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The Warden (Chronicles of Barsetshire #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,426 Ratings  ·  641 Reviews
An 1855 tale of English ecclesiastical life, this work from the author's Barsetshire series relates the humor and pathos that ensue when a kindly clergyman becomes the subject of a scandalous tabloid treatment charging him with financial impropriety. Featuresa cast of amusingly realistic and memorable characters, naturalistic dialogue, and consummate plotting. ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 26th 1998 by Dover Publications (first published 1855)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
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.
Nov 10, 2009 J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason Koivu
Nov 22, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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).
Jan 25, 2016 Malia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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:-)
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 substanc ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
Where I got the book: audiobook on Audible.

This is the first novel in the Barchester Chronicles—attentive friends may remember that I listened to the second novel, Barchester Towers, first, loved it and then found it was the abridged version (grrrr) and decided to go back to the beginning and listen to the whole series, unabridged. There are several different audio versions available, and after listening to the samples I opted for this one, narrated by David Shaw-Parker who does a nice job.

Jan 09, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Henry Avila
The Warden, melancholy story of Septimus Harding,Church of England clergyman, in the fictitious cathedral town of Barchester.(Winchester in reality) Britain ,the middle of the 19th century and
this quiet little city exists, because of the cathedral, and is dominated by the clergy .In 1434 a wealthy merchant John Hiram died, and left in his will land , to support twelve retired old men from Barchester.A hospital(nursing home) was to be built, the church to administer it by appointing a warden. Fou
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
Nita  Gautam
Aug 20, 2015 Nita Gautam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 02, 2016 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 o ...more
Eddie Watkins
Oct 14, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 16, 2015 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk
Crusty with world-class snark, yet nevertheless, sadly humorous with a humane and intelligent understanding of the travails of the well-intentioned righteous. Brilliant and wise.
Lise Petrauskas
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.
Jul 16, 2012 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
The Warden is a well written story. It is not ground breaking but I like it nonetheless. Trollope takes his time building up the characters and makes the readers see that none of the characters are completely in the wrong or in the right. It is all grey area—especially in respect of John Bold and Archdeacon Grantly. Despite their different opinions, both are really well intentioned, and have their respective flaws.

I do, however, feel more for Archdeacon Grantly’s cause than that of Bold’s. This
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
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
Jul 06, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I must admit I did quite a bit of skimming as I read this book which, true to Victorian fashion, stretches details something beyond my 21st century sensibilities. That said, it was a very well done story about the warden of a small charitable "hospital" (think rather boarding house for aging men in dire straights). The hospital is funded by a trust which has grown in value over time, and the warden never questions the fact that its expanding proceeds wind up in his pocket rather than in e ...more
Dana Loo
Jun 10, 2015 Dana Loo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non conoscevo Trollope e devo dire che, per quanto l'argomento nn sia tra i più empatici, l'autore riesce a catturare l'interesse del lettore, grazie ad uno stile narrativo molto diretto, colloquiale, ai toni ironici e disincantati e alle eccellenti caratterizzazioni. Siamo in pieno realismo ottocentesco, stemperato però dalla satira e dall'umorismo che si riversa in buone dosi sulla stampa inglese per esempio, ma nn solo...Il finale è un po' amaro perché viene a mancare sopratutto quel senso di ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slightly uneven. The novel launches into a very long digression parodying Carlyle and Dickens that completely disrupts the course of the action. And there isn't much in the way of characterization. People are drawn in pretty broad strokes and only ever appear in one guise. (The novelist even feels compelled to apologize that one character, the archdeacon, is portrayed in a way that only shows his faults, even though he has various virtues.) However, the basic premise, the attempt of one man to r ...more
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) wri ...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 distribut ...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Nov 06, 2014 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trollope is THE great 19th century novelist, with much to offer than one does not find in Dickens.

Nov 2014 - just finished reading The Warden for the fifth or sixth time. It has held up beautifully over the 50 years I've been re-reading it, especially the character of Mr Harding. It's very short by Trollopian standards but not the best book to recommend to a reader new to Trollope. That would be Ayala's Angel.
Nov 04, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
I'd found a book for one of my colleagues at Stylus, and she recently sent me this book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, since this was the first of a series, I now look forward to reading the rest of them with pleasure. Trollope is one of those authors I meant to read eventually, but never got around to, until now. Delighted to make his acquaintance, I must say!

So funny, and where skimming is necessary, it does no harm to the overall experience (and not much skimming was required). I love
Aug 16, 2013 Dorothea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The short first novel in the Barsetshire Chronicles: Mr Harding, the warden of a hospital (in the old non-medical sense) for old laboring men, works through a crisis of conscience.

The hospital was a medieval legacy, funded by the lands of the pious decedent and administered by the church. In four centuries the lands have grown richer but the charity of the hospital has remained essentially the same: housing and food and religious comfort for twelve disabled or elderly working-class men. The incr
This is a conservative book and not simply because John Major enjoyed Trollope.

"The Warden"'s abiding message of 'if only everything had been left well alone, left the way things were in the first place, everything would have been better' must place it amongst the top ten most conservative books ever written. Surely even Edmund Burke would take his hat off to "The Warden".

The only possible note of positive, yet obviously pernicious change, is that the boy gets the girl. But Reader, be of good
Rick Boyer
Feb 26, 2013 Rick Boyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Warden, by Anthony Trollope, is the first volume of the six-part series, "The Chronicles of Barsetshire." It tells the story of the Anglican clergyman Septimus Harding, who (as part of his clerical "preferment") is the warden, or overseer, of a hospital or "retirement home" for a group of elderly men. For this job the warden receives an annual stipend, which used to be fairly small but which now, due to profitable investing practices, has grown to a rather large sum. In the course of events, ...more
Jan 27, 2009 Tim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Can a 185-page novel (I read the Penguin edition) contain too much filler? Well... er ... yes.

This first of the six Barsetshire chronicles details the questioning in rumor, in lawsuit and in print of a clergyman who runs an almshouse (hospital, or what seems to me to be what one might almost call an old folk's home in more recent times) at which reside 12 old men. Is kind Septimus Harding being paid far more than he should, and is his wage what the founder of this charity intended? Trollope hand
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Victorians!: The Warden, chapters I-XI (January) 43 43 Apr 22, 2015 11:40AM  
Dr. Grantly a good person? 4 18 Dec 05, 2014 01:00PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Alternative Book Cover 2 11 Jul 27, 2014 07:26AM  
Exploring Anthony...: The Warden 6 13 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
  • Dr. Thorne
  • Framley Parsonage
  • The Small House at Allington
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset

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