Thursday, October 25, 2007

Introduction to Trollope

The Warden
by Anthony Trollope

The Warden is a good introduction to the work of Anthony Trollope who wrote dozens of books over his literary career. The themes of church and society in the town of Barchester are on display here along with a portrayal of the media that seems eerily familiar to our own. Trollope's satire is subtle and the story is one that pits the sense of justice of Septimus Harding , the local Warden, against the power of the church and society. 

Trollope creates a fascinating character in Harding, but he also demonstrates the way the unintended consequences of our actions have a way of overtaking us and those around us. This is shown in the actions of the young firebrand John Bold who finds his feelings for Harding's daughter ultimately win out over his call for social justice. 

Overall this is a good example of one of the greatest of Victorian novelists. If you enjoy reading this novel you might want to continue reading the series it begins with the second and even better, Barchester Towers (1857).

The Warden by Anthony Trollope, Penguin Books, New York. 1984 (1855)

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