Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Warden by Anthony Trollope

The Warden (original 1855; edition 1995)

by Anthony Trollope

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,480None2,458 (3.84)4 / 377
Title:The Warden
Authors:Anthony Trollope
Info:London: The Folio Society, 1995 xxiv, 172p ill 23cm
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Folio Society, C19, English, fiction, British

Work details

The Warden by Anthony Trollope (1855)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (72)  French (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
This is the first book in Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire series. I’d heard in advance that it’s not always the best place to start with the series, but my type A personality insisted I read them in the correct order. It is a slow novel, one where very little action happens and I struggled to get into the first section. But at some point things clicked into place for me. I started to see past the surface plot of a financial debate dealing with the care of a local hospital, and I began to see the characters’ inner struggles.

Septimus Harding is the Warden, a title he earned by running Hiram's Hospital, a charity house. His daughter’s beau, John Bold, starts to question how the charity is run and draws up a case against the Warden. Harding has two daughters, Susan, who is already married, and Eleanor, who lives with him and who is being courted by John Bold. Bold’s decision to challenge Harding’s income puts an uncomfortable wrench in his plan to marry Eleanor.

Once you get past the initial slow start, the book provides an interesting look at the motives behind actions. Bond sees his purpose as noble and right even though he’s hurting the people he loves. It makes the reader question his decision, is it truly motivated by his beliefs or by his pride? Both Bond and Harding have difficult decisions to make and they are being encouraged by their friends to do very specific things. The local newspaper is also playing a part in aggravating the situation. In the end, does it matter why you make a decision if it is the right one? Or is it more important to stick to your original mission despite the effect it will have on others?

In some ways this novel reminded me of Gilead. Both books have a quiet nature and focus on the decisions of elderly men. Both also have a younger man who is struggling with a decision. Both have religious overtones that dictate the path of the main characters. It was an interesting parallel since the two books are set in such different time periods and locations.

BOTTOM LINE: An interesting read that took a bit to get into. I’ve heard the next book in the series is better and so I’m excited to read that one. I enjoyed watching Trollope peel away the layers of this issue until the moral core was revealed. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does that in the other Chronicles of Barsetshire novels.

“Bold began to comfort himself in the warmth of his own virtue.”

“In matters of love men do not see clearly in their own affairs.”

“There are some points on which no man can be contented to follow the advice of another,—some subjects on which a man can consult his own conscience only.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Mar 20, 2014 |
The first of Trollope's 'Chronicles of Barsetshire' which I have heard is quite good. The only other Trollope I have ever read was 'The Eustace Diamonds' which I didn't care for but have always meant to give him another try. So to begin at the beginning. The is a relatively short novel about the warden (not in the terms we think of i.e. prison) so the caretaker of a charity home - called a hospital. A position he is granted by his friend the bishop. The job is a sinecure that comes with it a nice living and this is called into question by Dr. John Bold a 'reformer' who also just so happens to be courting his daughter. The poor warden is really a nice man and he is raked over the coals in the paper and torn between his current son-in-law the imposing Archdeacon Grantly and his potential future son-in-law.

The novel is a satire - no one's motivations or personality is spared. It certainly was a novel of its time in that there are many references to the structure and hierarchy, controversy, what have you within the Anglican church at the time. The introduction and references did a decent job explaining it - unfortunately I found said explanations so boring my eyes glazed over. The novel is vintage Victorian - not as flowery as Dickens, not as florid as the Brontes, or as erudite as George Eliot -- somewhere in between them all. I enjoyed it for the most part but was not bowled over. I am hoping this is just a mild introduction the the series and the drama will improve because the characters are in fact fairly well-drawn. I do remember feeling that 'Eustace Diamonds' was incredibly repetitive and I felt that a bit here as well. The warden's predicament was spelled out again, and again, and indeed - again.

Just OK for me. I plan to persevere with the 'Chronicles of Barsetshire,' at least with the next one which is already on my shelf. Trollope is really the only author missing from my Victorian repertoire, but really not my favorite as of this moment. So far, George Eliot would have that title. ( )
  jhowell | Jan 5, 2014 |
Not exactly perfectly structured, not beautifully written, simplistic plot. There's plenty of filler - the parody of Carlyle is funny, but did we need two versions? And yet enjoyable - especially if you suspect that 'the media' is mainly a tool for whipping 'the public' into a frenzy with misinformation, that a laudable interest in justice is often perverted by self-interest and naivety, or that the three-volume Victorian novel really was too long - and very smart. You might disagree with the Warden's position, but it's sympathetic, and Trollope doesn't let you agree with it unthinkingly. But really, a long short story would have been enough. I'll definitely dig deeper into his Barchester novels. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
Wading through the first two chapters of exposition, I was wondering why anybody still bothered with Trollope. After that, I found out. There's a tidy little story here about a seemingly straightforward issue that becomes increasingly complex as we become familiar with each side of it. I'm not sure what moral is arrived at by the end, since anything I'm able to imagine has a counter-example when viewed from one of the many other perspectives. Perhaps the press comes off as the one true villain of the piece, although it's side of the story is curiously missing from the epilogue so that might be all that created that impression. Trollope plays very fair to all sides - maybe a little too fair, although my sympathies remain with Mr. Harding. This was pre-reading for Barchester Towers; I'll enjoy revisiting these characters but I hope that story will be a little more clear about its message. (PS - appreciated the dig at Dickens he slips into this novel, not sure I agreed with him though.)

EDIT: on further thought, the message is that money can't buy the happiness earned by a clean conscience. The Warden feels no worse off for his reduced income, while the tenants lose many of the pleasures they were enjoying after striving for more. ( )
  Cecrow | Aug 23, 2013 |
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?” ( )
  lmckreads | Jul 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Trollope, Anthonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawthorne, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kredel, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skilton, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
The Rev. Septimus Harding was, a few years since, a beneficed clergyman residing in the cathedral town of ---; let us call it Barchester.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:28 -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 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.84)
0.5 1
1 5
1.5 1
2 21
2.5 8
3 102
3.5 48
4 181
4.5 27
5 108


Eight editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140432140, 0141198990

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,496,991 books! | Top bar: Always visible