Thursday, January 12, 2012

Barchester Towers - by Anthony Trollope

Barchester Towers is the second novel (1857) in the “Chronicles of Barsetshire” series by Anthony Trollope.  (US Edition)  (UK Edition) Although this is the second novel, it stands on its own and is probably Trollope’s best known novel. 

Let us set the scene, the Bishop of Barchester has died:

Our archdeacon [Dr. Grantly] was worldly--who among us is not so? He was ambitious--who among us is ashamed to own that "last infirmity of noble minds!" He was avaricious, my readers will say. No;--it was for no love of lucre that he wished to be Bishop of Barchester. He was his father's only child, and his father had left him great wealth. His preferment brought him in nearly three thousand a year. The bishopric, as cut down by the Ecclesiastical Commission, was only five. He would be a richer man as archdeacon than he could be as bishop. But he certainly did desire to play first fiddle; he did desire to sit in full lawn sleeves among the peers of the realm; and he did desire, if the truth must out, to be called "My lord" by his reverend brethren. 

His hopes, however, were they innocent or sinful, were not fated to be realized, and Dr. Proudie was consecrated Bishop of Barchester.

Dr. Proudie brings in Mr. Slope . . .
In truth, Mr. Slope, having made a declaration of affection, afterwards withdrew it on finding that the doctor had no immediate worldly funds with which to endow his child, and it may easily be conceived that Miss Proudie, after such an announcement on his part, was not readily disposed to receive any further show of affection. On the appointment of Dr. Proudie to the bishopric of Barchester, Mr. Slope's views were in truth somewhat altered. Bishops, even though they be poor, can provide for clerical children, and Mr. Slope began to regret that he had not been more disinterested. He no sooner heard the tidings of the doctor's elevation than he recommenced his siege, not violently, indeed, but respectfully, and at a distance. Olivia Proudie, however, was a girl of spirit: she had the blood of two peers in her veins, and better still she had another lover on her books, so Mr. Slope sighed in vain, and the pair soon found it convenient to establish a mutual bond of inveterate hatred.
Setting the scene for a most satisfying novel about the doings of clergy in a cathedral town.

Do not be worried by the primary review of the Kindle edition on Amazon UK!

'The best practitioner of Australian crime fiction' - Sydney Morning Herald; 'The Malone stories come alive through their setting... Cleary's writing is seamless and his plots imaginative and mature' - Miami Herald

Last I checked Trollope was still an English novelist with no interest in the antipodes.  I just include this for a chuckle.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this great review. I just downloaded it to my Kindle and look forward to reading it. I have enjoyed Kept in the Dark by Anthony Trollope.

    So glad to have found your blog!


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