by Anthony Trollope
This edition of the complete “Chronicles of Barsetshire”, written by the English author Anthony Trollope between 1855 and 1867. The omnibus contains the following books:
The tranquil atmosphere of the cathedral town of Barchester is shattered when a scandal breaks concerning the financial affairs of a Church-run almshouse for elderly men. In the ensuing furore, Septimus Harding, the almshouse’s well-meaning warden, finds himself pitted against his daughter’s suitor, John Bold, a zealous local reformer. Matters are not improved when Harding’s abrasive son-in-law, Archdeacon Grantly, leaps into the fray to defend him against a campaign Bold begins in the national press.
After the death of the bishop of Barchester, a bitter struggle begins over who will succeed him, and resentment and suspicion threaten to cause deep divisions within the diocese. Trollope’s masterly depiction of the plotting and back-stabbing that ensue lies at the heart of one of the most vivid and comic of his Barchester novels.
Son of a bankrupt land-owner, Frank Gresham is intent on marrying his beloved Mary Thorne, despite her illigitimacy and apparent poverty. Frank’s ambitious mother and haughty aunt are set against the match, however, and push him to save the family estate by making a good marriage to a wealthy heiress. A telling examination of the relationship between society, money, and morality.
Mark Robarts is a clergyman with ambitions beyond his small country parish. In a naive attempt to mix in influential circles, he agrees to guarantee a bill for a large sum of money for his disreputable local Member of Parliament, but the unscrupulous politician reneges on his financial obligations, and Mark must face the consequences.
The Small House at Allington
Engaged to the ambitious and self-serving Adolphus Crosbie, Lily Dale is devastated when he jilts her for the aristocratic Lady Alexandrina. Although crushed by his faithlessness, Lily still believes herself bound to her former fiancee and therefore condemned to remain single, so that when a more deserving suitor arrives, she is unable to see past her feelings for Crosbie.
The Last Chronicle of Barset
When Reverend Josiah Crawley uses a large cheque to pay his debts, he is accused of theft. Shamed before the entire community, his world begins to crumble and he even questions his own sanity. A devastatingly realistic portrait of a man’s anguished nightmare of self-doubt, and the effects of poverty.
Nathaniel Hawthorne praised the novels for their realism, “as if some giant had hewn a great lump out of the earth and put it under a glass case, with all its inhabitants going about their daily business”; – a view widely echoed elsewhere. By the time of the Second World War, however, with the enchantments of distance, they could be read more as romances of the past.
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