The Warden andBarchester Towers

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museums

In June of the year 1999 a group of us on Trollope-l decided to read all the Barsetshire novels in a row; that is, chronologically. We called this journey our Barsetshire Marathon because we decided to read these six books one after another with little or no break between each. The first two up were The Warden and Barchester Towers. As in all our recent group reads each week I wrote an "facilitating essay or essays in the form of postings to Trollope-l on the chapters we had read for each week. Most of mine were close readings of the text, but I also responded to what others wrote, and there was much discussion of church politics in the Victorian era. As the weeks went by for this and the later four novels ( Dr Thorne, Framley Parsonage, The Small House at Allington, and The Last Chronicle of Barset) conversation emerged and moved back and forth on all sorts of things in and connected to the novel: character, scenes, personal impulses when we read. I have included many postings by other members as I could find and threaded them in according to a date or where they seemed to make sense. Contributors to the conversation on Trollope-l on The Warden include: Catherine Crean, John Dwyer, Sigmund Eisner, Wayne Gisslen, Jeremy Godfrey, Lisa Guardini, Laurie Guilfoyle, R. J. Keefe, Penny Klein, John Letts, Paul Lewis, Patricia Marony, Howard Merkin, John Mize, Judith Moore, Michael O'Neile, Michael Powe, Virginia Preston, Teresa Ransom, Angela Richardson, June Seigel, Jill Singer, Jill Spriggs, Gene Stratton, Tyler Tichelaar, Neil Tuchten, Joan Wall, Judy Warner, Dagny Wilson, Phoebe Wray, Robert Wright

The Warden is one of Trollope's thirteen novellas, which he defined in The Warden as "that pleasant task -- a novel in one volume":

The Warden

Barchester Towers is in many respects a rewrite of The Warden in a more conventional format (3 volumes, several plots, various crises), done in high spirits, with Fielding partly in mind (as regards narrative technique and the comic fun), and Sterne (as regards insidious sexuality of Dr Slop and Slope and the Signora), with a phasing in of a different set of themes. Thus we read it directly after The Warden; that is, with no break. Since most of us did not own an edition which followed the 1856 three volume format, but rather more recent re-divisions which divided the text into two volumes, I drew a calendar based on a later edition of the book that I owned.

Barchester Towers

Volume I

Volume II

Trollope's Apollo

A Talk by John Letts

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Page Last Updated 11 January 2003