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The Warden

(Chronicles of Barsetshire #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  11,736 ratings  ·  1,131 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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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,736 ratings  ·  1,131 reviews

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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
Better Eggs
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 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).
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.
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
Dhanaraj Rajan
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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
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
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
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
Umut Reviews
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.
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
BAM The Bibliomaniac
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.
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
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
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
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
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, audio-book
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
classic reverie
In deciding my reading focus for 2018, I decided to read several series and Anthony Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire was choosen, and of course I started with the first, "The Warden." This is my third Trollope and having fairly recently read his first book "The Macdermots of Ballycloran" (which remains my favorite thus far) and "The Way We Live Now." I am going into this series blind, meaning I have not read anything on these stories but that they are placed in Barsetshire. I soon found out ...more
Mar 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, stars-3-5

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 reformer side is personalised by Mr. Bold, while the holder of the warden position is Mr Harding. Both sides are
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
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes 19th century English authors
This has been called the perfect novel. No arguments here. When I first read it, I was incapable of discerning the Warden’s high ethical standards. With each subsequent reread, Trollope's subtle message has worn away at my materialistic veneer. May I suspect I am not alone? Yet I still find myself siding with the kindly Bishop or the Warden’s older daughter when it comes to surrendering the entire income. But after 18 years of knowing this text, I like to hope that faced by his challenge I would ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This was a little slow-going at first and felt a bit repetitive. After the midpoint I was more invested in the story, though, and was surprised by the end. I'm not sorry I read this, though I'm looking forward to the hopefully more enjoyable books in the rest of the Chronicles of Barsetshire.

Side note on this edition: for some reading OWC has included a short story "The Two Heroines of Plumpington" after The Warden, but this short story takes place after the sixth book in the series. I can thin
Nita Kohli
Aug 18, 2015 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
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fiction
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.

this is one of those books that always reminds me of the lord of the rings.

not because they have similar themes or are even the same genre but because they are similar in the way that you can either appreciate what the author is doing with his writing or you are unbelievable bored and at your wits end with the books.

in lord of the rings it’s the endless descriptions of things and the story telling.

in the warden it’s the church politics.

either you enjoy the view into this world, like being into
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
It has taken me far too long to get to Anthony Trollope, though I did read "The American Senator" a couple of years ago. Part of this year's reading plan (such as it is) is to read "The Chronicles of Barsetshire". The first volume is "The Warden" and its central character is Septimus Harding, the Warden of what is in effect a retirement home for 12 old men of the city who are no longer able to work and support themselves. He is a gentle and sensitive man, ill-equipped to deal with the storm whic ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Never too Late to...: 2018 Short Story: The Warden by Anthony Trollope 13 42 Mar 30, 2019 08:44PM  
Don't bring god into it? 4 12 Dec 17, 2016 08:53AM  
21st Century Lite...: Is there a modern Trollope exposing the excesses of executive salaries? 1 27 Jul 01, 2016 09:23PM  
Victorians!: The Warden, chapters I-XI (January) 43 58 Apr 22, 2015 11:40AM  
Dr. Grantly a good person? 4 28 Dec 05, 2014 01:00PM  

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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 (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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