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The Warden (Chronicles of Barsetshire #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  8,646 Ratings  ·  772 Reviews
"The Warden" centers on Mr. Harding, a clergyman of great personal integrity who is nevertheless in possession of an income from a charity far in excess of the sum devoted to the purposes of the foundation. On discovering this, young John Bold turns his reforming zeal to exposing what he regards as an abuse of privilege, despite the fact that he is in love with Mr. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 23rd 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1855)
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Nov 10, 2009 J rated it really liked it
There is tranquility in a second-hand bookshop. Libraries are quiet because they must be. This is different. A kind of peace. Whatever it is, it suits me. I feel at home. It could just be the dust. Anyway, there I was kneeling in the art books, pulling them out and pushing them back. Have it, read it, not interested… I made my way down the row that way and swung round to continue on the shelf behind me. It was low. It was low and I am short and - on hands and knees - I still had to bend down to ...more
Richard Derus
Mar 15, 2014 Richard Derus rated it liked it
Book Circle Reads 155

Rating: 3.5* of five

Good, solid Victorian stodge. The kind of book you read when you're glutted with silly, vapid "reality" stuff and need a bit of the reality fiction of its day.

My review lives on my blog, out of reach of data-deleting megacorps.
Jason Koivu
Nov 22, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I'm going to clamp down my opening paragraph with a SPOILER! because I reveal in generalities how the book ends...which is kind of important I guess.

(view spoiler)

The Warden is the tale of a man who took his due and then developed a guilty conscience over it.
Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Very enjoyable book that is concerned about people putting their great big feet in puddles before ascertaining their depth! It's very cleverly worked out and contains just the amount of love and romance to drive the plot forward. Like most of Trollope's Barchester series, it is somewhat a comedy of manners and more enjoyable for that.

Recommended to those who like the classics and have a certain fondness for schadenfreude (even though they know they shouldn't).
Sara Steger
Jun 25, 2016 Sara Steger rated it really liked it
I have finally introduced myself to Anthony Trollope, and I can say with a smile that I am very happy to have made his acquaintance. A friend suggested I start with "The Warden" and I believe it to be advice well-taken.

The Warden of this novel is Mr. Harding, a kindly and good man, who is overseer to a group of bedesmen whose care has been provided for in the will of a long-deceased gentleman. The church tends the property left in the will and provides for the care of the men out of the proceeds
Jan 25, 2016 Malia rated it really liked it
This was only my second book by Trollope, but I was surprised by how easy and often witty a read it was! There were bits that felt a little plodding, and frankly the plot itself is hardly going to be an action movie, but as a piece of satire, it was clever and well-paced. Looking forward to the next book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire:-)
Jun 18, 2016 TheSkepticalReader rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-print, classics
Other then Septimius’ character and a few tidbits here and there, this was boring as fuck. I realize that that isn’t the most appropriate criticism but ultimately, that was still my reaction to this book.
Poor Warden. What did he do to deserve to be treated so cruelly? An innocent man, accused of misallocating funds from the inheritance of the hospital that he administrates, faces litigation from his future son in law. The Warden’s story is such a tragedy. So much so that many Trollope readers consider this to be the worst story in the Barchester Chronicles series. Well, I do agree that this story suffers from simplicity. Fortunately it was written by Anthony Trollope so what it loses in ...more
Jan 09, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it
I've always resisted the idea of Trollope. But this book has changed my opinion. It's a kind, generous, humane book--generous to a fault. I've never seen a book where the concluding chapter tells you the bad guy isn't really as bad as he seems. The writing is mostly clean and simple: more like Jane Austen (though not as clever) than Thomas Carlyle (who is parodied in one of the book's less memorable moments), or even Dickens.

The story of a weak, easily-led Anglican clergyman who is driven by hi
Jun 09, 2016 Zelda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, 2016
That went much too quickly. I'm afraid I ate it in the manner called Full American: as rapidly as possible without pausing even to breathe. I kid, of course. But, only sort of.

I had already read this book for a literature class in college, theoretically. That is, I answered many essay questions about it and may have even written about it in a paper. However, there is nothing familiar in it that suggests I ever actually opened the book.

My loss entirely. It is marvelous. If you read it for no oth
Jun 24, 2016 Veronique rated it liked it

What is any public question but a conglomeration of private interests?"

After nearly ten years of wanting to read this novel, and try Trollope, I have finally managed it. I don't know why I was so hesitant. This is a good Victorian novel, admitedly not my favourite, but worth reading nonetheless.

The story revolves around the question of the possible misuse of charitable funds.The reformerside is personalised by Mr. Bold, while the holder of the warden position is Mr Harding.Both sides are show
Nita  Kohli
Aug 20, 2015 Nita Kohli rated it really liked it
The Warden is the first book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire that is regarded as Anthony Trollope's finest work. This book was first published in 1855 and is set in the fictitious province of Barsetshire and is a story of a clergyman in cathedral town of Barchester.

Book Cover

As goes for all the classics, the cover is beautiful. So, no complaints here.


The story is of Septimus Harding, a clergymen who is living a peaceful and happy life as a Warden of Hiram's Hospital and as the precentor of
This was my first Trollope! It concerns Septimus Harding, the warden of an almshouse, whose remuneration comes under question from John Bold. Unlike Dickens we have no villains; Septimus is guilt-ridden that he may have unwittingly been doing something wrong, or even seen to be wrong. Even his son-in-law, Dr Grantly, who comes across as a bit of a tyrant and who advises Septimus to stick to his guns throughout the novel, is still very human—and it's this aspect of Trollope's writing that greatly ...more
Eddie Watkins
Oct 14, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: uk-fiction
While The Eustace Diamonds reminded me of Wilkie Collins (at least the only Collins I've read, The Moonstone) in its detailed canvas of broad action propelled by a mystery of sorts (though, granted, The Moonstone is an actual mystery, while The Eustace Diamonds only dabbles in it); The Warden reminded me of something more complicated and hybrid, namely Balzac crossed with Dickens with the probing analytically realistic eye of Dreiser. Trollope actually takes the opportunity to criticize Dickens ...more
Aug 01, 2008 Cecily rated it really liked it
The 1st Barchester novel. More political than Barchester Towers and with a much smaller cast. Mostly concerning the validity (or otherwise) of Mr Harding's generous remuneration for being warden of Hiram's Hospital and how that debate affects the burgeoning relationship between his younger daughter Eleanor, and the campaigning John Bold. Interestingly "modern" twist of layers of stories: the basic plot is a parody of real events and in the story a fictionalised Dickens (Mr Popular Sentiment) ...more
Mar 09, 2016 Donna rated it liked it
This book was a book-challenge read. It wouldn't have been on my radar otherwise, even though I love English literature. I liked the writing. It was very picturesque. I also liked the characters and the relationships. The thing I liked the most was that this wasn't gooey sweet.

This book was heavy on the narrative. That isn't my favorite writing style. I like action and dialogue and I like to be shown things and not always told. The latter half was more enjoyable for me because it had more dialog
Arguto e di gradevolissima lettura. Credo leggerò anche gli altri romanzi di Barchester.
Stefania T.
Dec 28, 2013 Stefania T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Non era tanto ansioso di dimostrare di essere nel giusto, quanto di esserlo davvero.

Matita e carboncino alla mano, comincio a disegnare il volto di Charles Dickens e finisco per precipitare, invece, in Trollope.
La barba eloquente che spazzola il petto, risalgo lungo il mento e qui m'invento la conca nata da un accenno di benevolo sorriso. Giungo alle guance che si fanno più ciarliere del solito, scivolo sul naso che stranamente scodinzola allegro, e mi tuffo nelle pupille gentili e giocose.
Le so
Jul 16, 2012 Tony rated it it was amazing
THE WARDEN. (1855). Anthony Trollope. *****.
I last read this novel (ready?) fifty years ago. I remembered liking it at the time, but it was probably too slow of a read for me then. Reading it now, I can better appreciate skill with plot and character, and have the patience for a slow read. This edition (the one I read not the one pictured) was from The Folio Society in 1995, and contains an introduction by Owen Chadwick and illustrations by Alexy Pendle. The novel was the first in Trollope’s “B
Jan 02, 2016 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it
With a small town Victorian setting, the fictional Barsetshire, and an appealing somewhat Austen-like cast of characters, Trollope's novel The Warden illustrates just how complicated reforming a centuries old church policy can be, even when everyone involved has valid concerns and mostly the best of intentions. When John Hiram died in long ago 1434 his will left money and property for the support of twelve impoverished older men retired from the trade of wool-carding, the men being replaced by ...more
Lise Petrauskas
Nov 05, 2014 Lise Petrauskas rated it it was amazing
I super dug this! What is it with me and the 19th century lately?

I'm fully hooked on this guy now and am excited to keep going with the series. It's so great to know that this is just the beginning!

I now want to do some research about Trollop and the timing of his publications with Dickens. Was it my imagination or was there a very long rant about authors that create namby-pamby characters and extra-evil villains that was directed at him? Heh. I kind of hope it was. That would be funny.
Jan 27, 2013 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There was a time when I devoured many, many Trollope novels, I loved them. The famous Barchester chronicles are maybe his best known, understandably so for they are brilliant. The Warden is the first of those chronicles, and a novel I had remembered well. I am pleased to say therefore I still love it as much after this re-read. I gobbled it up in no time, as it is probably the shortest of Trollope’s novels, many of them actually being quite thick.
Septimus Harding, the warden of the title is a ki
The Honest Gossip Newspaper

In many a town in England there are given charitable bequests to church dioceses, and the honest public assumes that the monies are distributed in a fair and equitable way, in a manner that benefits all who have need of them. Yet this learned reporter has discovered that in a small holding in Barsetshire, there has been a shocking exploitation of this practice, resulting in twelve respectable old gentlemen being cheated out of their livelihood. And who is the avarici
The Book Satchel
Mar 27, 2016 The Book Satchel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Warden is detailed in the writing style, yet with some light and comical moments. What makes the novel stand out is the splendid way in which the novel presents the hierarchy of the Church, ache of the choice between love and principles and the role of media in influencing the common mass both in ethical and unethical ways. Perhaps this is one of the few novels that does a masterful depiction of various bodies that make up the society in the 1800’s.

The book is concerned with the trials of o
Webster Bull
May 16, 2016 Webster Bull rated it it was amazing
This slender start to the six-novel "Chronicles of Barsetshire" is a delight. Coincidentally it is also a perfect fictional companion for study of John Henry Newman, a real-life favorite of mine. Anglican Church politics of the mid-19th century, which form the background for this little tale, were also a context for Newman’s conversion to Catholicism. Reading Trollope, then, makes me appreciate Newman all the more.

I would like to know if Newman read Trollope. He would have liked that there is a
Aug 09, 2016 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
The warden, Mr. Harding, was the administrator of a residence for poor, retired and elderly or disabled gentlemen from Barchester. He became embroiled in a dispute over the allocation of trust funds designated to finance the residence. Harding was written as the most honorable, honest and self-effacing man on earth, who was undone by a sanctimonious do-gooder and a muckraking newspaper. Amusing, perceptive, satirical and at times quite current-feeling, this book was very enjoyable. I also liked ...more
Jul 20, 2012 Dagny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Warden is Mr. Harding. He's the warden (administrator, caretaker) of a retirement home for poor workers who have no resources. It was endowed a few hundred years prior to the setting of the novel. Mr. Harding is portrayed very sympathetically; he really cares about his twelve charges. The conflict is in the fact that the income from the endowment is so much greater than it was when established. Through time the warden has always had the additional monies as salary, but should it be ...more
Had We Not “Rather Bear Those Ills We Have Than Fly to Others that We Know Not of?”

The answer that Anthony Trollope would give to this rather political question seems to be quite clear when we come to think about what happens in his novel The Warden, which is the opening of the Barsetshire series and which, due to its comparative shortness, is by many people considered to be the perfect gateway to Trollope. In fact, it not only leads the reader into the realm of the author’s imagination, which e
Kate Howe
This was definitely not plot heavy but I went into this being fairly warned and so I think the audiobook was definitely a great route to go. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would and really like Trollope's writing style and the typical Victorian device of addressing the reader personally.
I'll definitely be continuing on with this series.
Beth Bonini
Thank you, Debbie Collens, for giving me this book way back in 1999. I'm sorry that it has taken me 17 years to read it, but on the bright side, I think I probably appreciate its charms (not to mention the political background of the times) better now than I would have then.

Trollope takes on the Anglican Church -- and to a lesser extent the press -- in this Victorian novel. It helps to understand the background of preferments, sinecures and 'livings' to grasp what is being argued over in this no
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21st Century Lite...: Is there a modern Trollope exposing the excesses of executive salaries? 1 16 Jul 01, 2016 09:23PM  
Victorians!: The Warden, chapters I-XI (January) 43 56 Apr 22, 2015 11:40AM  
Dr. Grantly a good person? 4 23 Dec 05, 2014 01:00PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Alternative Book Cover 2 14 Jul 27, 2014 07:26AM  
Exploring Anthony...: The Warden 6 18 Dec 22, 2013 06:45PM  
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Anthony Trollope became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of Trollope's best-loved works, known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire; he also wrote penetrating novels on political, social, and gender issues and conflicts of his day.

Trollope has always been a popular novelist. Noted fans ha
More about Anthony Trollope...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of Barsetshire (6 books)
  • Barchester Towers (Chronicles of Barsetshire #2)
  • Dr. Thorne (Chronicles of Barsetshire #3)
  • Framley Parsonage (Chronicles of Barsetshire #4)
  • The Small House at Allington (Chronicles of Barsetshire #5)
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset (Chronicles of Barsetshire #6)

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