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The Warden

(Chronicles of Barsetshire #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  13,512 ratings  ·  1,383 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. Harding's ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 336 pages
Published July 23rd 1998 by Oxford University Press (first published 1855)
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Lizzie In England, the country is divided into counties, some of which are also Shires, like Herefordshire, Hertfordshire and Hampshire. So Barsetshire is an…moreIn England, the country is divided into counties, some of which are also Shires, like Herefordshire, Hertfordshire and Hampshire. So Barsetshire is an imaginary county, vaguely in the west of England. Barcester is the county town, the usually biggest and administrative centre town/city.(less)

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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Petra-X Off having adventures
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Very enjoyable book that is concerned about people putting their great big feet in puddles before ascertaining the 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).
Oct 25, 2009 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
If you are British and in your 40s, your word-association answer for "Anthony Trollope" may well be "John Major". A GR friend in the same decade of life also begins his review of The Warden by mentioning the former Prime Minister. If you were much younger than us, you wouldn't have been taking enough notice of political news in the early to mid-1990s to see the journalistic jokes about Major's reading habits; if you were older and interested in classic literature, you'd already heard of Trollope ...more
Mar 09, 2016 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
Richard Derus
Jan 09, 2013 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 09, 2014 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.
Henry Avila
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Warden a somewhat melancholic story of Septimus Harding, Church of England clergyman in the fictitious cathedral town of Barchester (Winchester in reality). Britain during the middle of the 19th century and (the first of the six novels in this highly acclaimed series by Anthony Trollope)
this quiet little city exists, because of the majestic cathedral while being dominated by the dedicated clergy . In 1434 a wealthy merchant by the name of Mr. John Hiram died, and left in his will land to sup
Dhanaraj Rajan
I am not sure what to write of as a review.

To escape such confused state, it is better to state everything in bullets.

- It is a story of a man who listens to his conscience even when it means to lose everything (most of all, his income).
- It is a story of wonderful relationships: the friendship between the Warden and the Archbishop; the filial affection between a father and a daughter (the Warden and his daughter, Eleanor); challenging love between lovers (Eleanor and Bold); a fascinating relat
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, fiction, 2020
“Did you ever know a poor man made better by law or a lawyer!' said Bunce bitterly.”
- Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Such a lovely social novel. Trollope sets up a series of characters and a situation and you know that Warden Septimus Harding, Archdeacon Grantly, and John Bold are set to collide and that the reforms of Dr Bold or the conservatism of Archdeacon Grantly will help the Warden. I loved the Warden of this story. I love his morality, his humility, his simpleness. I love Trollope's critici
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
A gentle story about unexpected clerical upheaval in an English town. I loved Trollope’s distinction between grandiose, abstract ideas about justice and our small choices that reflect how we personally define it. There are figures on both sides of the main conflict who believe they know what’s definitively “right,” but it’s only the warden of Barchester who casts his idea of “right” in an individual light. I’ve heard this is nowhere near Trollope’s best, and I’m not surprised (as it was pleasant ...more
Paul E. Morph
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ve been on Goodreads for nearly two years now (where has the time gone?) yet I’m doing something for the very first time with this book: reading something Goodreads has recommended to me! I’ve read lots of books that were recommended to me by my GR friends but this is the first one I’ve read that was recommended by GR itself. To paraphrase Amazon: You liked Oliver Twist so you may also like The Chronicles of Barchester (of which this is the first book).

Well, Goodreads, I am happy to say that y
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Here's proof that you can read a Trollope during a cross country flight. That's a testament to the quality of Trollope's writing as well as the unusual brevity of this story. Still, there were a handful of wonderfully developed characters and a display of what the English language can be. Here's just a brief example:

In the world Dr. Grantly never lays aside that demeanor which so well becomes him, He has all the dignity of an ancient saint with the sleekness of a modern bishop; he is always the
Umut Rados
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Trollope, but surely won't be the last. I loved it. I'm so glad people say this is the slowest, and most dry of the Barsetshire chronicles, because even I liked this book a lot.
Trollope is a writer with a character, he makes fun remarks sometimes in the middle of the story from himself, which makes it unique to him.
I really liked his style and looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: brittish-lit
I'll be frank and admit that The Warden by Anthony Trollope kind of disappointed my expectation. I've heard many good things about this first book of the Barsetshire Chronicles and was very much eager to clear my reading space to accommodate it, but unfortunately, it didn't work out for me as it ought. However, if I truly liked a book for its social satire and its fine writing, The Warden can be named without hesitation. I shouldn't be misinterpreted by this assertion to mean that I didn't like ...more
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
“There is no help for spilt milk; and Mr. Bunce could only retire to his own room, disgusted at the frailty of human nature.”

I went into this with no expectations, knew nothing of Trollope or his Barsetshire series, and after this relatively short introduction to his work, came away intrigued. He gives us social satire, but it doesn’t require that we know the specifics of what he was mocking in his time. I get the feeling I might not agree with him on many things today, but Trollope’s style allo
This is the first of the Barsetshire Chronicles series by the Victorian author Anthony Trollope. I have read his books before, found them to be amusing and to have strong, intelligent and wise female characters, so I grabbed this when it was on sale. I knew full well that many consider it bland, not one of his best novels.

The setting is a fictional provincial Cathedral town in the fictional county of Barsetshire, somewhere in western England. It is the mid-1800s. At the time of the book’s concep
I was warned that this book was a bit of a slow prologue to the real meat of this series, but I have to say-- I was totally charmed! While some of that comes down to my own interest in church history of this period, I also think the writing itself is incredibly lucid & binge worthy. I loved this as a character study and as a window into a particular moment in the political history of the Church of England
Eric Anderson
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So much current political discourse is thrashed out online and on social media that it can feel like an overwhelming cacophony. This arena which I'd idealistically like to imagine to be a forum for debate and exchange more often becomes a battleground where opposing sides become even more entrenched in feelings of righteousness. So when I took up the challenge from the Trollope Society to read my first novel by this writer and the first novel in Trollope's Barsetshire series I didn't anticipate ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic-lit
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:-)

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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.
This is a conservative book and not simply because former Conservative British Prime Minister 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 potentially positive, yet obviously pernicious change, is
Lori Keeton
This year has been a very different year for my reading choices and I am delighted with some of the classic finds I have discovered. One of these is The Warden by Anthony Trollope. I am pleased to have met this character and this author, who was new to me. While I can’t promise that my review will do this novel justice, I will certainly try to convey my thoughts.

Trollope invites you into the world of Victorian England and introduces you to some wonderful characters. The Warden, Septimus Harding
Aug 06, 2016 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
May 30, 2008 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) wri ...more
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and was glad to finally read something by Trollope. I enjoyed his writing style and will definitely read more of his books.

I was a little disappointed that the story was so sad. I thought it would have a little upturn at the end, didn't. The Warden gives up his job and his income, the men at the hospital are also financial losers, and then the Warden's daughter marries the man who brought up the whole law suit. And they live happily ev --- no, they just keep living
aPriL does feral sometimes
Activists and budding political strategists of all stripes should read 'The Warden' by Anthony Trollope. The plot revolves around characters who are ideologically opposed to each other. We would label the antagonists conservatives and progressives today. They do combat with each through the media (newspapers) and England's House of Lords of 1855 (when the book was published), but caught in the middle are unsophisticated non-political small-town villagers of England, interested only in community ...more
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
I found this an enjoyable book. The characters were interesting whether I liked them or not. I found the storyline compelling and the ending certainly packed a punch in the way only a book set around the vicarage of a small village could.
I enjoyed the writing as well, witty, endearing and sentimental, sometimes light yet it wasn’t always a cheery tale. I’m off to the next book in the series.
BAM Endlessly Booked
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: wc-democratic
Classics Cleanup Challenge #5
Audio #153

This may be my first Trollope. He’s much more sedate than say, Dickens or Maugham, but still engrossing. I look forward to reading more of his works.
3.5 stars. My first Trollope. I was warned not to start with this one, as it is a bit dry, and that's no lie. It is all about church politics and there is a Point, and at times, you are beaten over the head with it until you lose the will to press on. But then that chapter ends, and Trollope moves back into the lives of the Warden and his surrounding family and friends, and things pick up again.

The audio narrator for my library's cd copy was Simon Vance, who did a wonderful job. He changes voic
Jan 02, 2009 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
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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)
  • Barchester Towers
  • Dr. Thorne (Chronicles of Barsetshire #3)
  • Framley Parsonage (Chronicles of Barsetshire #4)
  • The Small House at Allington
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset

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