Trollope's classic novel features Reverend Septimus Harding, the elderly warden of the Barchester alms-house, which provides charity for the town's neediest citizens. However, for a man devoting himself to helping the poor, Reverend Harding's salary is rather lucrative. Aiming to ease his conscience and quiet his neighbors' whispers, he decides to divest himself of all the income he earns at the alms-house. But instead of making his life easier, Reverend Harding's decision causes unforeseen complications. The first of his Barsetshire series, this novel provides a detailed, gently satirical portrayal of 19th century British life.
In Anthony Trollope’s early novel - the first in his six-part Chronicles of Barchester series - Barchester is a fictional cathedral town in mid-19th-century England. While most of Barchester’s inhabitants are happy at the novel’s start, the town is caught between its feudal past and its more socially and politically fragile future.
Under the sway of Margaret Hilton’s high British dialect, the listener is introduced to the traditionalists Septimus Harding and his son-in-law, Archdeacon Grantly, and to John Bold, a reformer who works on behalf of the poor. In the ensuing stand-off, a host of philosophically loaded characters are brought under the satiric and conservative vision of one of England’s foremost chroniclers of change.
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- Speed Leas
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