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Publisher's Summary

This comprehensive novel consists of three subplots which interlink to form the whole and supply a trio of targets at which Trollope aims his proselytising pen. The first treats on the courtship of a woman by a man whom she does not love and with whom she is not compatible. Mary Lowther will not accept such a marriage of dishonesty. The second deals with the plight of a young woman who has fallen prey to the wiles of an evil seducer and subsequently adopts a life of prostitution. Trollope's argument was that the punishment for fornication was much harsher for women than men, although in most cases the latter were more to blame, and their victims were given no opportunity of returning to decent lives no matter how repentant they may have been.
The third subject to receive the benefit of the author's moral outrage is the hypocrisy and narrow vision of the landed gentry in the person of the Marquis of Trowbridge, who treats his tenants as serfs and whose social code appears to be 'might is right'. The common sense of the pragmatic protagonist, Frank Fenwick, apparently very like Trollope himself, is a joy to hear.
©2016 Assembled Stories (P)2016 Assembled Stories
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By R. Hughes on 04-30-17

A Trollope discovery

It was a pleasure to discover a fine Trollope novel in audiobook form, outside of the wonderful Barsetshire and Palliser series, which are well represented as audios. In this novel, which explores forgiveness in many forms -- from personal grudges, to family shame, to broken hearts and the acceptance of a fallen women -- Trollope gives us another view of the clergy. The vicar of Bullhampton himself is at the heart of the story, and he's a man who's quick to action, quick to fight, quick to be offended, quick to do good, but slow to forgive grievances. The other stories that surround him, from Mary Lowther's romantic guilt, to Carrie Brattle's tortured journey to a sort of redemption, are equally vivid.
The narrator Peter Newcombe Joyce imbues the scenes with a vigorous emotion, and you can hear his voice break with real feeling as the characters reveal to each other their conflicted states of mind. I hope that Assembled Stories, which produced this volume, offers us other Trollope gems -- there are many more wonderful novels that we fans of Trollope would love to hear brought to life in this way. Especially if they're narrated with the full-hearted engagement that Peter Joyce has brought to The Vicar of Bullhampton.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 04-04-18

Delightful surprise

A lovely portrait of a small Wiltshire village in which we meet members of the landed gentry, clergy, and tradesmen of complex character. As always, Trollop refuses to stick to stereotype: the clergyman is an excellent man but does have a proud and stubborn streak, the salt-of-the-earth miller is honest but also proud and stubborn, not to mention an "old pagan" (the last description is something Trollope won't condemn or exalt), and the "heroine" is as frustratingly believable and flawed a person as you'll meet in real life. This is what I love about Trollope. I keep thinking I know what a character will do, based on what a similar character does in another book, and I'm wrong again and again. There are so many lines I "tag" and make a note of because they're such astute observations of human life.

The reader, Mr. Joyce, does an excellent job. I was prepared to hate him because I love Timothy West's readings of Trollope above all, but Joyce nailed it.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Daisy on 04-05-17

Excellent story, very well narrated

Would you listen to The Vicar of Bullhampton again? Why?

I will definitely listen to this book again because it is a good story, well read.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I do not have a favourite character.

What about Peter Newcombe Joyce’s performance did you like?

His intonation was excellent with only one error in emphasis that I noticed. He performed the characters well, each with their own easily recognised voice. My only slight reservation is his tendancy to slightly slur his words and the appalling drawl with which he announces the chapters.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Given that this is a 22 hour long recording, it was too long for that.

Any additional comments?

I would highly recommend both author and narrator. I am very pleased with this purchase and would definitely buy more Trollope books read by this narrator. "He Knew He Was Right" could sorely use a good narrator, for instance.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By P on 11-29-16

How I missed Timothy West

I have enjoyed most of the Trollope novels narrated by Timothy West and have listened to them several times. I did not find the narrator as engaging and there seemed to be a thinner plot line than some of the other novel

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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