Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Trollope, Anthony "Barchester Chronicles"

Trollope, Anthony “The Warden” - Barchester Chronicles 1 - 1855
Trollope, Anthony “Barchester Towers” - Barchester Chronicles 2 - 1857
Trollope, Anthony “Doctor Thorne” - Barchester Chronicles 3 - 1858
Trollope, Anthony “Framley Parsonage” - Barchester Chronicles 4 - 1861
Trollope, Anthony “The Small House at Allington” - Barchester Chronicles 5 - 1864
Trollope, Anthony “The Last Chronicle of Barset” - Barchester Chronicles 6 - 1867



Trollope, Anthony “The Warden” - Barchester Chronicles 1 - 1855

I read this first of the Barchester Chronicles with my former book club in England, so more than a decade ago. In the meantime, I have finished them all, so I put the descriptions about all of them into on post.

This novel from the middle of the 19th century describes the life of the people in the Victorian world, a fictive town, Barchester, in a fictive county, Barsetshire, with a cathedral and all its paraphernalia. Trollope describes mainly the life of the ecclesastical population, this time the main character is the warden of an almshouse and his conflicts.

I love these novels because there are so many different themes in the book, in the whole series. If you look for a long term commitment and like classical novals, this one's for you.

Trollope, Anthony “Barchester Towers” - Barchester Chronicles 2 - 1857

The second and probably the most popular of the Barchester Chronicles centres around the appointment of a new bishop and all the intrigues around that. It continues the story of the warden and his daughters and introduces new characters that will become more important as the story progresses.

You can read this novel on its own but it is so much more fulfilling if you read “The Warden” first.

As I said in my description of the first one, I really love these novels, they are so diverse.

Trollope, Anthony “Doctor Thorne” - Barchester Chronicles 3 - 1858

Even though I like all of the Barchester Chronicles, this is my favourite.

Trollope manages to describe the people in his fictive city so well, you think you live among them. The life of Mary Thorne and her uncle is quiet though there are quite a few skeletons in the closet.

Trollope, Anthony “Framley Parsonage” - Barchester Chronicles 4- 1861

As all the other novels of the Barchester Chronicles, this book is very interesting as it describes the life of ordinary and non-ordinary people of the author's time so well. The problems the main character has seem so well known even a century and a half after his story. He is a young clergyman with ambitions who gets caught up in politics. As in all the other novels, Anthony Trollope manages to tell the story with great compassion.


Trollope, Anthony “The Small House at Allington” - Barchester Chronicles 5 - 1864

A lot of events happen in this novel that would probably not happen today, at least not in that way. However, as all the other books in this series, Trollope is able to portray some very lively and modern personae, describe life at the end of the 19th century in a very interesting and accessible way and write a fascinating and enthralling story.

Trollope, Anthony “The Last Chronicle of Barset” - Barchester Chronicles 6 - 1867

As the title suggests, this is the last book in the series. It includes a couple of scandals and a lot of other social problems. We see many of our old friends again and meet quite a few new ones. This is the longest of the novels, almost 900 pages, very detailed and descriptive. Together with “Doctor Thorne”, this is one of my favourites.

I am glad I read the series.


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