Barchester Towers

Barchester Towers

Book - 1994
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After the death of old Dr Grantly, a bitter struggle begins over who will succeed him as Bishop of Barchester. And when the decision is finally made to appoint the evangelical Dr Proudie, rather than the son of the old bishop, Archdeacon Grantly, resentment and suspicion threaten to cause deep divisions within the diocese. Trollope's masterly depiction of the plotting and back-stabbing that ensues lies at the heart of one of the most vivid and comic of his Barsetshire novels, peopled by such very different figures as the saintly Warden of Hiram's Hospital, Septimus Harding, the ineffectual but well-meaning new bishop and his terrifying wife, and the oily chaplain Mr Slope who has designs on Mr Harding's daughter.

Publisher: London : Penguin, [1994]
ISBN: 9780140432039
Characteristics: xxxv, 526 p. --
Additional Contributors: Gilmour, Robin 1943-


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Aug 20, 2015

I have to admit I wasn't able to finish this book. The story might turn out to be a good one and the characters worthwhile but the stilted early 19th century writing style became too much to bear. While it may have been acceptable in its own day, the sentence structure is so awkward and mannered that it comes across as totally artificial now. And I found that could not have cared less whether Mr. Harding or Mr. Proudie succeeded to the bishopric or whether Mrs. Proudie was able to sit on the committees she craved or whether Mr. Arabin was one of the Arabins of Uphill Station or some lesser branch of that supposedly illustrious family. The political manoeuvering and social pretensions of nineteenth century English clergy simply fails to resonate. The book suffers from the same defect as many others of its day (such as Pride and Prejudice): Irrelevance.

Jun 06, 2014

Well written, witty and a joy to read. The character of Bertie Stanhope may be compared to Woodhouse's Bertie Wooster.

EuSei Feb 05, 2014

I had never read anything from Trollope and I once tried to watch “The Barchester Chronicles” series, but could not stand it. So I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The quality of Trollope's writing is absolutely fantastic, impeccable. He most definitely was a highly talented writer who knew his trade! (Therefore, not recommended to modern readers who are not used to a time when quality of writing rather than quantity of books written was essential.) This is the second of a total of six books in the “The Barchester Chronicles of Barsetshire,” the first being “The Warden”. Trollope begins the last chapter with a very original argument: “The end of a novel, like the end of a children’s dinner-party, must be made up of sweetmeats and sugar-plums.” The book sometimes has very lengthy descriptions—of people, places or situations—but the author’s fine sense of humor, that permeates almost all the pages, and his keen portrayals of the mores of the time, make up for any inconvenience. I plan to read all the Barchester books and give the movie series another chance.

Jul 03, 2010

An interesting love story. I love the author's description of the beautiful woman who charms despite her being crippled. I liked it enough to give it 3 stars but its not one that I would ever re-read I don't think.

Apr 09, 2010

An understanding of church structure would help in understanding the novel. Overall a very good read though!


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EuSei Feb 05, 2014

Why are beautiful things given to us, and luxuries and pleasant enjoyments, if they be not intended to be used? (Signora Neroni to Mr. Arabin)

EuSei Feb 05, 2014

Peace on earth and good-will among men, are, like heaven, promises for the future. When that prophecy is accomplished, there will no longer be any need for clergymen. (Mr. Arabin to Eleanor)

EuSei Feb 05, 2014

If honest men did not squabble for money, in this wicked world of ours, the dishonest men would get it all; and I do not see that the cause of virtue would be much improved. (Dr. Grantly)

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EuSei Jan 27, 2016

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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