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The Warden by Anthony Trollope
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The Warden (original 1855; edition 1995)

by Anthony Trollope

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2,697852,198 (3.82)5 / 433
Member:LizzySiddal
Title:The Warden
Authors:Anthony Trollope
Info:London: The Folio Society, 1995 xxiv, 172p ill 23cm
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:Folio Society, C19, fiction, anglophone

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The Warden by Anthony Trollope (1855)

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English (84)  French (1)  All languages (85)
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Published in 1855, The Warden is the first of Trollope's Barsetshire stories. We are introduced to Septimus Harding, a cleric of high moral character. The warden, Harding, is publicly accused of taking more than his fair share of church funds in return for little work, while the twelve poor elder gentleman under his care receive a mere pittance. The story centers around the legality of the claim vs. the morality of the claim, and Harding's touching reaction to it. In addition to Harding, we are introduced to his daughters and his son-in-law the archdeacon Grantley. Quoting the archdeacon, "Good heavens!" I enjoyed this book. I am sure I will enjoy the other books in the Barsetshire series.

Read March 2014 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
I had been warned that this is not Anthony Trollope's most exciting novel, but as it is the first in the Barsetshire Chronicles and I had a copy at hand, it was the first Trollope that I've read. It hasn't generally aged well, nineteenth century Church of England politics being somewhat out of fashion as a topic of interest, but the writing is strong and reminded me why I enjoy Victorian authors so much.

Reverend Harding is a pleasant, ineffectual man who has a sinecure as the warden of a small retirement home for deserving working class men that includes a house with pleasant gardens and an annual salary of 800 pounds, given to him because one of his two daughters had married the son of the bishop. Here he lives comfortably, enjoying his music, reading books and visiting the old men in the adjoining hospital now and again. His life would have continued in pleasant routine had not a spirit of reform begun to sweep England and a young reformer, the aptly named John Bold, questioned the generosity of the annual allowance.

Trollope is clearly on the side of the status quo, and he breaks from the narrative to complain about the tactics of an author (supposedly Charles Dickens), whom he calls Mr Popular Sentiment, and who he accuses of biasing the public by creating characters and situations that manipulate the reader into sympathy with his poor working class characters. Of course, Trollope is doing exactly the same thing here; Harding is so mild and inoffensive that it is impossible not to hope that he can keep his generous and largely unearned salary.

Outside of the machinations of the lawyers, clergymen and journalists, there is a sub-plot involving Harding's unmarried daughter and John Bold. They had feelings for each other before Bold discovered possible shady dealings on the matter of the wardenship and it's uncertain as to whether their love will survive the conflict. This part of the novel is particularly satisfying, as Eleanor is an interesting character and Bold's conflict as he tries to do what he sees is right without losing her love results in the most satisfying chapters in this brief novel.

I'm looking forward to continuing on with the Barsetshire Chronicles. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Jul 9, 2015 |
Good enough that I'll continue with the series. What you may call an authorial third person omniscient. Steps aside to confide in his reader here and there. Pokes fun at Dickens. Frames an interesting moral/legal dilemma here in which the decent Mr Harding (the warden or overseer of a kind of old-age home) is forced to make a conscience-clearing decision. ( )
  JamesMScott | Jun 7, 2015 |
Anthony Trollope wrote 47 novels by rising three hours early each morning before going to work at the post office and writing an average of 40 pages. He also has non-fiction to his credit and a mother who had a few things to write about her trip to the United States.

If he had the discipline to do this much writing everyday, perhaps I have a chance to do some reading. If he never seemed to have writer's block, how could we claim reader's block?

The Warden was his fourth novel but the first one that got enough attention to make a lifelong dedication. This is the first of the six Barchester Novels. Some of you may recall that PBS had a series with Sir Alec Guinness that covered The Warden and Barchester Towers back in the Alistair Cooke days.

The Warden is written by a Victorian novelist but it has a modest 200 page length. He is heavy page lifting in many of the other novels. Trollope draws an English world that is packed with very real characters. He did not like Dickens and his exaggerated characters. Trollope is critical but kind toward the characters. He is an excellent way to consider a Victorian novel for the post modern reader.

Later this year, his full version of The Duke's Children will be released for the first time as a major private publishing event. Significant edits were done for previous releases. This is one of the Barchester novels. Expect to hear much reevaluation of Trollope this year. These would be good Masterpiece Theater fodder for the Downton sorts. ( )
  Forthwith | May 6, 2015 |
"I think I just sighed throughout. It's not that the story was badly managed. I was just so. bored."
read more: http://likeiamfeasting.blogspot.gr/2015/04/the-warden-anthony-trollope.html ( )
  mongoosenamedt | May 3, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Trollope, Anthonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrap, PhyllisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawthorne, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kredel, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skilton, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Rev. Septimus Harding was, a few years since, a beneficed clergyman residing in the cathedral town of ---; let us call it Barchester.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192834088, Paperback)

The book centers on the character of Mr. Harding, a clergyman of great personal integrity, whose charitable income far exceeds the purpose for which it was intended. Young John Bold turns his reforming zeal to exposing what he considers to be an abuse of privilege, despite being in love with Mr. Harding's daughter Eleanor. The novel was highly topical as a case regarding the misapplication of church funds was the scandalous subject of contemporary debate. But Trollope uses this specific case to explore and illuminate the universal complexities of human motivation and social morality. This edition includes an introduction and notes by David Skilton and illustrations by Edward Ardizzone.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:49 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

This novel centres on the character of Mr. Harding, a clergyman of great personal integrity, whose charitable income far exceeds the purpose for which it was intended. Young John Bold turns his reforming zeal to exposing what he considers to be an abuse of privilege, despite being in love with Mr. Harding's daughter Eleanor.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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Editions: 0140432140, 0141198990

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