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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible
Dr Wortle's School introduces the unassuming Mr Peacocke and his polite, newly-wed bride, as they join the teaching staff of an elite and exclusive Christian boys' school.
Dr Wortle, a devoted English scholar and the headmaster of the seminary academy, welcomes his two new teachers, confident that they will uphold the high standards of education at the school.
However, to Wortle's dismay, mystery surrounds the couple and whilst they assimilate themselves to life on school campus with ease, Trollope is quick to uncover their scandalous secret. Lady Peacocke is accused of bigamy, a heinous and unconscionable crime in 19th century society, after it is discovered that she was previously married. Her former partner is depicted as being an abusive drunk, whom Mrs Peacocke believed to be dead, but she is nonetheless stripped of her new surname.
When Mr Peacocke refuses to shun his beloved wife, it is left to the stern but fair-minded, Dr Wortle, to offer them a helping hand. As the parish of Bowick demand for the expulsion and banishment of the couple, the headmaster is the only thing that stands in the way of their demise.
Trollope's fortieth novel, he creates a humorous yet realistic portrayal of Victorian small-town politics and as a result, the detrimental impact that a closed-minded community can have on its citizens.
Narrator Biography
Timothy West is an English film, stage and television actor and director. He is noted for his great command of classical plays and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for three seasons.
During that time he appeared in Afore Night Come, The Marat/Sade, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Love's Labour's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, The Comedy of Errors and Timon of Athens.
His extensive TV and film career includes appearances in Miss Marple, King Lear, Nicholas and Alexandra, The Day of the Jackal, Cry Freedom, The Thirty Nine Steps, Ever After: A Cinderella Story and Iris.
Timothy became the artistic director of the Forum Theatre in Billingham in 1973 and later the co-artistic director of The Old Vic Theatre in 1980. He also became director-in-residence at the University of Western Australia in 1982 and in 2004 he toured with the Carl Rosa Opera Company as director of a production of H.M.S Pinafore.
Timothy West has narrated over 30 audiobooks including Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies, Julian Barnes' The Lemon Table and William Shakespeare's Henry V.
In 1984, he was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the profession.
(P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Joseph R on 08-29-09

What is a Little Bigamy Among Friends?

Timothy West turned in his usual five star performance with this story. He has an amazingly flexible voice, narrating seemingly without effort bringing out the nuances of Trollope's work. This narrative was of special interest to me because the two villains as well as the heroine are fellow Louisianans. I say the two villains but actually I think their blackest crimes are almost venial in comparison to the evil done by the gossiping women, particularly Mrs. Stanalope in this story. Indeed, the pain and damage inflicted by gossips is a real evil today as it was during the time of this story.

Trollope had a talent for picking hot topics, in this case, the heroine was a bigamist albeit unwittingly. This subject is just as hot today judging from stories in the press. What paper or television news program could restrain itself from leading with such a story? Trollope, I think rather liked taking on heroines with flaws. For instant, in Doctor Thorne the lady was born illegitimate. In essence, Trollope digs a hole for himself to scramble out dragging his heroine with him. The author's job is to make the reader like the heroine. Bigamy certainly didn't make his job any easier but these stories sold newspapers, then and now.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful


By murray on 10-29-12

trollope rocks!

What did you love best about Dr Wortle's School?

just loved all the characters and the story just moved right along - sorry it ended so soon

What did you like best about this story?

the shock of the storyline - couldn't believe it in victorian times

Which character – as performed by Timothy West – was your favorite?

the doctor who timothy west plays to perfection - makes you see that person.

Any additional comments?

as much as i love mr. west i am always amused the way he portrays american women with a deep voice

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Arlene on 03-15-10

Dr Wortle's School

Timothy West reads the book with great clarity. The characters are clearly delineated. Trollope has the ability to describe a character so that you are able to know not only what they look like but how they think and act. Timothy West does justice to the author and I was completely absorbed in the story from beginning to end. The mark of a great author is that even though this is set in a time far removed from ours as regards marriage, living in sin and other moral situations we can easily identify with the moral dilemmas.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Anne on 06-02-14

Great storytelling, beautifully read

This is a short, stand alone Trollope novel revolving around morality and the clergy. The characters are well drawn and the moral dilemma at the heart of the story is dealt with compassionately.
I have listened to the Palliser and Barcherster series and Timothy West's reading of Trollope is a great treat.
The book was published more than a century ago and some of the ideas and language are peculiar to that time.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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