Barchester Towers (Wordsworth Classics)

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9781853260896: Barchester Towers (Wordsworth Classics)
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Barchester Towers (1857) is the second of the six Chronicles of Barsetshire, the work in which, after a ten years' apprenticeship, Trollope finally found his distinctive voice. In this his most popular novel, the chronicler continues the story of Mr. Harding and his daughter Eleanor, begun in The Warden, adding to his cast of characters that oily symbol of 'progress' Mr. Slope, the hen-pecked Dr. Proudie, and the amiable and breezy Stanhope family. Love, mammon, clerical in-fighting and promotion again figure prominently and comically, all centred on the magnificently imagined cathedral city of Barchester. The central questions of this moral comedy - Who will be warden? Who will be dean? Who will marry Eleanor? - are skilfully handled with the subtlety of ironic observation that has won Trollope such a wide and appreciative readership over the last 140 years. For this new edition, John Sutherland has contributed an introduction and extensive notes, as well as a chronology of the novel's composition and current events, and a note on Trollopian names.

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Review:

With talk too of a new film of Phineas Finn, Anthony Trollope looks like making a well-deserved comeback. Don t be deceived by the image of a bearded Victorian patriarch that comes to mind: listen to the first two chapters of the magnificent new Naxos recording of Barchester Towers, his most popular novel, and you will understand why John Henry Newman is said to have woken up laughing after falling asleep reading it, and why Alec Guinness never travelled without a Trollope novel. Trollope is one of our greatest comic novelists, as well as having an extraordinary talent for taking you confidentially and irresistibly into the flow of his story. Oblivious of the snail-like pace of Oxford's flood-impeded traffic, I was grinning from ear to ear as David Shaw-Parker explodes into the clerical indignation that follows Obadiah Slope s iconoclastic sermon in Barchester Cathedral. Abominable, groaned the dean. Abominable, muttered the meagre doctor. Abominable, re-echoed the chancellor, uttering a sound from the bottom of his deep chest. I really think it was, said Mr Harding. Proof positive that Trollope wrote with an ear to being read aloud. --Sunday Times 26/1/14

Shaw-Parker follows up his outstanding recording of The Warden (also available from Naxos) with an exceptional reading of the sequel, perhaps Trollope's most beloved novel. Romance vies with church politics as Archbishop Grantly battles against the new bishop and his smarmy assistant for control of religious life in Barsetshire. Shaw-Parker totally embraces his role as narrator, and in delightfully plummy tones, he guides listeners through the twisty plot, witty dialogue, and humorous asides. His animated portrayal of the large cast enlivens characters, from the poor pensioners to elite government officials. The narration highlights the strengths of this charming tale and, despite the novel's size, makes this a compelling listening experience. - --Joyce Saricks, Booklist

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TROLLOPE, ANTHONY:
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