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Barchester Towers [Paperback]

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Item description for Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope...

Barchester Towers (1857) by Anthony Trollope is one of the charming series of loosely connected novels set in Barsetshire. This is the second book to appear in the series, but may be read as a standalone work, and enjoyed on its own merits.

The residents and clergy of Barchester are faced with the continuation of the wardenship controversy, the tyranny of the controlling Mrs. Proudie (the new bishop's spouse), and the insinuating onslaught of hypocrite and social climber Mr. Obadiah Slope -- to amusing effect, and culminating in rather satisfying circumstances.

Outline Review
This 1857 sequel to The Warden wryly chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester. The evangelical but not particularly competent new bishop is Dr. Proudie, who with his awful wife and oily curate, Slope, maneuver for power. The Warden and Barchester Towers are part of Trollope's Barsetshire series, in which some of the same characters recur.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   484
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 6.5" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 9, 2007
Publisher   Norilana Books
ISBN  1934169811  
ISBN13  9781934169810  

Availability  136 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 02:54.
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More About Anthony Trollope

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Simon Dentith is Professor of English at the University of Reading.

Anthony Trollope lived in London. Anthony Trollope was born in 1815 and died in 1882.

Anthony Trollope has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Barnes & Noble Classics
  2. English Library
  3. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( T ) > Trollope, Anthony
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Family Saga
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > British > Trollope, Anthony

Reviews - What do customers think about Barchester Towers?

The Fog of Love; The Fog of War  Jul 15, 2008
In Barchester Towers you have the feeling of being in a command center during a war; everyone is in uniform; archdeacons are common, and bishops, far from rare. It is an exceedingly rare perspective of the Church of England's clerical politics, and Trollope brings it to life with Giotto-like realism. Trollope's writing is tension-filled and the protagonists' and antagonists' characters are depicted in black and white, just as their clerical garments would suggest. Barchester Towers, is a love story from start to finish, and if the reader finds the sequence of compound misunderstandings which form the basis of the plot's tension to be incredible in the extreme, Trollope would defend it as the "fog of war," which creates confusion on any battlefield.

The detail with which Trollope portrays his characters is crystal clear, yet economical: "He knows how to say a soft word in the proper place; he knows how to adapt his flattery to the ears of his hearers; he knows the wiles of the serpent, and he uses them." "Why she had chosen Paulo Neroni, a man of no birth and no property, a mere captain in the pope's guard, one who had come up to Milan either simply as an adventurer or else as a spy, a man of harsh temper and oily manners, mean in figure, swarthy in face, and so false in words as to be hourly detected, need not now be told." But it is to Mr. Slope that Trollope devotes particular attention: "If it should turn out to be really the fact that Mrs. Bold had twelve hundred a year at her own disposal, Mr. Slope would rather look upon it as a duty which he owed his religion to make himself the master of the wife and the money; as a duty too, in which some amount of self-sacrifice would be necessary." And of Mr. Harding: "He had that nice appreciation of the feelings of others which belongs of right exclusively to women." And you have to love Trollope's baptism of his characters with names which serve as labels: Farmer Subsoil, Rev. Quiverful, Dr. Fillgrave, Mrs. Lookaloft, Miss Thorne, Mr. Plomacy.

Trollope's craft is apparent throughout: "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." And in describing the henpecked Bishop, "If ever he thought of freedom, he did so as men think of the millennium, as of a good time which may be coming, but which nobody expects to come in their day." And our protagonist: "Mrs. Bold would have given the world not to blush, but her blood was not at her own command."

Trollope's 1857 British usage takes some acclimation, as with his liberal use of compound negatives: "...not unnecessary...quite impossible that he should now deny his love...he could not but know...he was not the last person to hear of it...her state, nevertheless, was not to be pitied...I doubt very much he won't lose his gown." Trollope's liberal sprinkling of Latin and French phrases, as with "nil admirari" and "couleur de rose," are evidence of Trollope's trust in the reader's cultural qualifications. Comic relief is less liberally sprinkled, but it is welcome when it breaks the tension, as when Mrs. Lookaloft crashes the area of Miss Thorne's lawn party reserved for the "quality," which she so ardently strove to emulate.

A significant part of Trollope's craft is also comprised of befriending the reader and confiding in us regularly: "Will anyone blame my heroine for this?" Or "You, O reader, and I, should be angry with Eleanor..." Or "The sorrows of our heroes and heroines, they are your delight, oh public! Their sorrows, or their sins, or their absurdities; not their virtues, good sense, and consequent rewards."

Barchester Towers is a masterpiece of fantasy. Trollope here rivals Austen, some forty years his senior, as a creator of misunderstood and pitiably human characters whose stars we ardently pray will cross. Unlike Austen, however, Trollope gives us the basest and vilest of antagonists, whose downfall we demand. And you, O reader, shall not be disappointed.
"The end of a novel, like the end of a children's dinner-party, must be made up of sweetmeats and sugar-plums."  Feb 16, 2008
(4.5 stars) Anthony Trollope does, indeed, fill the ending of this delightful social satire with all the "sweetmeats" any reader could desire. Between the introduction and conclusion are so many moments of wry humor, genuine thoughtfulness, and satisfying come-uppances that the extra sweetness at the end is actually a bonus. In this second of the Chronicles of Barsetshire, published in 1857, Trollope continues the story of Mr. Septimus Harding, the gentle and unambitious clergyman who, in The Warden (1855), resigned his appointment as warden of Hiram's Hospital for the poor and became the vicar of a small church, living frugally above a chemist's shop. His daughter Eleanor, who married reformer John Bolt at the end of The Warden, is now a widow with a small son--and considerable inheritance.

Ecclesiastical controversies, many of them linked to the desire for power within the small world of the church hierarchy, still exist in Barchester, and the arrival of Mr. Slope, as chaplain to Bishop Proudie, signals fireworks. Slope, one of Trollope's most unforgettable characters, is one of the slimiest, most sycophantic, and manipulative clergyman ever to appear in English literature, and before long, he is controlling the bishop, clashing with the bishop's wife (who regards herself as co-bishop), using the unfilled wardenship of the hospital as a bargaining tool with Mr. Harding and Eleanor, alienating and even outfoxing Archdeacon Grantly, and seeking a wife with a large fortune.

Far more complex than The Warden, the novel has more fully developed characters acting from more realistic motivations. Victorian England, as we see it here, is a multileveled society which does not allow for much upward mobility, and the entrenched clergy regards itself as second only to the aristocracy. The human foibles, the back-biting, the selfishness, and the one-upsmanship which Trollope includes in his depiction of all levels of society are particularly ironic in the case of the godly churchmen, and the honest and straightforward Mr. Harding is a counterweight to them throughout the novel.

Several courtships and marriages are presented so unromantically here that it is difficult even to imagine the concept of sexuality, but the novel is witty and clever, and Trollope shows his continued development as a satirist. Not a writer of "sensation," like Wilkie Collins, or of social criticism, like Dickens, Trollope has his own quiet style, and his wry observations about his world may resonate with the present reader more than either of those other giants. n Mary Whipple

The Warden
Doctor Thorne (Barsetshire Novels)
Framley Parsonage

Barchester Towers: The second in the delightful Barsetshire Novels by a Great Victorian Novelist brings hours of pleasure !  Aug 29, 2007
Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) has earned his place in the pantheon of great English Victorian authors. His greatest novels are those in the
Barsetshire series dealing with the clergy and the Palliser novels concerned with politics focusing on the Palliser family.
The first novel in the Barsetshire series "The Warden"introduces us to the Rev. Septimus Harding and his charming daughters Eleanor and Susan. Harding gives up his supervision of Hiram's Hospital for elderly men as that novel concludes. His daughter Eleanor weds John Bolt the newspaperman who had criticized Harding for earning too much in a sincecure; his other daughter Susan is wed to Dr. Grantley the son of the Bishop of Barsetshire. "The Warden" introduces the characters in "Barchester Towers" which is a longer and more complicated novel.
In this novel the new Bishop has been chosen by the British government following the death of old Dr. Granley. He is Bishop Proudie the henpecked husband of one of literature's greatest shrews Mrs. Produie. The uxorious bishop must obey his dominant wife or face the consequences!
As the novel opens Dr. Grantley the scion of old Dr. Grantley is upset that he is not chosen to succeed his father as bishop. He is a member of the high church party in opposition to the evangelical wing of the Anglican church favored by the Proudies. It is time for clerical warfare to begin!
The oily chaplain to the new bishop is the Rev. Obadiah Slope who seeks advancement in the church but fights with Mrs. Proudie over who will have the wardenship of Hiram Hospital. He favors the restoration of Mr. Harding but Mrs Proudie wins out when the Rev. Quiverful, his wife and 14 children win the prize of the wardenship.
A love story is told as widow Eleanor Bold is courted by the odious Rev. Slope; Bertie Stanhope an impecunious and fatuous sculptor and the intellectual clergyman the Rev. Francis Arabin. Arabin is a favorite of the Grantley faction in the church feud with the Proudies.
The widow Neroni is Madeline, the daughter of the Rev. Stanhope, who is crippled but a bewitching temptress for all the men in the story. We also meet the Thornes who are an older brother and sister living in the country near St. Ewolds wherin is located Mr. Arabin's parish. They are hilarious!
The novel ends with the social, religious and romantic worlds in a state of calm salubrity. The novel was a bestseller in 1854 and is the bestselling and most humorous of all the Barsetshire novels. Anthony Trollope wrote about good men and women in a realistic, easy to read style which is enchanting 150 years after first being written.
I have read Barchester Towers several times and still enjoy this enchanting classic from the hand of a literary master.
This edition is an adaptation  Aug 16, 2007
This edition is an adaptation, a fact that is *not* mentioned in the item record *at all*. I ordered it, and when if FINALLY came (6 months after I ordered it), I had to return it because I prefer the real edition of a book, not some dumbed-down "retold" version to go with the TV version of the story.
A Victorian "Comédie Humaine"   Mar 8, 2007
Where Dickens paints memorable characters with wonderful names, Trollope draws characters closer to ourselves then shows us how they think, behave, and interact.

Another difference between characters in Dickens and in Trollope is that Trollope's are more nuanced. The detestable Mrs. Proudie repels us with her prudish haughtiness but when she upholds the cause of Mrs. Quiverful she does so as much out of charity as out of principle. The odious Obadiah Slope suffers pangs of love that made me want to shake him by the collar and tell him to wake up! The good Mr. Harding is clearly in the wrong in thinking ill of his daughter Eleanor's judgment, and yet Eleanor was also at fault in thinking herself above defense. There are no white hats or black hats in Barchester, only various shades of gray.

Trollope delights in describing what all these people think, and how they express themselves. How the tone of voice is intended to undo the work of the words spoken. How truth can be spun into a spider's web as does the wonderful character of the Signora Madeline Neroni. If anyone in the novel can be called evil it is her. She manipulates people like objects for her own amusement; she's like a cat playing with a mouse which it has no intention to eat. And yet even the reader can't help falling in love with la Signora. And yet, and yet, and yet... No one is simple in Trollope's world.

Barchester Towers differs from its predecessor in the Chronicles of Barsetshire. The Warden is a classic romance tainted with a touch of tragedy all brought down to the scale of everyday life. Barchester Towers on the other hand is a sprawling pageant of people, a long chapter in a comédie humaine that follows Balzac's tradition.

Vincent Poirier, Tokyo

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