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Barchester Towers

(Chronicles of Barsetshire #2)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  14,204 ratings  ·  895 reviews
Trollope's comic masterpiece of plotting and backstabbing opens as the Bishop of Barchester lies on his deathbed. Soon a pitched battle breaks out over who will take power, involving, among others, the zealous reformer Dr Proudie, his fiendish wife and the unctuous schemer Obadiah Slope.

Barchester Towers is one of the best-loved novels in Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetsh
Paperback, Oxford World’s Classics, 418 pages
Published 2006 by Oxford University Press (first published 1857)
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Bill Yes "Barchester Towers" can be enjoyed as a stand alone book. I read "Barchester Towers" before "The Warden" and enjoyed both.

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  14,204 ratings  ·  895 reviews

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Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
This is hilarious. The odious Mr. Slope slimes his way through the upper class elements of the church looking for power and patronage and love in a village where nothing ever happens. It's not so much a question of will-he/won't he, more how much more will he dare and who will fall for it? There's also an interesting character reversal in the Bishop's wife, Mrs Proudie, a strict sabbatarian who seeks to convert others to that practice. However, her esteem for the Church is far less than her este ...more
“There is no happiness in love, except at the end of an English novel.”

A visit to Victorian England & indulging myself with another re-read of the delightful Barchester Towers.

A new bishop is coming to town (the fictional Barchester in the fictional Barsetshire) greatly disturbing the stagnant water of long-standing clerical balance in the diocese. Almost instantly HOLY (?) WAR is declared between resident clergymen (High Church) lead by Archdeacon Grantly, who got disappointed in his hope of b
Henry Avila
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barchester Towers is the second in the fabulous of six Barsetshire novels by the illustrious Anthony Trollope a man with an acute imagination which this series displays. Set in a sleepy fictitious cathedral town, in mid nineteenth century England, no other writer could excel in chronicling. Eleanor Bold, rich young, pretty widow of John Bold is feeling lonely; but has a baby son, to look after, still that is not enough. Not to worry , she will have three suitors soon, it is obvious she is too de ...more
The 2nd Barchester novel. Some of the church politics is rather too esoteric (but less than The Warden), but mostly it is charming, astutely ascerbic and amusing, yet also a little twee. But Eleanor is a feisty and somewhat unconventional heroine for a male writer of Trollope's time.

The names of most minor characters are too comic for the style of the novel (eg farmers Greenacre & Topsoil; Drs Fillgrave, Rerechild, Lamda Mewnew & Omicron Pie; Revs Brown, White, Grey & Green; aspirational Lookal
Proustitute (on hiatus)
It is with great regret that I assign my dear Trollope a mere four stars—really four-and-a-half stars. To me, the most shameful part of being slightly disappointed in Barchester Towers was just how much weight is given to the novel: not only in terms of Trollope’s own oeuvre, but in terms of Victorian literature more generally. With that said, though, having read around and dappled in work of his both in and outside the Chronicles of Barsetshire, I found Barchester Towers lacking in what for me ...more
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
To call this a delight is an understatement.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, british, fiction
"Till we can become divine we must be content to be human, lest in our hurry for change we sink to something lower."
- Barchester Towers, Anthony Trollope


This was lovely. Barchester Towers in probably Trollope's best known and most popular work. It could stand alone, but really should be read after Warden as book 2 in the Barsetshire Series (six books). Trollope's prose is beautiful but his characters (good and bad; pretty and plain) are sketched with such nuance and understanding that two books
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have just finished the second (and probably best known) of the Chronicles of Barsetshire, and I enjoyed myself very much indeed. I love Trollope's observations of the foibles of his characters and while some verge on caricature, most have strengths and weaknesses, as do we all. There is great fun in loathing the villain, Obadiah Slope - and how could he not be villainous with such a name!

Eleanor Bold is the central female character, and how much more interesting a person she is than nearly al
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic
"There is, perhaps, no greater hardship at present inflicted on mankind in civilised and free countries than the necessity of listening to sermons."

A new bishop comes to Barchester. Accompanied by his domineering wife and ambitious chaplain, they thoroughly upset the way things are done in the sleepy cathedral town. Old vs new. High church vs low. Battle lines are drawn and a power struggle between squabbling clergymen begins.

Less dry and more amusing than expected. Archdeacon Grantly is a perso
Mar 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: trollope
With this, his fifth novel, and second in the Barsetshire series, Trollope hits his stride. This is Trollope at his best. It is the favorite novel of many Trollope nuts, and certainly one of my favorites. If you read the Barsetshire novels in order (as I recommend you do), you will start with The Warden, a much inferior novel (but fortunately one of Trollope's shortest), but when you get to Barchester Towers, it will all have been worth it.
Katie Lumsden
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
Everything a good book should be - witty, moving, beautiful and Victorian!
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Katie Lumsden
4.5 stars. Loved it! I picked this up at my lunch break and couldn't put it down until I finished.

I wish I could explain what a great author Anthony Trollope is. I am a Dickens and Austen fan, but always assumed Trollope was just a little bit stuffy and a drag to read.

I'm very glad to be wrong! Trollope has a great sense of humor and will even throw unexpected spoilers quite early on in the book. But his characters are so real and full of depth that even if you know the heroine doesn't marry p
Barchester Towers is the second volume in Anthony Trollope's Barsetshire series, a series that follows the somewhat sedate adventures of clergyman and their wives in mid-19th century England. But,in fact, despite the distance of time and space, the characters and their interactions are not as far away as one might think!

Mr. Harding was pushed out of his position as Warden in the previous volume (called, not surprisingly, The Warden). The position is now available again but the new Bishop and hi
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first time I started reading ‘Barchester Towers’ it failed to capture me, and to I put the book to one side. When I came back to it later, having not read any Trollope for quite some time and rather missing him, I was smitten. And I think that proves that even the greatest authors, even favourite novelists, need to be matched to your reading mood!

This story begins not long after the end of the story told in ‘The Warden’ ends; at a time when much remains the same, but some changes have happen
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read The Warden last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, I had determined to read the next book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire this year. I did not know what to expect, but was delighted to find Mr. Harding and his daughter, Eleanor, waiting for the next phase of their story, along with some new characters and story lines.

The book is worth reading if for nothing more than the names of it’s characters, which leave no doubt in the mind as to occupation or moral qualities. Dr. Fillgrave must
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
I just loved this. I thought it was delightful. Trollope has such a wide range of characters, and while its a bit old fashioned as it was written a few years ago, the underlying principles of people are still there. Lies, Jealousy, Love, Lust.... etc. Maybe even more so in a small village?

I do love Trollope's style. He's understated in his humor and satire, so it rather sneaks up on you at times, although other times, its just laugh out loud funny. I think he's a romantic at heart, and I like h
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

This is my first time reading any work of Anthony Trollope’s. I’m no stranger to his name or fame. I just never had the opportunity to read any of his books. Barchester Towers is a book I came across, I don’t remember where it came from, but it has sat on my shelf for years. When I decided it was now time to read my first by Trollope, I discovered it was the second book of a series. My concern was, do I need to read book one first? A little research indicated that the books will stand a
aPriL does feral sometimes
If the disputes of life and politics are getting you down, may I suggest a light 1857 comedy of manners, 'Barchester Towers'. Although it is book #2 in The Barchester Chronicles, it can be read as a standalone. There are a few threads carried over from the first book in the series, The Warden, but they are merely harmonies to the melody of the events of love and ambition which are the primary interests in this novel.

Although what is chronicled are the political and opportunistic passions of vari
Susan in NC
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Austen, Gaskell, Victorian comedy of manners
Recommended to Susan in NC by: Amazon
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed "The Warden", the first in the series, which prompted me to read "Barchester Towers." I have since picked up the next two in the series at our local used book store (the one I took you to, Jul!) because I've enjoyed this one so much.

I love these books for the same reason I love Austen, or Benson's "Lucia" books, or Georgette Heyer, or Wodehouse, or so many other English authors - because of the humor, the warmth, the wonderful social satire and characterizations, and, of course
Paul E. Morph
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book in the Barsetshire series is just as witty and hard to dislike as the first. It's also got a more complex (and more interesting) plot than the first book, which was great. I'm happy to say Trollope continues his endearing habit of breaking the fourth wall, too.

Honestly, I'd have given this great book five stars if it weren't for the fact that the author spends far too much time recapping (a better word might be 'rehashing') the events of the previous book. Still, I enjoyed this a
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
"I won't marry one [a wife] without [money]: wives with money a'nt so easy to get now-a-days; the parsons pick them all up." This is a funny, beautifully written novel. The plot flows perfectly to a happy ending for all the characters: even the singular "bad guy" does well at the end. It's as if Trollope wishes good things for all people. He writes of Mrs. Proudie (the mover and shaker of the town), "...our prayers for her are that she may live forever." I enjoyed the first of this series, "The ...more
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trollope seems to be having a lot of fun in this second novel of his Chronicles of Barsetshire series making it an entertaining, almost light, book for this reader in spite of the length and the somewhat heavy issue the plot revolves around--the heated battles between England’s low and high church clergy. The story is full of clever, often laugh-out loud asides by a very present, quite friendly, somewhat cozy omniscient narrator who frequently parses the actions, thoughts, and feelings of the ch ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, trollope
I actually found this book to be more complicated with church politics than The Warden was. This surprised me. It took me a long time to finish this, but the audiobook narrated by David Shaw-Parker was delightful. I might continue the rest of the series on audiobook. I really enjoyed reuniting with these characters. Obadiah Slope reminded me of Uriah Heep from David Copperfield. I loved the author’s voice, how he would talk directly to the reader and reassure them that some evil things would not ...more
Sep 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Trollope is the answer to the equation: Miss Manners + Vonnegut + Austen = ? Manners satire with the typical pink bow (silk ribbon, of course) happy endings made famous by Mr. Popular Sentiment.
Doreen Petersen
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
Really, really liked this one. Great read!
Resh (The Book Satchel)
Barchester Towers is second in the series of The Barsetshire Chronicles by Anthony Trollope, a series of six novels, set in the fictitious English county of Barsetshire and its cathedral town of Barchester.

The position of Warden at Hiram’s Hospital is still unoccupied at the beginning of the novel. The Bishop of Barchester is on his deathbed. Several people have their eyes on the Bishop’s chair including Mr. Harding’s son-in-law and the Archdeacon, Dr. Grantly. However, much to the dismay of ma
"Unhand me, sir," belches Mrs Proudie when a pal tries to release her tangled frock. I plan to finish this 1,000 pager when I'm a castaway in the Azores Islands.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, 2016
Sigh...lovely good fun. I could write so much more about Trollope's treatment of women but it would rambling and only halfway reasoned so I'll spare you from having to even skip it.
classic reverie
Can you read Anthony Trollope's "Barchester Towers" without reading his first in this series "The Warden" first? Yes!!! Trollope does a great job at setting the scene when it is needed so you can understand his second in the series better, but why would you miss out on "all that". I am reading my way through these six stories this year and I am glad I am going in order. That being said, new characters arrive and some leave which makes this even more delightful. Since I started reading the classi ...more
I came into this book completely blind. I only wanted to read a book by Anthony Trollope, because I never had before, and I had heard that his Barsetshire Chronicles were considered his best. So voila, here I am.

So. First of all, I know diddly poop about the Anglican church. I do not know the difference between High Church and Low Church, or between a vicar and a dean or what a prebendary is. I know enough to get by reading Jane Austen, or to get a laugh of out of the Tarts & Vicars party in Br
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Goodreads Librari...: Add reciprocal ACE reference 3 14 Nov 22, 2018 09:41AM  
Advice please. 1 6 Oct 12, 2018 08:42AM  
Guardian Newspape...: September 2015 - Barchester Towers 16 22 Dec 21, 2015 11:55AM  
Victorians!: Barchester Towers: Book III 14 12 Apr 19, 2015 11:10AM  
Victorians!: Barchester Towers: Book II 28 32 Apr 10, 2015 03:31PM  
Exploring Anthony...: Barchester Towers 2 17 Feb 16, 2014 12:36PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Chronicles of Barsetshire (6 books)
  • The Warden
  • Dr. Thorne
  • Framley Parsonage (Chronicles of Barsetshire #4)
  • The Small House at Allington
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset

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