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The Warden (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – June 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0199537785 ISBN-10: 019953778X Edition: Reissue

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reissue edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019953778X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199537785
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.5 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anthony Trollope (1815-82) became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of Trollope's best-loved works revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire, but he also wrote penetrating novels on political, social, and gender issues and conflicts of his day.

Customer Reviews

A perfect study of manners, personalities and culture of Trollope's time.
Mme Rachel Frise
Less fascinating than most of the other Barchester novels, this is still a must, though it might be best enjoyed if read after some of the more captivating books.
flowergirl
It's a really satisfying plot, with full-fleshed characters and something to think about.
Oddsfish

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Russel E. Higgins on March 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read Anthony Trollope's book "The Warden" in 1995 at the age of 54; three years later I had finished all forty-seven Trollope novels, his autobiography, and most of his short stories. "The Warden" provides a necessary introduction to the Barsetshire Novels, which, in turn, provide a marvelous introduction to rural Victorian society, and its religious, political, and social underpinnings. However, "The Warden" is a small literary masterpiece of its own, even though the more popular "Barchester Towers" tends to obscure it. "The Warden" moves slowly, of course, but so did Victorian England; soon the reader is enveloped in a rich world of brilliantly created characters: in the moral dilemma of a charming and innocent man, Reverend Septimus Harding, who is probably the most beloved of all Trollope's characters; in the connivings of Archdeacon Grantly, who will become a significant force in the later Barsetshire novels; in Eleanor, an example of the perfect Victorian woman, a type that appears in many of Trollope's subsequent novels; and in the sanctimonious meddling of John Bold, whose crusade for fairness throws the town into turmoil. In modern terminology, "The Warden" is a "good read" for those readers with patience, a love of 19th century England, and an appreciation of literary style. Trollope's sentences have a truly musical cadence. "The Warden" was Trollope's fourth novel and his first truly successful one. It provides a strong introduction to the other five novels of the Barsetshire series, where the reader will meet a group of fascinating characters, including the Mrs. Proudie (one of Trollope's finest creations), the Reverend Obadiah Slope, and the Grantly family.Read more ›
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By T. Simons VINE VOICE on August 6, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first of Anthony Trollope's "Chronicles of Barsetshire" novels, and his first popularly successful novel. The basic plot is that the Warden, Mr. Harding, has 1) a sinecure church position that pays him 800 pounds a year; 2) a reform-minded friend who's trying to abolish church sinecures; 3) a daughter who wants to marry the reform-minded friend; and 4) an existing son-in-law of an Archdeacon who takes defending the Rights of the Church very, very seriously.

If you like Jane Austen novels there's a good chance you'll like this, as the basic plots -- church livings, the marriage prospects of 19th-centry british gentry -- are fairly similar. Trollope's prose here is fairly light and clear, and if not quite as sharply witty as Austen's, no one else's prose is either. Trollope does spill a great deal of ink on lengthy asides to the reader, some of which paint interesting pictures of contemporary British culture and some of which modern readers may find *amazingly* skippable.

Overall, this one's a lightly pleasant example of precisely the sort of intelligent, Victorian parlor romance it's trying to be. If you like this, the next volume in sequence is Barchester Towers; it's a bit more comically satirical, somewhere in between this and P.G. Wodehouse, but almost certainly something you'll enjoy if you liked this one.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Leonard L. Wilson on July 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the 15th century, Hiram's Hospital was established as a perpetual charitable home for 12 poor old men, each being replaced at his death. Over the years the income from the property of the estate has increased to the point where the warden of the hospital enjoys a substantial salary.
The Rev. Septimus Harding (the Warden), kind, gentle, and conscientious, loves his comfortable position and is loved by the old men under his care - until his life is disrupted by a REFORMER, in the person of young John Bold, who questions the ample income of the warden, while the old men still receive only pennies a day. Bold brings in a solicitor and interests the newspaper The Jupiter (obviously the London Times), which makes the issue a national debate.
Although the church stands behind the warden with all its influence, the gentle Mr. Harding himself begins to doubt the propriety of his position. The matter becomes further complicated when Bold and Harding's daughter Eleanor fall in love.
This first of the six Barsetshire novels is by far the shortest and concentrates almost exclusively on the main plot. (In fact, Trollope inserts a criticism of the long serial novels of the day, although he later adopted that same mode.) "The Warden" is not so rich in detail or in the extensive cultural ambience of the later novels, but it is an excellent introduction to this deservedly acclaimed series. It introduces many vivid characters who grow and develop delightfully in the later novels.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Austin VINE VOICE on November 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Although its principal character, Mr Harding, the Warden of Barchester, suffers abject misery and extreme anxiety during most of this novel, the reader of "The Warden" will enjoy one of the happiest, richest and warmest experiences to be gained from the whole of English Literature.

Untypically short, yet three years in the making, "The Warden" has a simple structure that Trollope utlized again and again. Take a moral dilemma of some sort, one that provides endless pros and cons to be argued, one that possibly takes many hundreds of pages to resolve, explore its social, political and financial implications, and show how it touches the lives of characters not too unlike ourselves.

The dilemma here concerns the income of Septimus Harding, the Warden of Barchester. Under the terms of a will, dated 1434, twelve superannuated woolcarders were to be accommodated in an almshouse, receiving one shilling and fourpence per day. A residence was to be provided for a warden who was to receive the income from the remainder of the testator's property. Now, more than 400 years later, there seems to be an imbalance in these depositions. The almshouse inmates continue to receive only one shilling and fourpence, while the warden, living on the proceeds of some valuable properties, receives eight hundred pounds annually and the use of the warden's house.

The dilemma faces a young Barchester surgeon, John Bold. If he allows the imbalance to continue, the wishes of the original benefactor, he believes, are being nullified. If he succeeds in having the warden's comfortable living discontinued, he will lose forever the possibility of making the warden's daughter his wife. And so the issue is taken up, argued and publicized.
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More About the Author

"Anthony Trollope (1815-82) became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of Trollope's best-loved works revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire, but he also wrote penetrating novels on political, social, and gender issues and
conflicts of his day."

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