Barchester Towers

Barchester Towers[Download] ✤ Barchester Towers By Anthony Trollope –  Anthony Trollope was well aware that the seemingly parochial power struggles that determine the action of Barchester Towers struggles whose comic possibilities he exploits to hilarious effect actual  Anthony Trollope was well aware that the seemingly parochial power struggles that determine the action of Barchester Towers struggles whose comic possibilities he exploits to hilarious effect actually went to the heart of mid Victorian English society and had in other times and other guises led to civil war and constitutional upheaval Thai awareness heightens the comedy and intensifies the drama in this magnificent novel and it transforms the story of a fight for ascendency among the clergy and dependants of a great English cathedral into something fundamental and universal This is the second novel in Trollope's Barsetshire seriesBook Jacket Status Not Jacketed. This is hilarious The odious Mr Slope slimes his way through the upper class elements of the church looking for power and patronage and love in a village where nothing ever happens It's not so much a uestion of will hewon't he how much will he dare and who will fall for it? There's also an interesting character reversal in the Bishop's wife Mrs Proudie a strict sabbatarian who seeks to convert others to that practice However her esteem for the Church is far less than her esteem for herself and she does the right thing but for all the wrong reasons Lots of frustrated love upright characters getting their just rewards the unworthy slipping on their own grease and everything wrapped up in a tidy parcel just made for a BBC costume drama4 and a half stars Recommended to lovers of classics good writing and those who have a schadenfreude sense of humour Read March 14 2011 reviewed March 27 2012 “There is no happiness in love except at the end of an English novel” A visit to Victorian England indulging myself with another re read of the delightful Barchester TowersA new bishop is coming to town the fictional Barchester in the fictional Barsetshire greatly disturbing the stagnant water of long standing clerical balance in the diocese Almost instantly HOLY ? WAR is declared between resident clergymen High Church lead by Archdeacon Grantly who got disappointed in his hope of becoming the new bishop after his father’s death Dr Proudie’s the new bishop Low Church entourage namely his formidable wife his chaplain Mr Obadiah Slope a beneficiary of Mrs Proudie’s patronageThis is however not the only war that is waged in the novel There is a contest for primacy in the diocese between Mrs Proudie Mr Slope because the hen pecked Dr Proudie is bishop only in name and so both strive to become the real power behind his ecclesiastical throne Additionally a there is battle for love andor for money – depending on the parties involved to gain the hand of the young rich widow Eleanor Bold sister in law to Archdeacon Grantly The contestants are Mr Slope Mr Bertie Stanhope never do well though harmless spendthrift son of Dr Vesey Stanhope prebendary of the Bishop and Reverend Francis Arabin a scholar and Fellow of Lazarus College at Oxford a supporter of Archdeacon GrantlyYou’d think after this summary that the clerical war is about some elevated subjects with deep underlying philosophical ideas but it is fought much on social wives joining husbands daughters supporting fathers political levels which camps can soldier bigger troops supporters in drawingball rooms at parties as well as in churches This gives Trollope the chance to depict clergymen as men with a very much tongue in cheek approach which makes the whole novel delightful funnyWars about trifles are always bitter especially among neighbours When the differences are great and the parties comparative strangers men uarrel with courtesy What combatants are ever so eager as two brothers?Also the insight into his characters is wonderful the most memorable from this novel are Mr Slope Mrs Proudie Signora Neroni Archdeacon Grantley Trollope never ceases to amaze me with his power of characterisation which is precise complex and utterly hilarious at the same time The way he portraits Obadiah Slope is genius He is one of the most obnoxious obseuious slimy appalling characters in classic literature he brings Jane Austen's Mr Collins in PP to my mind in some respects and yet you cannot help but admire his cunning and enterprise as he sets about fulfilling his ambitions He is a smarmy sycophant and no mistake but he is never painted as black or even as a truly vicious person And here I have to mention the divine Alan Rickman who played him to perfection in the 1982 BBC adaptation That is also highly recommendedAnd then there is the indomitable staunch Mrs Proudie wife to the bishop uncrowned ueen of her family the diocese A character you love to hate yet cannot help but respect at the same time It is ordained that all novels should have a male and female angel and a male and female devil It it be considered that this rule obeyed in these pages the latter character must be supposed to have fallen to the lot of Mrs Proudie but she was not all devil there was a heart inside that stiff ribbed bodice though not perhaps of large dimensions and certainly not easily accessibleThe scenes where Mrs Proudie Mr Slope are involved in a tug of war with the poor bishop as the rope are the funniest in the whole book The bishop was sitting in his easy chair twiddling his thumbs turning his eyes now to his wife and now to his chaplain as each took up the cudgels How comfortable it would be if they could fight it out between them without the necessity of any interference on his part; fight it out so that one should kill the other utterly as far as the diocesan life was concerned so that he the bishop might know clearly by whom it behoved him to be led There would be the comfort of uiet in either case; but if the bishop had a wish as to which might prove the victor that wish was certainly not antagonistic to Mr Slope Barchester Towers is the second in the fabulous of six Barsetshire novels by the illustrious Anthony Trollope a man with an acute imagination which this series displays Set in a sleepy fictitious cathedral town in mid nineteenth century England no other writer could excel in chronicling Eleanor Bold rich young pretty widow of John Bold is feeling lonely; but has a baby son to look after still that is not enough Not to worry she will have three suitors soon it is obvious she is too desirable to remain single wonder why? When a new bishop comes to the small city DrProudie brings Rev Slope an ambitious clergyman who doesn't care how he achieves wealth and power the first suitor The Archdeacon Dr Grantly son of the late bishop opposes Slope Grantly travels to London to get help And persuades RevFrancis Arabin an Oxford teacher and an old friend to take a job as vicar in a Barchester church the second suitor Dr Stanhopes everyone is a Dr in the book returns from Italy his son really a grownup kid also arrives Bertie a lazy but charming man the third suitorThe pusillanimous new bishop is controlled by Mrs Proudie his dominating wife he fears Conflict soon happens when the hospital is to reopen who will become the warden a do nothing job? Rev Harding the former holder of the job and choice of Grantly or uiverful another clergyman and supported by the powerful Mrs Proudie Then an illuminating party by rich landowners Miss Thorne and her brother is given all the important people in the area attend which tells the real situation of the cityWe see how they interact with each other in a class conscious age The poor sneak in and aren't thrown out the Thorne's are too kind to do that yet we see the division in The Victorian Age by where people sit Now Mrs Bold has a problem whom to pick as her new husband she isn't lonely any Another sumptuous story about the always entertaining life of a little town with a big voice this will never change The 2nd Barchester novel Some of the church politics is rather too esoteric but less than The Warden but mostly it is charming astutely ascerbic and amusing yet also a little twee But Eleanor is a feisty and somewhat unconventional heroine for a male writer of Trollope's time The names of most minor characters are too comic for the style of the novel eg farmers Greenacre Topsoil; Drs Fillgrave Rerechild Lamda Mewnew Omicron Pie; Revs Brown White Grey Green; aspirational Lookalofts; Rev uiverful with 12 children; diplomatic Mr Plomacy; loud Mrs Clantantram; attorney Vellem Deeds; some aren't even characters just names on a guest list Yet the main characters have suitably subtle names Proudie Grantly Slope It is with great regret that I assign my dear Trollope a mere four stars—really four and a half stars To me the most shameful part of being slightly disappointed in Barchester Towers was just how much weight is given to the novel not only in terms of Trollope’s own oeuvre but in terms of Victorian literature generally With that said though having read around and dappled in work of his both in and outside the Chronicles of Barsetshire I found Barchester Towers lacking in what for me is what makes Trollope such an extraordinary writer—namely his pacing and the way in which he engages his readers right from the start in the conflicts and dramas of his dramatis personaeHere though in the second book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series Trollope is actually atypical he takes over half the book to set up his characters to concoct an admittedly compelling mise en scène from which to focus closely on three characters’ struggles for power in the tiny cathedral close of Barchester As always Trollope’s characterization is flawless Mr Slope’s drive to transform Barchester as a middle man of sorts pitting the incoming bishop Dr Proudie against his obdurate and power hungry wife in order to wield authority in any way he can this is done extremely well in Trollope’s deft hands especially as the trio is meant to symbolize at the microcosmic level changes in the world at large but “progress” that is by no means untouched by a primal individual desire to get whatever it is one wants by any means necessaryTrollope is always brilliant in painting unlikeable characters and in doing so making us see their flaws and their various vices in ourselves In Barchester Towers Trollope adds to this gift something that is much covert in his other works a rich use of comedy and humor Barchester Towers is above all a very funny book a satire and one that shows Trollope balancing well the individual the social and the narcissistic desire for power and position While his other novels have a humor that is covert Barchester Towers is rare in Trollope’s oeuvre in that it will actually cause one to laugh aloud one wonders why—if not from realizing that such a treatment did not agree with his vision of the novelist’s duties—Trollope abandoned the outrageously comic in his subseuent workAnd that perhaps is why I felt this novel to be a disappointment when compared with the others of his that I’ve read—and also why I find it hard to believe that Barchester Towers is his most famous and widely read novel Although weak Trollope is far better than the best work by a novelist less talented than he—eg see my review of Doctor Wortle’s School—still this novel is in no way indicative of the scope and utter humanity to be found in Trollope’s richer and complex novels like The Claverings which remains my all time favorite of his to this dayThis is by no means meant to dissuade anyone from reading Barchester Towers far from it The world would be a better place is people read Trollope But it would be unwise to read his most lauded work and presume that this is all Trollope is about because this is far from the case Instead one should read Barchester Towers for what it is Trollope’s successful attempt at integrating comedy with pathos humor with his analyses of greed lightness with his examination of the darkness of which we are all capable And of course one should read Barchester Towers on the path toward completing the Chronicles in their entirety something all readers should do at least once in their reading lives To call this a delight is an understatement Till we can become divine we must be content to be human lest in our hurry for change we sink to something lower Barchester Towers Anthony TrollopeThis was lovely Barchester Towers in probably Trollope's best known and most popular work It could stand alone but really should be read after Warden as book 2 in the Barsetshire Series six books Trollope's prose is beautiful but his characters good and bad; pretty and plain are sketched with such nuance and understanding that two books in I feel like many of them are familyThis year I committed to reading the six novels in the Chronicles of Barsetshire and the six novels that compose his Palliser series After finishing book two however I'm about read to commit to reading all 47 of his novels PLUS his autobiography I surprised my wife by joining The Trollope Society last night £36 and feel it is inevitable that one of these days I'm going to have to explain to my lovely wife my partner my soul why 47 books just came here from London you can order a very nice set of Trollope's complete novels for £950 £50 for shipping to the US It really does seem almost as inevitable as entropy Unstoppable really It might not be this week this month or this year but it just seems easier to bite it in one chunk than collect these novels higgledy piggledy I have just finished the second and probably best known of the Chronicles of Barsetshire and I enjoyed myself very much indeed I love Trollope's observations of the foibles of his characters and while some verge on caricature most have strengths and weaknesses as do we all There is great fun in loathing the villain Obadiah Slope and how could he not be villainous with such a name Eleanor Bold is the central female character and how much interesting a person she is than nearly all of Dickens' insipid female heroines Of course I have a soft spot for her because she shares my name However it is hard to go past Mrs Proudie the Bishop's wife as being the star turn of the book She rules the Bishop and everyone else with a rod of iron After a minor rebellion encouraged by the aforementioned Slope he was brought safely back under his lady's thumb and Trollope's comment on this was Oh husbands oh my marital friends what great comfort is there to be derived from a wife well obeyed I read that sentence out to my own husband who laughed in fellow sympathy with the BishopWhat I enjoy most of all though is Trollope's observation of behaviour and his psychology is spot on Take for example the following passage in connection with the very late arrival of an important guest at the home of the ThornesWise people when they are in the wrong always put themselves right by finding fault with the people against whom they have sinned Lady De Courcy was a wise woman and therefore having treated Miss Thorne very badly by staying away till three o'clock she assumed the offensive and attacked Mr Thorne's roads Her daughter not less wise attacked Miss Thorne's early hours The art of doing this is among the most precious of those usually cultivated by persons who know how to live There is no withstanding it Who can go systematically to work and having done battle with the primary accusation and settled that then bring forward a countercharge and support that also? Life is not long enough for such labours A man in the right relies easily on his rectitude and therefore goes about unarmed His very strength is his weakness A man in the wrong knows that he must look to his weapons; his very weakness is his strength The one is never prepared for combat the other is always ready Therefore it is that in this world the man that is in the wrong almost invariably conuers the man that is in the right and invariably despises himWonderful stuff There is perhaps no greater hardship at present inflicted on mankind in civilised and free countries than the necessity of listening to sermonsA new bishop comes to Barchester Accompanied by his domineering wife and ambitious chaplain they thoroughly upset the way things are done in the sleepy cathedral town Old vs new High church vs low Battle lines are drawn and a power struggle between suabbling clergymen beginsLess dry and amusing than expected Archdeacon Grantly is a personal favourite Marriage means tyranny on one side and deceit on the other I say that a man is a fool to sacrifice his interests for such a bargain A woman too generally has no other way of livingThe savagery I love it With this his fifth novel and second in the Barsetshire series Trollope hits his stride This is Trollope at his best It is the favorite novel of many Trollope nuts and certainly one of my favorites If you read the Barsetshire novels in order as I recommend you do you will start with The Warden a much inferior novel but fortunately one of Trollope's shortest but when you get to Barchester Towers it will all have been worth it

Barchester Towers ePUB ¿ Hardcover
  • Hardcover
  • 564 pages
  • Barchester Towers
  • Anthony Trollope
  • English
  • 20 January 2015
  • 9780679405870