Read The Warden by Anthony Trollope Online

the-warden

'It was so hard that the pleasant waters of his little stream should be disturbed and muddied ...that his quiet paths should be made a battlefield: that the unobtrusive corner of the world which been allotted to him ...made miserable and unsound'.Trollope's witty, satirical story of a quiet cathedral town shaken by scandal - as the traditional values of Septimus Harding ar'It was so hard that the pleasant waters of his little stream should be disturbed and muddied ...that his quiet paths should be made a battlefield: that the unobtrusive corner of the world which been allotted to him ...made miserable and unsound'.Trollope's witty, satirical story of a quiet cathedral town shaken by scandal - as the traditional values of Septimus Harding are attacked by zealous reformers and ruthless newspapers - is a drama of conscience that pits individual integrity against worldly ambition. In The Warden Anthony Trollope brought the fictional county of Barsetshire to life, peopled by a cast of brilliantly realised characters that have made him among the supreme chroniclers of the minutiae of Victorian England. It is the first book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire....

Title : The Warden
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 17560578
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 215 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Warden Reviews

  • J
    2019-02-15 05:35

    There is tranquility in a second-hand bookshop. Libraries are quiet because they must be. This is different. A kind of peace. Whatever it is, it suits me. I feel at home. It could just be the dust. Anyway, there I was kneeling in the art books, pulling them out and pushing them back. Have it, read it, not interested… I made my way down the row that way and swung round to continue on the shelf behind me. It was low. It was low and I am short and - on hands and knees - I still had to bend down to see. I was Carter making the tiny breach into Tutankhamun's tomb. "Yes, I see wonderful things." Little books. Little books that fit in my hands. Little books that fit in my pocket. Little books that fit under my pillow at night. Rows of little books running along the wooden floor of the bookshop like a literary baseboard. I wondered what perverse person put them there. A brilliant short person, no doubt. I imagined them laughing maniacally: Bwahaha! Finally! Tall people will need us!Obviously this is more about the gold and green 1902 volume next to me than the story inside. You can read about that anywhere. The Warden is the first of the much loved Chronicles of Barset, first published in 1855. The theme of the book is the clash of ancient privilege with modern social awareness. Blah, blah, blah… What no one else can tell you is this: It is the exact size of my hand! How fantastic is that? The exact size! It was made (and re-bound by Alison Leakey, so states the inside cover) for me!! These are the things I love about it:#1 #2 There’s a small stain on page 329. Tea. I know exactly what caused it.   When the archdeacon left his wife and father-in-law at the Chapter Coffee House to go to Messrs Cox and Cumming, he had no very defined idea of what he had to do when he got there. Gentlemen when at law, or in any way engaged in matters requiring legal assistance, are very apt to describe such attendance as quite compulsory, and very disagreeable. The lawyers, on the other hand, do not at all see the necessity, though they quite agree as to the disagreeable nature of the visit; gentlemen when so engaged are usually somewhat gravelled at finding nothing to say to their learned friends; they generally talk a little politics, a little weather, ask some few foolish questions about their suit, and then withdraw, having passed half an hour in a small, dingy waiting-room, in company with some junior assistant-clerk, and ten minutes with the members of the firm; the business is then over for which the gentleman has come up to London, probably a distance of a hundred and fifty miles. To be sure he goes to the play, and dines at his friend’s club, and has a bachelor’s liberty and bachelor’s recreation for three or four days; and he could not probably plead the desire of such gratifications as a reason to his wife for a trip to London.  Married ladies, when your husbands find they are positively obliged to attend their legal advisers, the nature of the duty to be performed is generally of this description.Shocking. No, I’m telling you, it had nothing to do with the warden resigning. The chapter’s titled The Warden Resigns, for crying out loud. The warden resigning can’t have been a surprise. But something made a long-ago reader’s tea splash over the edge of the cup and onto the page. Only this page. Was it disbelief? Or recognition? Perhaps a married lady suddenly remembering: I have GOT to get to my lawyer.#3 There are pages where every line begins with a single quotation mark. Sometimes it goes on for two or three pages. Every single line. Although Trollope was a great lover of punctuation (a semicolon on every page – sometimes as many as six), I don’t think this was what he had in mind. Clearly the typesetter is trying to get my attention. Page 228, with its 30 quotation marks (and 4 extremely hot semicolons), is a serious poke in the eye to, well, pretty much everyone: government, church hierarchy, and especially journalists. Noted. Thank you. Highlighted by 100 single and seemingly meaningless quotation marks, pages 320-323 contain Mr Septimus Harding’s resignation letters and give you the man’s character in a nutshell. It’s like Cliffnotes by Typesetters. The whole point of the book in a few pages. So why bother to read the rest? #4 Because it’s fun, that’s why. Trollope knows people and his characters are memorable. Yes, they have ridiculous names that make me laugh, but that’s the intention. It’s satire. Playfulness with a point. I did wonder if being an American who knows nothing of 19th century church politics would make the story less accessible or even irrelevant to me. Would I get the jokes? Yes, it’s accessible. It’s written in a realistic style and I didn’t need anyone to explain the archdeacon setting the scene as if he were writing a sermon, locking the door, and pulling Rabelais from a secret drawer. My only question is what else was in that secret drawer. Yes, it’s relevant. People haven’t changed. And yes, I got the jokes. At least I think I did. If not, I was laughing at something or Trollope was laughing at me and either way I don’t really care; it was fun. God, I love semicolons.

  • Anna
    2019-02-14 00:48

    διαχρονική ανθρώπινη φύση... ένα βιβλίο για την κοσμική διαφθορά της εκκλησίας, παρουσιασμένα απλά, κυνικά και ώρες ώρες με ένα ιδιαίτερα καυστικό χιούμορ! Στο επίκεντρο η λειτουργία ενός γηροκομείου που λειτουργεί με κεφάλαιο από τη διαθήκη ενός πλούσιου πιστού, ο οποίος έχει αναθέσει στην Εκκλησία την ευθύνη της διαχείρισης του γηροκομείου, όπου κάθε γέρος που φιλοξενείται θα έχει ένα εισόδημα. Τελικά, το εισόδημα του παππού μειώνεται στο απολύτως απαραίτητο, ενώ ο μισθός του επιτρόπου του γηροκομείου παραείναι παχυλός. Ένας νεαρός γιατρός με όνειρα και ιδεώδη προσπαθεί να κινητοποιήσει τους παππούδες και να πετύχει το δίκαιο με βάση τη δική του ηθική, η οποία είναι διαφορετική από την ηθική του αρχιδιάκονου. Και όλα αυτά χωρίς κάποιος να ρωτήσει την άποψη του επιτρόπου, ο οποίος ακούει τους άλλους να μαλώνουν για λογαριασμό του, χωρίς να πει ο ίδιος τη γνώμη του... Ποιος δεν θα ένιωθε τη χριστιανική χάρη που έχει ο μισθός ενός ιερωμένου, την ώρα που διασχίζει εκείνον τον γαλήνιο, ατέλειωτο διάδρομο στο Γουίντσεστερ, όταν αντικρίζει εκείνα τα έξοχα οικήματα, εκείνη την περιποιημένη χλόη και αισθάνεται, όπως πρέπει να κάνει κανείς, τη σοβαρή, νοικοκυρεμένη άνεση του τοπίου! Ποιος θα έκρινε σκληρά τον πρωτοσύγκελλο που περιδιαβάζει στον ευχάριστο περίβολο του καθεδρικού του Χέρεφορντ και αναγνωρίζει πως, σ' αυτόν τον περίφρακτο χώρο, πνεύμα και χρώμα, σχεδιασμός και ύφος, βαρύ καμπαναριό και ιστορημένο παράθυρο, είναι όλα σε συμφωνία και πλήρη εντέλεια! Ποιος μπορεί να χαρεί τα αίθρια των μοναστηριών του Σάλσμπερι και να περιεργαστεί τη βιβλιοθήκη του επισκόπου Τζον Τζούελ κι εκείνο το απαράμιλλο κωδωνοστάσιο χωρίς να νιώσει πως μερικές φορές, ναι, είναι δίκαιο οι επίσκοποι να είναι πλούσιοι Ο καλός (ο γιατρός) ο κακός (ο αρχιδιάκονος) και ο προβληματισμένος (ο επίτροπος) σε μια ενδιαφέρουσα και καλοστημένη περιπέτεια

  • Richard Derus
    2019-01-29 06:57

    Book Circle Reads 155Rating: 3.5* of five Good, solid Victorian stodge. The kind of book you read when you're glutted with silly, vapid "reality" stuff and need a bit of the reality fiction of its day. My review lives on my blog, out of reach of data-deleting megacorps.

  • Petra X
    2019-02-05 04:50

    Very enjoyable book that is concerned about people putting their great big feet in puddles before ascertaining their depth! It's very cleverly worked out and contains just the amount of love and romance to drive the plot forward. Like most of Trollope's Barchester series, it is somewhat a comedy of manners and more enjoyable for that.Recommended to those who like the classics and have a certain fondness for schadenfreude (even though they know they shouldn't).

  • Jason Koivu
    2019-01-26 06:32

    I'm going to clamp down my opening paragraph with a SPOILER! because I reveal in generalities how the book ends...which is kind of important I guess.(view spoiler)[Who doesn't love a happy ending? Apparently Anthony Trollope. I didn't realize how use to them I've become, because I was pretty surprised when it happened. Surprises in books are usually a good thing, but here it felt flat. (hide spoiler)]The Warden is the tale of a man who took his due and then developed a guilty conscience over it. Septimus Harding is the warden of an almshouse in the English countryside. He's got a cushy gig and he's aware of it. He isn't a greedy man, taking more than what's been given him, in fact he gives more than is necessary. One day question arises over the legality of his preferment. This gnaws away at Mr. Harding's conviction in his right to accept money that should perhaps go to the old men he cares for, even after it's discovered that by all appearances, he is in the right. Anthony Trollope pours the woe upon his main character, directing his emotional trajectory steadily south. The modern day plot with its climax waves and big finish are not applied here. The story, while entertaining enough, is rather flat. Trollope's writing felt similar to Charles Dickens without so much of the caricature style that makes Dickens' characters so larger than life and sometimes larger than can be believed. Although he does go in for giving his character entirely too appropriate names: Bold, Towers, Haphazard. It's done purposefully, just as Trollope also felt the need to create a fictitious town and county name. Having just finished Willa Cather's My Antonia with its marvelously subtle yet exacting character sketches that make the reader feel as if those people really did exist, Trollope's technique seems ridiculous and unnecessary. I don't want to leave you with that as my last word on Trollope's work. I don't find the book itself ridiculous and unnecessary. On the contrary, the writing on the whole is marvelous, if stilted by the style so often adopted during the Victorian era. The Warden is a great study in human nature and the affect morals can have on one's decisions. I do plan to read more Trollope. This book may not have been pure joy from start to finish, but it is worthy reading.

  • Dhanaraj Rajan
    2019-02-17 06:44

    I am not sure what to write of as a review.To escape such confused state, it is better to state everything in bullets. - It is a story of a man who listens to his conscience even when it means to lose everything (most of all, his income).- It is a story of wonderful relationships: the friendship between the Warden and the Archbishop; the filial affection between a father and a daughter (the Warden and his daughter, Eleanor); challenging love between lovers (Eleanor and Bold); a fascinating relationship between a father-in-law and a son-in-law (the warden and his first son-in-law, Dr. Grantly).- It is about 19th century Church politics (especially the Church of England).- It is about the abuse of charity funds by clergy which was a great discussion point in Trollope's time.Overall, it is a lovely story written in a superb language. I loved the language and Trollope's habit of addressing the reader once a while.This edition also has a wonderful introduction by Robin Gilmour and he has rightly indicated at the opening of introduction that it is meant for those who have read the novel. That was a great service. I just skipped it and went direct for the novel (I am a new reader) and after the completion when I read the introduction I was wonder struck by very many remarkable points analysed. Had I read it earlier, I would have neither understood the analysis nor have enjoyed the novel.

  • Sara
    2019-01-26 03:51

    I have finally introduced myself to Anthony Trollope, and I can say with a smile that I am very happy to have made his acquaintance. A friend suggested I start with "The Warden" and I believe it to be advice well-taken.The Warden of this novel is Mr. Harding, a kindly and good man, who is overseer to a group of bedesmen whose care has been provided for in the will of a long-deceased gentleman. The church tends the property left in the will and provides for the care of the men out of the proceeds, which works quite well until someone decides that the church and Mr. Harding are getting more from the arrangement than the men themselves. What might be seen as a simple matter and one in which determining right and wrong is simple as well, proves to be a more complicated issue in the hands of Trollope. He gives us the myriads of grey that always accompany such disputes and he refuses to offer us a villain on which can be hung the blame that would so easily justify us in taking a stand for one side or the other. He makes us think and he makes us choose and he shows us clearly that whichever choice we make, it will not be for godly good or satanic evil but for human judgment, which is flawed.I very much enjoyed this novel. It moved quickly and held my interest while still causing me to pause and ponder. I saw much in it that I could easily identify in current situations, politics and the machinations of the press have not changed as much as we like to think. I will be reading the next book in the series, which I am assured is an even more delightful novel.Thank you, Mr. Trollope, for being so patient in waiting for my promised visit to your world. I am pleased to say it will only be a few weeks and I will gladly call on you again.

  • Tony
    2019-02-13 06:43

    Here's proof that you can read a Trollope during a cross country flight. That's a testament to the quality of Trollope's writing as well as the unusual brevity of this story. Still, there were a handful of wonderfully developed characters and a display of what the English language can be. Here's just a brief example:In the world Dr. Grantly never lays aside that demeanor which so well becomes him, He has all the dignity of an ancient saint with the sleekness of a modern bishop; he is always the same; he is always the archdeacon; unlike Homer, he never nods.You have to smile at those last three words. You really have to.

  • Emilio Berra
    2019-02-07 03:48

    Irruzione nella vita di provinciaPer chi desidera una lettura di qualità, gradevole e rilassante, Trollope è un autore sicuramente raccomandabile.Scrittore d'età vittoriana, rappresenta squarci di vita privata e sociale in modo realistico ; nel contempo però, in linea con con la grande tradizione letteraria inglese, la sua prosa ci offre uno stile lieve, gradevolissimo, venato di sottile umorismo ; a differenza di qualche celebre collega francese coevo, insomma, non tale da 'bloccare la digestione' ."L'amministratore" è il primo romanzo del ciclo 'Cronache del Barsetshire'.Il libro ci presenta un quadro della vita di provincia, con protagonisti uomini del clero anglicano in qualche modo uniti da parentela. Emergono in particolare quei connubi fra mansioni ecclesiastiche e rendite economiche, nomine e ascesa sociale, tipici del mondo anglicano del periodo, e non solo.Un ruolo non secondario assume il potere giornalistico, ormai abbastanza forte in quel contesto da orientare l'opinione pubblica, di cui Trollope qui ci dà un ritratto critico e ironico, in una realtà nella quale "i Britannici non devono far altro che leggere, obbedire ed essere felici".Gustosi i riferimenti al mondo politico e culturale. Acute e puntute le frecciate a Dikens, ora che "le sublimi nobildonne non risultano più interessanti, anche se possiedono tutte le virtù" e la gente comune diventa protagonista di una rappresentazione letteraria dai "colori assurdamente vivaci", tanto da far pensare che "l'artista che dipinge per le masse deve usare tinte sgargianti", per non parlare dell'estremizzazione dei caratteri dei personaggi, con i buoni tanto buoni e i malvagi troppo malvagi.Trollope, forse per non correre tale rischio, precisa a proposito di un personaggio di eccessiva 'disinvoltura' : "Temiamo che in queste pagine si sia mostrato come peggiore di quel che è in realtà; ma abbiamo avuto a che fare con le sue debolezze e non con le sue virtù".

  • Paul
    2019-02-14 06:47

    I’ve been on Goodreads for nearly two years now (where has the time gone?) yet I’m doing something for the very first time with this book: reading something Goodreads has recommended to me! I’ve read lots of books that were recommended to me by my GR friends but this is the first one I’ve read that was recommended by GR itself. To paraphrase Amazon: You liked Oliver Twist so you may also like The Chronicles of Barchester (of which this is the first book).Well, Goodreads, I am happy to say that you were right: I did enjoy this book, so thanks for the recommendation! It was no Oliver Twist… not by a country mile… but it was a thoroughly enjoyable book.The irony of this recommendation, of course, is that Trollope has a bit of a dig at Dickens in this book, so I’m not sure what he would have thought of me finding his book due to my loving Charlie-Boy! Trollope’s message in The Warden seems to be that all these namby-pamby social reformers (of which Dickens was the poster boy) should just leave well alone because society is fine as it is and they’ll only make things worse.Personally, I couldn’t disagree with this message more, knowing what I do of some of the horrors of British life in the time of Trollope and Dickens, but I’ll be damned if Trollope’s opposing political views were going to stop me enjoying his writing! My beliefs are robust enough to take a good poking every now and then and it’s a well worthwhile poking when it’s done by an author who writes as well as Trollope. His work is very readable and really witty. I was particularly enamoured of his asides ‘to camera’ as it were. Breaking the fourth wall always tickles me and Trollope does it really well but, importantly, doesn’t overdo it.My only complaint about this book is that the plot is overly simplistic. I know Trollope’s goal was to write a short novel (he says as much in one of his fourth-wall pummellings) but a low page count doesn’t have to mean an extremely basic plot, does it?Despite this quibble, I definitely enjoyed The Warden enough to want to carry on with the series, so I declare this experiment with taking Goodreads’ recommendation to be a success!

  • Malia
    2019-01-24 02:33

    This was only my second book by Trollope, but I was surprised by how easy and often witty a read it was! There were bits that felt a little plodding, and frankly the plot itself is hardly going to be an action movie, but as a piece of satire, it was clever and well-paced. Looking forward to the next book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire:-)Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  • Stratos
    2019-02-14 02:40

    Με λιτή γραφή σκιαγραφούνται οι χαρακτήρες έτσι όπως διαμορφώνονται από γεγονότα και καταστάσεις. Όλα αυτά βέβαια στην βικτωριανή εποχή όπου η ευγένεια και η άμιλλα παρέμειναν στο προσκήνιο παρά τις όποιες αντιπαραθέσεις. Θα ήταν βέβαια ευχής έργο, στη ζωή μας να συντάσσαμε ένα τέλος σαν αυτό του βιβλίου. Να είναι όλοι ευχαριστημένοι και αγαπημένοι μεταξύ τους! Άλλες εποχές... Αυτό όμως δεν μας αποστερεί από τη χαρά μιας καλής ανάγνωσης, ένα καλό βιβλίο, ώρες ευδαιμονικής ανάγνωσης. Άλλωστε, η πλειοψηφία της σειράς αυτής των βιβλίων που εκδίδει ο εκδοτικός οίκος, χαρακτηρίζονται από μια τελειότητα. Σειρά η οποία θα πρέπει να δίνει παρών σε κάθε βιβλιοθήκη....

  • Eirini Proikaki
    2019-02-13 07:40

    Είχα σκοπό να παρακάμψω το πρώτο βιβλίο της σειράς "Τα χρονικά του Μπάρτσεστερ" και να διαβάσω κατευθείαν το δεύτερο αλλά δυστυχώς παρασύρθηκα και διάβασα τον Επίτροπο.Άλλη φορά θα ακούω το ένστικτό μου γιατί η αλήθεια είναι οτι απογοητεύτηκα λίγο.Δεν μπορώ να πω οτι είναι κακό αλλά μπορώ να πω με σιγουριά οτι βαρέθηκα.Δυστυχώς βαρέθηκα πολύ.Ενώ ξεκίνησα με τις καλύτερες διαθέσεις και στην αρχή μου άρεσε,μετα απο λίγο αρχισα να νιώθω σαν να διαβάζω συνεχώς τα ίδια και τα ίδια στο repeat.Αγαπώ την ειρωνεία,το χιούμορ και τα έξυπνα σχόλια και ο Τρόλοπ τα έχει όλα αυτα αλλά η ιστορία του βιβλίου μου φάνηκε στάσιμη και λίγο μάταια.Όλα πνίγηκαν στις συνεχείς αναφορές στην κληρονομιά του Χιράμ και στο πως αισθάνεται ο επίτροπος.Νομίζω οτι το βιβλίο δεν έγραφε τίποτα άλλο ή ζαλίστηκα πια και μου φαινόταν οτι δεν έγραφε τίποτα αλλο.Eνδιαφέρον είχε η ειρωνική αναφορά στον "Mr popular sentiment" Ντίκενς αν και μου έκανε κακή εντύπωση.

  • TheSkepticalReader
    2019-02-12 00:45

    Other then Septimius’ character and a few tidbits here and there, this was boring as fuck. I realize that that isn’t the most appropriate criticism but ultimately, that was still my reaction to this book.

  • Γιώργος
    2019-02-10 01:53

    Ο Άντονι Τρόλοπ, ένας από τους πιο γνωστούς Βικτωριανούς συγγραφείς μαζι με τον Ντίκενς και τον Κόλινς, είναι τελείως άγνωστος στην Ελλάδα και δεν υπάρχει καμία μετάφρασή του στα Ελληνικά (οι εκδόσεις Gutenberg διαμηνύουν εδώ και δύο χρόνια μια μετάφραση αυτού του βιβλίου και του “Barchester Towers” αλλά, όπως φαίνεται, η έκδοσή τους κείται μακράν). Τον Τρόλοπ μού τον έκανε γνωστό η φίλη μου η Νένε πριν τρία χρόνια, όταν μετέφρασα και χωρίς ιδιαίτερη επιτυχία ένα διήγημά του. Έπρεπε να περάσει μια τριετία για να διαβάσω το πρώτο μυθιστόρημά του. The Warden λοιπόν. Η ιστορία είναι σχετικά απλή. Αφορά μια πόλη στο δυτικό κομμάτι της Αγγλίας, το Μπάρσετσάιρ, και εστιάζει στην ιστορία του Επιτρόπου του γηροκομείου του Μπάρσετ και κληρικό, κο Χάρντινγκ και τον «αντίζηλό» του Τζον Μπολντ. Το background της ιστορίας της ιστορίας μας το γνωστοποιεί ο συγγραφέας, είναι ο θάνατος του φιλάνθρωπου Τζον Χίραμ το 1434 ο οποίος ανέφερε ρητά ότι έπρεπε δώδεκα αναξιοπαθούντες γέροντες του Μπάρσετ να διαμένουν στο γηροκομείο και να παίρνουν ο καθείς για τις ανάγκες τους ένα συγκεκριμένο χρηματικό πόσο. Με τα χρόνια όμως το οικόπεδο και η ιδιοκτησία μεγάλωσε και ως αποτέλεσμα μεγάλωσαν και τα έσοδα. Όμως το ετήσιο εισόδημα των γερόντων έμεινε το ίδιο και οι κληρικοί, ο Επίτροπος, ο κος Χάρντινγκ, ο επίσκοπος κ.ά σφετερίστηκαν τα υπόλοιπα χρήματα. Ο Τζον Μπολντ, ένας φιλόδοξος νέος που θέλει να πολεμήσει την αδικία και να υπερασπιστεί τους φτωχούς κινεί τις νομικές διαδικασίες για να πάρουν οι γέροντες ό,τι τους αναλογεί. Εδώ ξεκινά και η ιστορία και αυτό θα μας απασχολήσει μέχρι τέλους. Ο φιλήσυχος, πράος γέρων επίτροπος, περίπου στα εξήντα του χρόνια, που είναι ευχαριστημένος με τις 800 αγγλικές λίρες τον χρόνο και ζει ήρεμα με την μία ανύπαντρη κόρη του παίζοντας βιολοντσέλο και ασχολούμενος με την εκκλησιαστική μουσική, θα ξαφνιαστεί δεόντως με την είδηση που βγαίνει και σε μία από τις μεγαλύτερες εφημερίδες, την “Jupiter”, ότι εκείνος, ο επίτροπος Χάρντινγκ, που αγαπά τόσο πολύ τους 12 γέροντές του, παρουσιάζεται σαν ένας αδίστακτος κληρικός που σφετερίζεται χρήματα που ανήκουν δικαιωματικά στους γέροντες. Σκέφτεται τον δημόσιο διασυρμό και λυγίζει κάτω από το ηθικό βάρος ενώ όλοι γύρω του τού λένε ότι δεν κάνει κάτι κακό. Το τέλος επιφέρει κάθαρση σχεδόν για ολους κατα τον προσφιλή τρόπο της Βικτωριανής λογοτεχνίας.Είναι λοιπόν μια ιστορία καλογραμμένη, με ρεαλιστικούς χαρακτήρες η οποία θέτει εξαιρετικά το δίλημμα για το εάν είναι δίκαιη ή άδικη η αμοιβή του επιτρόπου με ένα τρόπο που δημιουργεί μια εξαιρετική ισορροπία ανάμεσα στις δυο πλευρές. Ιδιαιτέρως ενδιαφέρουσα, τέλος, είναι η λεπτή ειρωνεία του και ο σαρκασμός του, ειδικά στον καθοριστικό ρόλο που παίζουν οι μεγάλες εφημερίδες (βλ. κεφ. 14) σε όλους τους τομείς, όπως είναι η πολιτική, ο κλήρος και τα δικαστήρια με τις γνώμες διάφορων δημοσιογράφων να θεωρούνται αυθεντίες και να λειτουργούν εκφοβιστικά λόγω της προοπτικής του δημόσιου διασυρμού. Είναι σίγουρα ένας συγγραφέας που αξίζει και πρέπει να του δοθεί περισσότερη προσοχή.

  • John Zarampoukas
    2019-02-11 03:50

    Ο Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) ήταν ένας πετυχημένος Άγγλος συγγραφέας, της βικτωριανής γενιάς, το πρώτο μυθιστόρημα του οποίου δημοσιεύτηκε μόλις το 1847, όταν βρίσκονταν στην ηλικία των 32 χρόνων κι είχε ήδη εξασφαλίσει μία ομολογουμένως πετυχημένη εργασιακή πορεία στο Ταχυδρομείο, όπου και εργάζονταν μέχρι το 1867. Στο έργο του περιλαμβάνονται 47 μυθιστορήματα και 16 άλλα βιβλία, οι πωλήσεις των οποίων είχαν ξεπεράσει τα 100.00 αντίτυπα. Ο Trollope ξεχώρισε κυρίως για την εύστοχη απεικόνιση χαρακτήρων των επαγγελματικών τάξεων της εποχής του όπως αναφέρεται στο σύντομο βιογραφικό του σημείωμα στο τέλος του Επίτροπου. Γεγονός, το οποίο μπορεί να συμπεράνει κάθε αναγνώστης διαβάζοντας τόσο τον Επίτροπο, όσο και τους Πύργους του Μπάρτσεστερ. Φαντάζει περίεργο πως παρά την απήχηση και την αναγνωρισιμότητα του Trollope δεν είχε μεταφραστεί μέχρι σήμερα στην ελληνική γλώσσα. Την ευκαιρία να έρθουμε σε επαφή μαζί του, να γνωρίσουμε το συγγραφικό του έργο και να το αγαπήσουμε (τουλάχιστον εγώ) μας έδωσαν φέτος οι Εκδόσεις Gutenberg. Συγκεκριμένα, τα έργα του «Ο Επίτροπος» και «Οι Πύργοι του Μπάρτσεστερ» κυκλοφορούν στη σειρά “Orbis Literae” στην οποία περιλαμβάνονται έργα παγκόσμιου βεληνεκούς, η παρουσία των οποίων στο λογοτεχνικό χώρο διαδραμάτισε σημαντικό ρόλο. Προσωπικά, δεν γνώριζα για την ύπαρξη του συγγραφέα μέχρι πρότινος που μου δόθηκε η ευκαιρία να συστηθώ μαζί του μέσω του Επιτρόπου. Η σύντομη αυτή γνωριμία, μιας και το μυθιστόρημα αυτό αποτελείται από 331 σελίδες μαζί με την εισαγωγή, τον πρόλογο, τις σημειώσεις και το βιογραφικό, στάθηκε αρκετή για να καλλιεργήσω μία ιδιαίτερη αναγνωστική συμπάθεια απέναντι στον συγγραφέα, τον τρόπο γραφής του, καθώς και τους ήρωες του! Όλα ξεκινούν στην υποθετική πόλη του Μπάρτσεστερ που βρίσκεται στα δυτικά της Αγγλίας. Μία πόλη όπου η ζωή κυλά σε ήρεμους τόνους. Πόλη που ξεχωρίζει κυρίως για την ομορφιά των μνημείων της, καθώς και του καθεδρικού ναού της παρά για την οικονομική κι εμπορική της ανάπτυξη. Σε αυτό το γαλήνιο σχεδόν τοπίο τοποθετεί ο συγγραφέας τους ήρωες και τη δράση του βιβλίου του, η οποία όχι μόνο έρχεται σε φανερή αντίθεση με την ηρεμία του τόπου, αλλά και την ταράζει σε μεγάλο βαθμό! Ειδικότερα, ο αναγνώστης μέσα από τις σελίδες του βιβλίου αυτού, θα έρθει αντιμέτωπος με ένα εκκλησιαστικό σκάνδαλο, στο επίκεντρο του οποίου θα βρεθεί ο κεντρικός ήρωας του βιβλίου ο πρωτοψάλτης της Μητρόπολης, κύριος Χάρντινγκ, που εκτός από τα εκκλησιαστικά του καθήκοντα εκτελεί και χρέη διαχειριστή ενός γηροκομείου που οικοδομήθηκε και λειτουργεί με χρήματα από τη διαθήκη ενός πλούσιου πιστού, που άφησε τη διαχείριση της στην εκκλησία. Το κύριο εισόδημα του κύριου Χάρντινγκ προκύπτει από τα χρήματα της διαθήκης, ενώ ελάχιστα είναι αυτά που περνούν στους ηλικιωμένους τρόφιμους. Κατάσταση η οποία θα διεγείρει το ενδιαφέρον ενός νεαρού γιατρού, του Τζον Μπόλντ. Ο Μπόλντ είναι ένας νέος έντονα πολιτικοποιημένος, με αξίες, ηθική, όνειρα και ιδεώδη, ο οποίος θα καταβάλει μεγάλη προσπάθεια όχι μόνο για να κινητοποιήσει τους τρόφιμους του γηροκομείου έναντι της διαχείρισης, αλλά ταυτόχρονα θα κινηθεί νομικά, με σκοπό να φέρει στο φως τους πραγματικούς όρους της διαθήκης και να ανατρέψει την κατάσταση που επικρατούσε τόσο καιρό, βάζοντας επιτέλους μία τάξη...Οι ενέργειες του Μπόλντ θα οδηγήσουν στη σύνθεση δύο στρατοπέδων. Από τη μία οι κληρικοί με τον αρχιδιάκονο και γαμπρό του κύριου Χάρντινγκ, τον δόκτορα Γκράντλι να πρωτοστατεί. Κι από την άλλη ο Μπόλντ έχοντας στο πλευρό του τον τύπο της εποχής, τους ηλικιωμένους του γηροκομείου, καθώς και την κοινή γνώμη.Μία αναπόφευκτη μάχη θα ξεκινήσει ανάμεσα τους. . . Νικητής όμως της μάχης αυτής, θα καταφέρει να στεφθεί μόνο ένα στρατόπεδο! Ο Anthony Trollope δημιουργεί ένα σύντομο και περιεκτικό μυθιστόρημα διαχρονικού χαρακτήρα, το οποίο θίγει τα κακώς κείμενα της εκκλησίας, αφού στο επίκεντρο του βρίσκεται η διαφθορά του κλήρου και συγκεκριμένα η δίψα αυτού για την απόκτηση μεγάλης οικονομικής δύναμης! Μπορεί ο κύριος Χάρντινγκ και τα χρήματα της διαθήκης που διαχειρίζεται να μην είναι από εκείνα τα τεράστια ποσά που σοκάρουν, ωστόσο δημιουργoύν προσοδοφόρο έδαφος για την ενεργοποίηση της σκέψης, την πυροδότηση του προβληματισμού και την άσκηση κριτικής. Θα μπορούσε να πει κανείς πως ο Trollope στηλιτεύει μέσα από το κείμενο του και τον παντογνώστη αφηγητή του την κοσμική αυτή τάση του κλήρου και τη διαφθορά που εντοπίζει σε αυτόν. Το πραγματοποιεί όμως με τρόπο που να μην τάσσεται υπέρ ή κατά των ηρώων που έχει δημιουργήσει. Δεν είναι απόλυτος. Δεν υπάρχει μόνο μαύρο ή άσπρο. Υπάρχει και το γκρίζο! Κάθε ήρωας του έχει αρετές, προτερήματα, πάθη, αδυναμίες κι ελαττώματα! Κανείς τους δεν είναι ιδανικός... Και αυτό ο Trollope καταφέρνει να το μεταδώσει στο αναγνωστικό κοινό δίχως αμφιβολία, αφού τους παρουσιάζει όλους με μία σφαιρικότητα! Στον Επίτροπο επίσης, είναι αρκετά εκείνα τα στοιχεία που παρουσιάζουν μεγάλο ενδιαφέρον από αναγνωστικής άποψης! Πρώτα από όλα, ο λόγος του συγγραφέα. Αν και γραμμένο σε μία εποχή όπου τα μυθιστορήματα διακατέχονταν από μία υπερβολική τάση για υπέρ-αναλυτικές περιγραφές και μία επιτήδευση στο λόγο, το κείμενο του Trollope ξεχωρίζει για τη δροσιά, την καυστικότητα, το ρυθμό και το έξυπνο χιούμορ που το χαρακτηρίζει, αλλά και για τον ρεαλισμό που το διακατέχει. Μπορεί να διαφαίνεται σε κάμποσα σημεία η εποχή της συγγραφής του τόσο από τις περιγραφές των ναών, όσο και από την επιτήδευση σε προσφωνήσεις και διαλόγους, μα σίγουρα αν εξαιρέσει κάποιος αυτά τα κομμάτια, τα οποία δεν αποτελούν μεγάλο μέρος του παρόντος λογοτεχνικού έργου, σίγουρα θα μπορούσε να χαρακτηρίσει τον Επίτροπο του Trollope σύγχρονο, δίνοντας του δικαιωματικά τον χαρακτηρισμό του διαχρονικού!Ένα δεύτερο στοιχείο που κατά τη δική μου άποψη έχει επίσης ενδιαφέρον στο βιβλίο του Trollope είναι η κατασκευή και η επιλογή των ονομάτων από τον συγγραφέα για τους ήρωες του. Με μπόλικη χιουμοριστική διάθεση, αλλά και φανερή ευφυΐα, ο συγγραφέας δανείζεται αγγλικές λέξεις και συγκεκριμένα επίθετα τα οποία κυριολεκτικά αποδίδουν τη βασικότερη ίσως ποιότητα που διέπει την προσωπικότητα κάθε μυθιστορηματικού χαρακτήρα. Για παράδειγμα το όνομα του δόκτορα Γκράντλι προέρχεται από μία παραλλαγή του επιθέτου “grandly” που σημαίνει μεγαλεπήβολος, μεγαλοπρεπής, φιλόδοξος κ.α., χαρακτηρισμός που αποδίδει ένα από τα βασικότερα χαρακτηριστικά του ήρωα αυτού, αφού η ανάγκη του για δύναμη και εξουσία οικονομικής και μη φύσεως καθρεφτίζεται ξεκάθαρα στις σελίδες του βιβλίου. Χωρίς όμως το χαρακτηριστικό αυτό να αλλοιώνει άλλες ποιότητες του χαρακτήρα του, αφού δεν υπάρχουν σκηνές όπου ο δόκτορας Γκράντλι παρουσιάζεται άνθρωπος υπερβολικά δόλιος ή κακός. ​Ακόμη, ένα τρίτο στοιχείο που κάνει αυτό το μυθιστόρημα ξεχωριστό, δίνοντας του μία έξτρα γοητεία, αλλά και δημιουργώντας ταυτόχρονα όλες εκείνες τις προϋποθέσεις για να αγαπηθεί από τους αναγνώστες είναι η “φωνή” του αφηγητή. Κελαρυστή, καυστική, μπολιασμένη με έξυπνο χιούμορ γαργαλά τις αισθήσεις του αναγνώστη με τα σχόλια της, τα οποία προσμένει να ακούσει ή καλύτερα να διαβάσει!Τέλος, για μένα σημαντικό κομμάτι αυτού του βιβλίου και στοιχείο που συγκεντρώνει αμέριστο ενδιαφέρον είναι ο χαρακτήρας του κεντρικού ήρωα, ο κύριος Χάρντινγκ, τον οποίο και συμπάθησα σε υπερβολικό θα μπορούσα να πω βαθμό! Διαβάζοντας κανείς για την υπόθεση του βιβλίου θα περιμένει να συναντήσει έναν άνθρωπο που συγκεντρώνει επάνω του μία πλειάδα αρνητικών στοιχείων όσον αφορά την προσωπικότητα του. Κι εδώ έρχεται ο συγγραφέας για να μας διαψεύσει! Ναι, μπορεί ο κύριος Χάρντινγκ να έχει σφετεριστεί κατά μία έννοια το δικαίωμα των ηλικιωμένων επάνω στα χρήματα της διαθήκης, μα οι σκοποί του δεν ήταν σκοτεινοί...Κι αυτό φαίνεται ξεκάθαρα γιατί περνώντας οι σελίδες, διαπιστώνουμε πως έχουμε να κάνουμε με έναν άνθρωπο πράο, που ναι μεν σκέφτεται πως θα βελτιώσει την ποιότητα της καθημερινότητας τόσο της δικής του, όσο και της ανύπαντρης κόρης του, αλλά όχι εις βάρος των άλλων! Με έναν άνθρωπο που απλά αφήνει τη ζωή να κυλήσει και να τον οδηγήσει, με τις αποφάσεις που τον αφορούν να παίρνονται είτε από άλλους, είτε από τον ίδιο, μα πολλές φορές δίχως δεύτερες σκέψεις, σκέψεις πιο βαθιές και πονηρές ίσως. Και κάπως έτσι, θα έλθει αντιμέτωπος με αυτό το εκκλησιαστικό σκάνδαλο. . .Μόνο που ο κύριος Χάρντινγκ είναι ένας ευαίσθητος χαρακτήρας που δεν αγαπά τις φιλονικίες, αλλά ούτε και τα κακόβουλα σχόλια που έχουν στόχο να τραυματίσουν την ηθική του ακεραιότητα! Για το λόγο αυτό θα δράσει με τον πιο ταιριαστό για 'κείνον τρόπο, ώστε να αποκαταστήσει την τάξη των πραγμάτων! Συνοψίζοντας, λοιπόν, ο «Επίτροπος» του Anthony Trollope από τις Εκδόσεις Gutenberg είναι ένα μυθιστόρημα που για όλους τους παραπάνω λόγους σου προτείνω να διαβάσεις κι είμαι απόλυτα βέβαιος πως θα σε ικανοποιήσει πλήρως!

  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    2019-02-10 07:38

    Activists and budding political strategists of all stripes should read 'The Warden' by Anthony Trollope. The plot revolves around characters who are ideologically opposed to each other. We would label the antagonists conservatives and progressives today. They do combat with each through the media (newspapers) and England's House of Lords of 1855 (when the book was published), but caught in the middle are unsophisticated non-political small-town villagers of England, interested only in community and marriage. The concepts of class equity and fairness are pitted against institutional survival, and I was reminded once again organizing a majority is key to change.This novel is my first Trollope, and I was pleasantly surprised! He writes like a polite mannered Charles Dickens. There isn't any subterranean growl and bite to him as Dickens has, despite his topic of the intersection of power and class, of personal morality and built-in institutional injustice. He simply wrote like the kind of journalist who does a lightweight local interest piece, while yet including all of the circumstances which leads to an inference of the Truth. 'The Warden' is the first in a series of novels called the Chronicles of Barsetshire. (I have not read the others - yet!) Although the books apparently revolve around employees of the Church of England and the small-town people of the imaginary village parish of Barsetshire, this particular novel was in response to an actual ongoing scandal. The Church was the beneficiary of financial gifts from centuries ago, set up by dying Church members who possessed savings and land they willingly donated to the Church in their wills. Often, the wills set up certain conditions for how the Church should use the donated money and land, which was usually for the benefit of orphans, or the elderly, or ex-soldiers, and the like. However, pious believers could not see the future. Land which had been undeveloped farm and woods later would become valuable real estate; and business earnings and rents which had been set up to be distributed in an equitable and sane dispersal for the maintenance of the Church's activities and the poor instead ended up in a 90-10% split decades later, with the majority percentage of earned annual funds ending up as churchmen salaries. The poor would barely receive any money for survival benefits, like housing-clothes-food, while Church employees lived like aristocrats on huge salaries. Many church jobs were sinecures. The Warden, Mr. Harding, is a simple non-political village Church employee. He is profoundly grateful for his sinecure, given him by his brother-in-law, the conservative archdeacon Dr. Grantly, and his friend the bishop - of which the job is being in charge of a nearby group of apartments for twelve uneducated old men, set up by John Hiram's will of a hundred years ago. The old men are not assigned any money at all, just housing and food. Harding is not at all political, but he has become morally uncomfortable on occasion when he picks up his 800 pounds a year, and living in the nice house bequeathed by Hiram for whoever is assigned as Warden. However, Harding is happy for his youngest daughter, Eleanor, who is in love with the rich surgeon, John Bold, local progressive. Harding does not at all ever take into consideration Bold's politics, or any kind of politics, for the matter. Until Bold tells him he has contacted the largest newspaper about the Warden's unfair, maybe illegal, and definitely immoral 'job'. Bold tells Harding to get a lawyer, as Bold has retained a lawyer to prosecute the Church over Harding's job. Eleanor, when she hears of what Bold has done, must choose between her love for her innocent father and the well-meaning Bold. Grantly is shocked by the attack on the Church and its dignity as well as the prospect of having Bold as a brother-in-law, while the old men fear for the loss of their apartments and, belatedly, losing the kindly Harding, who actually gives them a small monthly stipend out of his own pocket. What will happen? Tears, gentle reader, lots of tears. This is a story based on reality, not a sweetened cozy, despite the emphasis on manners and polite society. I highly recommend this quick read, even if Trollope does dump a load of disapproval on the muckracking newpaper.

  • Laura
    2019-02-11 03:01

    3.5 stars. My first Trollope. I was warned not to start with this one, as it is a bit dry, and that's no lie. It is all about church politics and there is a Point, and at times, you are beaten over the head with it until you lose the will to press on. But then that chapter ends, and Trollope moves back into the lives of the Warden and his surrounding family and friends, and things pick up again. The audio narrator for my library's cd copy was Simon Vance, who did a wonderful job. He changes voices so smoothly and his intonations help the reader move through some of the more difficult passages at a faster pace. Although this wasn't a book to adore with each page turned, by the time I finished, I had come to know and love many of the characters in the Barchester community and I'm very excited to continue on with the series to the second volume, which I hear is a goodie: Barchester Towers. Really looking forward to that one. I want to once again thank Katie, a booktuber at Books and Things (https://www.youtube.com/user/thesilve...) , for capturing my heart so much with her review of The Small House at Allington, (which is either the fourth or fifth volume in this series), that I decided to finally try Trollope. It'll be quite the adventure reading to that point in the series, and I'm looking forward to it!

  • Sean
    2019-02-08 06:53

    Poor Warden. What did he do to deserve to be treated so cruelly? An innocent man, accused of misallocating funds from the inheritance of the hospital that he administrates, faces litigation from his future son in law. The Warden’s story is such a tragedy. So much so that many Trollope readers consider this to be the worst story in the Barchester Chronicles series. Well, I do agree that this story suffers from simplicity. Fortunately it was written by Anthony Trollope so what it loses in substance it makes up for in style and clever narration. Next up is Barchester Towers which is supposedly a vastly superior continuation of this famous Victorian era series.

  • Cecily
    2019-01-24 01:55

    The 1st Barchester novel. More political than Barchester Towers and with a much smaller cast. Mostly concerning the validity (or otherwise) of Mr Harding's generous remuneration for being warden of Hiram's Hospital and how that debate affects the burgeoning relationship between his younger daughter Eleanor, and the campaigning John Bold. Interestingly "modern" twist of layers of stories: the basic plot is a parody of real events and in the story a fictionalised Dickens (Mr Popular Sentiment) writes a story on the same theme!

  • Suzanne
    2019-02-13 03:40

    That went much too quickly. I'm afraid I ate it in the manner called Full American: as rapidly as possible without pausing even to breathe. I kid, of course. But, only sort of.I had already read this book for a literature class in college, theoretically. That is, I answered many essay questions about it and may have even written about it in a paper. However, there is nothing familiar in it that suggests I ever actually opened the book. My loss entirely. It is marvelous. If you read it for no other reason than to witness Trollope's savage evisceration of Charles Dickens that would be time well spent. And, though I do like Dickens I cannot disagree with Trollope's criticisms. You'll see and decide for yourself. As a kind of counter-argument to Dickens, Trollope's characters are fully realized. They are neither very good nor very evil. They are like real people who can be a befuddling amalgam of the best and worst traits of the breed. Though, truth be told, most people are just a beige and lumpy pudding of the mediumest blandness of humanity without the slightest hint of good or evil to add some flavor.Sidebar: the women here tend to remain caricatures and play only an ancillary role. Not a judgment, just an observation. Summation: the writing is the perfect balance of elegant and economical. The narrative is clean and all story arcs are well resolved. The characters are charming and well-rounded. The plot is constantly moving forward with infrequent pauses for pedagogical meandering. I will be back for more.

  • Mike
    2019-02-09 00:53

    I've always resisted the idea of Trollope. But this book has changed my opinion. It's a kind, generous, humane book--generous to a fault. I've never seen a book where the concluding chapter tells you the bad guy isn't really as bad as he seems. The writing is mostly clean and simple: more like Jane Austen (though not as clever) than Thomas Carlyle (who is parodied in one of the book's less memorable moments), or even Dickens. The story of a weak, easily-led Anglican clergyman who is driven by his conscience to resign an 800 pound/year sinecure is a profile in courage where least expected.

  • Arwen56
    2019-02-06 04:00

    Arguto e di gradevolissima lettura. Credo leggerò anche gli altri romanzi di Barchester.

  • Veronique
    2019-02-05 05:43

    3.5What is any public question but a conglomeration of private interests?" After nearly ten years of wanting to read this novel, and try Trollope, I have finally managed it. I don't know why I was so hesitant. This is a good Victorian novel, admitedly not my favourite, but worth reading nonetheless.The story revolves around the question of the possible misuse of charitable funds. The reformer side is personalised by Mr. Bold, while the holder of the warden position is Mr Harding. Both sides are shown very well, personal and social spheres included. Trollope also adds many complicating elements to the equation. Mr Harding is a genuine and caring person, doing his job with heart, while Mr Bold is not a bad person per se, but rather someone who gets taken by his ideals without considering what this battle will mean or grow into. He is actually a friend of the current warden and in love with his daughter! Trollope didn't just focus on the Church either; other institutions were also scrutinised such as the Press. Mostly, what comes across again and again is that behind good intentions there are many people more interested in their own interests then on rectifying possible wrongs. Through his writing, the author made me feel the plight of the poor warden and his situation. His main characters were well drawn, full of realistic contradictions and quirks. Many scenes and descriptions, such as the ones of the party, or Mrs Grantly's discussion with her husband, were delightful and not devoid of humour.  I look forward to the next instalment of the Chronicles of Barsetshire.

  • Nita Kohli
    2019-02-16 04:54

    The Warden is the first book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire that is regarded as Anthony Trollope's finest work. This book was first published in 1855 and is set in the fictitious province of Barsetshire and is a story of a clergyman in cathedral town of Barchester. Book CoverAs goes for all the classics, the cover is beautiful. So, no complaints here.PlotThe story is of Septimus Harding, a clergymen who is living a peaceful and happy life as a Warden of Hiram's Hospital and as the precentor of Barchester Cathedral. He has two daughters - Susan who is married to bishop's son Dr. Grantly and Eleanor who is single but in love with a young reformist, John Bold. Hiram's Hospital is supported by charity and this income maintains this almhouse and supports its twelve bedesmen(in this book old men who could no longer support themselves and are ill). Mr. Warden performs his duty well and takes care of these men. He treats them as his friends and often meets them every evening. The happy state of affair is disturbed when John Bold starts questioning the legacy and how the money is being used for the welfare of hospital's bedesmen. He exposes the big disproportion in Mr. Harding's fat stipend and the money received by the twelve bedesmen. Soon, this news becomes talk of the town and Mr. Harding who has not done any thing wrong in his life becomes a villain who lives a luxurious life with the money that is meant to help the poor bedesman.CharactersTrollope has created characters that are memorable and these characters will remain with you for one reason or the other for a long time. The characters are so real for they have weakness, flaws and dilemmas that one will come across in real life. Mr. Harding or the Warden is quiet and loves music. He has done no wrongs in his life but finds himself in centre of a controversy so bad that it threatens to bring disgrace to his name and I could not help but feel sorry for poor Mr. Harding. He performed his role of Warden well and did not by any means try to misuse the charity income. Though he did not question the fat stipend he was getting. But, who does that? There was one time when I got annoyed with him.I am a very practical person and I make decisions based on what my mind says is correct rather than what my heart does. So, I got really irritated with the Warden for his decision taken on a whim. The step that he wants to take may appear correct to his conscience but which I, like other characters in this book, found irrational. But, later in the book, I did agree with him.Dr. Grantly may appear a villain to most but at times I did agree with him but I did find his methods too drastic and his speech pungent. John Bold, well, had he not been there, Mr. Harding and the twelve bedesmen would have led a peaceful life. But, when he tries to set things right, its too late and the matter is out of his hands.What I likeI enjoyed this book to a great deal though I was apprehensive in the beginning as I had no idea of the church and its dealings in England in the Victorian Times. When I started reading it, I feared I might not understand it at all. But, I was absorbed in this book pretty soon. The story keeps its readers entertained. As, I said before, the characters in this book are memorable and one can feel for them and can connect with them. This was my first book from Trollope and I liked his writing style though some may find it slow. What I liked about his writing is that sometimes he starts talking directly to his readers. He will ask you questions or will give you details while addressing you directly. I personally like this but I know people who find this a turn off.The other thing that stands out in this book and something which I have never seen in a book before, is that there is a chapter towards the end of the book where the author tells its reader that the bad guy in this book is not as bad as he appears. The author puts forward the positive traits of the 'supposed' villain giving justification that he indeed is a good guy but unfortunately what comes across of him in this story appears to be bad. This was rather a unique style of Trollope and it put a smile on my face. What I did not likeFor most part I enjoyed the book but there were two parts in one of which he talks about the power of press and in the other about his day spent in London that I found rather monotonous. A lot of pages were devoted to these and I felt it was not required to talk about them in so much detail. But, one can neglect this as the book otherwise is great.My final thoughts on the bookThe book is a must read for all the book lovers and especially the ones who love classics. A delightful read and I plan to read other books in this series for sure. Do pick it up if you come across this book.For this and my other book reviews, please visit www.book-choose.com

  • Jane
    2019-02-05 03:58

    Where I got the book: audiobook on Audible.This is the first novel in the Barchester Chronicles—attentive friends may remember that I listened to the second novel, Barchester Towers, first, loved it and then found it was the abridged version (grrrr) and decided to go back to the beginning and listen to the whole series, unabridged. There are several different audio versions available, and after listening to the samples I opted for this one, narrated by David Shaw-Parker who does a nice job.It’s a simple enough story: clergyman Septimus Harding is living a peaceful life as the Warden of a hospital (a sort of charity home) for old, indigent men. It’s a nice job with few responsibilities and a fat stipend, allowing Mr. Harding to live as a gentleman and support his single daughter Eleanor. But then reformer John Bold (who happens to be Eleanor’s sweetheart) starts asking questions about the legacy that set up the hospital in the first place, and why the Warden lives so well when the old men only receive a small payment. The newspapers start paying attention, and poor Mr. Harding (who’s been supplementing the old men’s living out of his own pocket) has to choose between giving up his comfortable life or putting up with the glare of publicity brought about by a lawsuit.Trollope’s sympathies seem to be squarely on the side of tradition in this story, which was inspired by a number of cases brought against clergymen who were living too well. Having just listened to Barchester Towers (which, of course, I shall be listening to again soon in the unabridged version) I was surprised to realize how closely the two novels are connected—if you’re going to read Barchester Towers, generally considered Trollope’s greatest novel, you should doubtless read The Warden first. Being Trollope there’s a great deal of legal and political detail, interspersed with character sketches at some length. At one point we follow Mr. Harding through just about every minute of a difficult afternoon spent in London, which is hard going even though for the historian it does supply an enormous amount of detail about how people actually lived. It’s during this day that Trollope also goes into a long riff on the power of the press, which is decidedly tedious. In today’s terms, this novel’s got a bit of a saggy middle. And yet I enjoyed the story on the whole, and the audiobook format definitely makes it easier to digest. I’m looking forward to revisiting Barchester in the near future.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-01-20 02:33

    The Warden, melancholy story of Septimus Harding,Church of England clergyman, in the fictitious cathedral town of Barchester.(Winchester in reality) Britain ,the middle of the 19th century andthis quiet little city exists, because of the cathedral, and is dominated by the clergy .In 1434 a wealthy merchant John Hiram died, and left in his will land , to support twelve retired old men from Barchester.A hospital(nursing home) was to be built, the church to administer it by appointing a warden. Four hundred years later, property values soar and the rents also. There's more money than is needed, to take care of the aged dozen. Harding the warden, is a kindly cleric, who loves the poor men and receives 800 pounds a year, for the sinecure job!Trouble begins when Dr. John Bold, the local reformer,tells the influential newspaper, The Jupiter.(The London Times)Harding is attacked by the paper , the scandal causes him great emotional distress. Family ties compilcate the situation, Septimus daughter Eleanor, is in love with Bold!The warden's older daughter Susan, is married to Archdeacon Grantly ,the bishop's son and the power behind the throne. Grantly defends church privileges. Harding's best friend is the bishop ,who gave him the do nothing job.After much soul searching, everybody loves titles ,the warden decides to resign and accept poverty. But unexpectively, the hospital will become vacant, after the old men are gone!

  • Jonathan
    2019-02-02 05:59

    This was my first Trollope! It concerns Septimus Harding, the warden of an almshouse, whose remuneration comes under question from John Bold. Unlike Dickens we have no villains; Septimus is guilt-ridden that he may have unwittingly been doing something wrong, or even seen to be wrong. Even his son-in-law, Dr Grantly, who comes across as a bit of a tyrant and who advises Septimus to stick to his guns throughout the novel, is still very human—and it's this aspect of Trollope's writing that greatly appealed to me. I may even read some more of his works.Included in the OUP version I read was the story, The Two Heroines of Plumplington. In many ways I preferred this story to The Warden as it was more humorous, more playful. The heroines are two young middle-class girls, Polly Peppercorn and Emily Greenmantle, who manage to outwit their fathers into marrying the 'unsuitable' men that want to marry rather than the 'suitable' young men that their fathers want them to marry. It's a Christmas story so we get a happy ending—it's ok to have a happy ending sometimes. I particularly like Dr. Freeborn who seems to thoroughly enjoy stirring things up between fathers and daughters.

  • Eleanor
    2019-02-03 02:55

    It has taken me far too long to get to Anthony Trollope, though I did read "The American Senator" a couple of years ago. Part of this year's reading plan (such as it is) is to read "The Chronicles of Barsetshire". The first volume is "The Warden" and its central character is Septimus Harding, the Warden of what is in effect a retirement home for 12 old men of the city who are no longer able to work and support themselves. He is a gentle and sensitive man, ill-equipped to deal with the storm which breaks over his head when a young man bent on reform calls his position and its generous income into question. The various characters are beautifully drawn. Here for example is the Warden's son-in-law, the formidable Dr Grantly:"He has all the dignity of an ancient saint with the sleekness of a modern bishop; he is always the same; he is always the archdeacon; unlike Homer, he never nods. Even with his father-in-law, even with the bishop and dean, he maintains that sonorous tone and lofty deportment which strikes awe into the young hearts of Barchester; and absolutely cows the whole parish of Plumstead Episcopi."As the story unfolds, Trollope examines the foibles of his characters, and also larger questions such as the difference between law and justice. The questions he asks are as relevant today and when he wrote them in the middle of the 19th century.A solid 3.5 stars. I look forward to reading "Barchester Towers" in another month or so.

  • Tony
    2019-01-29 07:38

    THE WARDEN. (1855). Anthony Trollope. *****. I last read this novel (ready?) fifty years ago. I remembered liking it at the time, but it was probably too slow of a read for me then. Reading it now, I can better appreciate skill with plot and character, and have the patience for a slow read. This edition (the one I read not the one pictured) was from The Folio Society in 1995, and contains an introduction by Owen Chadwick and illustrations by Alexy Pendle. The novel was the first in Trollope’s “Barchester Chronicles,” which he wrote between 1854 and 1867. There were a total of six of them, and they were probably the most admired of all of his novels. Originally titled, “The Precentor,” Trollope said he got the idea for the novel while travelling in Salisbury. While standing on a small bridge and looking at the cathedral he got the idea for the story. The story takes us into the life of Reverend Septimus Harding, a man of the church who was responsible for an endowed poor house and hospital, endowed generations ago by a successful wool carder. The stipulation was that the facilities were for twelve old, impecunious men, who were no longer able – for one reason or another – able to provide for their own livelihood. They were to receive a shilling and a pence per day plus shelter and food and medical care. Any monies left over were to go to the caretaker of the institution. Our caretaker, Mr. Harding, received 800 pounds per year for his efforts, though, indeed, there was not a lot of work required. On this, he had to provide for his own housing and food, in addition to providing for his family. This wasn’t a lot of money back then, but one could live on it. Suddenly, a Dr. John Bold – another member of the church and a man who was also in love with Harding’s younger daughter – decided that this constituted simony on the part of the church, and took the trust to law. Here is an example of an early crusade for a moral right. As it turned out, Mr. Harding hadn’t thought much about his salary, and began to wonder if Dr. Bold might not be right. He was faced with a moral dilemma. When the suit was picked up by the local newspaper, “The Jupiter,” Harding was suddenly in the limelight as a dishonest person, which he certainly was not. His moral code, however, made him think that the others might be right, and he was faced with the need to make some kind of decision. His struggle with his conscience and with his adversaries is the theme of this thoughtful novel. The novel will suck you in to the point that you will likely read all six novels in this series. Highly recommended.