is a humble man who is horrified at the grasping, greedy picture of himself that the newspapers paint for the world to read. After a struggle of no mean proportions, he determines that he must give up the wardenship and its accompanying eight hundred pounds, despite the financial blow it will be and the bullying tactics of his more worldly-wise son-in-law, Dr. Grantly. The little machinations to which Mr. Harding resorts in order to get his way despite his weakness are funny and sad at the same time. He's very much a passive-aggressive type, unwilling and unable to argue with Dr. Grantly but firm in his convictions. He buys a clean conscience in the end, despite everything his friends try to do to save him from his own moral promptings.There are other endearing characters as well. Eleanor is quite the heroine with her brave resolve of giving up John Bold to save her father. Though she is foiled in this noble plan by her friend, Bold's sister Mary, there's no doubt Eleanor really did intend to see it through. I also liked the bishop, another fuddling and "weak" man like Mr. Harding who nevertheless demonstrates true charity and consideration for others. Dr. Grantly is really the only villain in the book (well, perhaps Tom Towers and Abraham Haphazard qualify too), but even he is softened. Indeed, Trollope does his best to apologize for Dr. Grantly's overbearing manner and inflexible pride... and he succeeds. I can't dislike Dr. Grantly nearly as much as I think I ought to. Perhaps Trollope did not feel it wise to castigate a clergyman too harshly. I appreciated the dry, understated humor that crops up unexpectedly throughout the novel. There is Trollope's brilliant description of a ball, wherein the young men and young women are depicted as opposing armies staring at one another across the ballroom and slowly making advances. The metaphor is quite drawn out and it gets funnier as it continues. And there are the "conjugal confabulations" of the imposing Dr. Grantly and his wife as they converse in bed, along with some amusing reflections on what a trial it must be for clergymen's wives to see their dignified husbands in all states of dishabille. You have to be on the watch for Trollope's humor; he doesn't trumpet that he is being funny when he makes a smart little comment about someone. I laughed at his little descriptions, like the archdeacon's sigh "that would have moved a man-of-war." In some ways it's almost Austenian. In other places (especially in the conversations of the bedesmen), Trollope reminded me of Thomas Hardy's working-class characters.In his introduction, Louis Auchincloss writes that the crux of the novel is a recurring theme with Trollope: the inevitable collision of traditional privilege and modern
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mr. Harding, the Warden of a charitable foundation, is about to be challenged in his position, even though it is clear to all, even his challenger, that Mr. Harding is a man who lives and breathes personal integrity.This is the audio version, read by Simon Vance, who did a marvelous job. I love reading Trollope. His dry wit and subtle humor are a delight.The author manages to work all of his characters into an impossible corner, and somehow, even though all are not rescued and the story is not a "lived happily ever after" kind of tale, the reader does not end up resenting the author, but appreciating his special view and understanding of human nature and of life.
PapaDubs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story of Mr. Harding the kindly old warden of a hospital (almshouse) for elderly, disabled men. Mr. Harding finds himself enmeshed in a lawsuit regarding the money he receives as warden but as events unfold within the story we discover that the warden truly represents what a good man should be. Inspiring. Looking forward to reading additional books in the series.
tloeffler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A nice little regency story about the warden of a hospital for elderly gentlemen, his loving daughter, and the man she loves, who is leading the campaign to take away her fathers wardenship (and thus livelihood). It has an understated moral (better the devil you know than the devil you don't know!), and the author's asides are worth reading the book for (although it is a great story)!
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This tale is the embodiment of irony. In the pages of this novel we find the young and idealistic (and also ambitious) reformer, the honorable clergyman, and the foolish and uneducated. The perfect recipe for ruining what is good and replacing it with something worse. Mr. Trollope includes many asides and witticisms and there is the feeling that while the tale is worth telling, the points the author wants to make are at least as important. Curious style of writing and makes me curious to know what his other books are like.
bencritchley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I seem to have revealed rather a lot about the plot - please exercise caution etcThe first part of a series, but a standalone novel nonetheless. I really enjoyed it (I know I seem to say that a lot) and see as its central theme the conflict between public and private, internal and external, personal and social. It's a novel about then-current newspaper scandals and church reform, but it's also a deeply personal story of one man, the titular warden, and his internal moral struggle. Mr Harding is a pleasant and well-liked man, and what happens to him is unfair and unpleasant. The end is both a victory and a defeat for Harding, which is a good illustration of the central split of the novel. Both forces acting upon Harding, broadly speaking, the external and the external, are acting from good motives, on the side of Right, (almost all the main characters are connected to the church) and yet they are set in opposition quite early in the text, as Harding realises he cannot do right by the church and his own conscience concurrently.This split continues as although firmly rooted in contemporary, mid-Victorian issues, scandals and mores, it is very relevant now with regard to charity and obligation in a changing world, and how the best of intentions - and John Bold has the best of intentions - can have unforeseen results when we treat people as statistics. Bold sees Harden as The Warden and, in seeing the injustice of the position, overlooks the kindness and charity of the man.
Fluffyblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having listened to some of this book as an audio book, I was finding it hard to concentrate, so finding the book free to download via Kindle, I decided the story might sink in a bit better if I actually read it, and it did.This is the story of a warden of a charitable hospital, where 12 old men live. The men receive a small amount of money every week, according to the will of the founder of the hospital and over the years the warden has received a larger and larger share because of the increase in property prices etc when the will is challenged it causes all sorts of problems for the warden, and the book is essentially about him, his small family and the characters that surround him. It is Victorian fiction (although initially I did not know that it was from this era which was a bit naive of me!) and it is sometimes hard to follow. On the whole it was enjoyable and I found Trollope to be very witty and ironic at times. The book was quite humourous which therefore made it a bit of a joy to read.
jasonlf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had been saving Trollope for later life, largely because I was worried that once I got started I might feel compelled to read all 47 of his novels. But somehow read the first few pages of this and couldn't put it down. The story is rather slight, many of the characters absurd, some of the satire over the top, but somehow it is enjoying and compelling from beginning to end.The story is about a church official who also serves as the beneficent, albeit well remunerated, Warden of an almshouse for twelve elderly, indigent men. He becomes the target of a local reformer who wants more of the endowment to go to the poor and less to the Warden. A series of lawsuits and machinations follow, lightly interspersed with a wooden romance, and along the way Trollope skewers parliament, the media, the Church of England, philosophical writers, Charles Dickens, and others. Unlike Dickens, none of the characters -- minor or major -- have much life to them. And most of them are painfully cardboard.But somehow the careful descriptions, the impossible situation depicted, and the panormatic view of this tiny segment of time, space and society are compelling. As one of Trollope's earliest works, I can only assume they get better -- and will require some restraint not to pick up another Trollope novel anytime soon.
wordygirl39 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sigh...I just don't get all the fuss over Trollope. I read this one, but not joyfully.
gercmbyrne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Trollope's vigourously recounted tale of a gentle and scrupulous man is a long time favourite. Contains one of teh best scenes ever, when the perplexed and unhappy Warden "plays" on his imaginary cello, too old to continue playing for real. A story of worliness versus spirutal values.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A delightful novel set in Jolly Old England. ~*~LEB~*~
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katknit More than 1 year ago
Septimus Hardy is that rarity - an honest, "disinterested", Church of England cleric. For 10 years, he has held the living as warden at a charitable "hospital", founded centuries ago for impoverished but worthy tradesmen. When in the interest of reform, John Bold, Warden Hardy's daughter's suitor, brings a suit against the church for diverting alms to the clergy rather than the poor. All manner of trouble arises when Mr. Hardy's conscience clashes with the plans of his Arch Deacon, who also happens to be his son-in-law. Employing subtle (and sometimes not) satire to age old conflicts between right/wrong, church/society, rich/poor, law/common sense, Trollope prods his readers to consider the nature of charity and society's obligations to the less fortunate. He presents both sides with fairness, providing no easy solution to a problem that is always with us. Thought provoking and still topical, though originally published in 1855.
Brie_loves_Jane More than 1 year ago
The first in the Barset series its not nearly as good as the second book Barchester Towers but reading the Warden does add depth to the second book. Dickens fans will probably like Anthony Trollope.