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":
- Introduction: Introduction; The Place of These Books in Trollope's Career, Politics and Life;
Church Politics: High and Low Church as related to Class and Religious Belief Little Versus Big
Endians; or, High v Low Churchism); Church History; Owen Chadwick's essay; An Unknown
Review of The Warden by Wilkie Collins; Barchester Chronicles, The
- Chapters 1-4: A Crisis of Conscience Embedded in a Political Fable; Archbishop Grantly v
John Bold; The Twelve Old Men and the Will; Mr Harding's Cello.
- Chapters 5-8: Serious Drollery, or Playfulness with a Point; Dr Grantly and Rabelais; Why
Can Some People Not Endurer Dr Grantly?; The Art and Achievement of The
Warden; Friendly Disagreements and Vigorous Debate.
- Chapters 9-12: Mr Harding's Anguish, Eleanor as Iphigenia, John Bold and Dr Grantly once again; Tom Towers's
- Chapters 13-19: Mr Harding's Long Day in London, Trollope in One of his Finest Moments; In Defense of
The Jupiter; Trollope's Attitude Towards Newspapers; His Satire on Dickens, Carlyle
and Pre-Raphaelite Art.
- Chapters 17-21: "Not Warden now, only Precentor"; On Walking Away as Moral Heroism or Courage; On Mr
Harding as a Worldly Man, or Why Mr Quiverful Can't Walk; The Price Mr Harding Pays; A
Parallel between Mr Whittlestaff of An Old Man's Love and Mr Harding; Mr Harding
Has No Appetite for Dictating to Others
- A Description of Three Illustrations in Contemporary Editions of 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.
- Introduction: A Chronology of the Barsetshire Novels and What Came Inbetween The Warden
and Barchester Towers, Some New and Remarkable Characters: The Signora
Neroni, Bertie Stanhope and Dr and Mrs Proudie; A Trimmer; Different Kinds of Feminism;
Obadiah Slope, Class Snobbery, the Evangelicals and the Oxford Movement.
- Chapters 1-6: In A War Two Sides Emerge; Fanny Trollope's Vicar of Wrexhill, The Slimy Mr
Slope and Laurence Sterne's Dr Slop; Trollope's Strong Class-Bias; His Distaste for
Sabbatarians; Trollope as Mild Hedonist; Ecclesiastical Politics and a Serious Religious Dispute;
Trollope's Barsetshire fictions and The World of Don Camillo; In Defense of Mr
Slope, or, Trollope Far from Unsympathetic; Primates or Unintended Jokes and Dr Grantly;
Satire on Fundamentalism in Barchester Towers, Miss Mackenzie and
John Caldigate (early , middle and late-career Trollope); What Do We Mean By the
Term, "Gentleman" and What Did Trollope Mean?: Shirley Letwin's The Gentleman in
Trollope: Individuality and Moral Conduct and Trollope's The Claverings;
Eleanor as Imogen.
- Chapters 7-12: The Plot Thickens; Mrs Proudie's Magnificent Exit out of her own Conversazione;
"My sentence is for Open War" saith Dr Grantly; Houses and Rooms and Customs as Status
- Chapters 13-19: The Rubbish Cart; The New Champion; The Widow's Suitors; Baby Worship: "Oh, ick!"; The
Rich Widow, her Babe, & Quiverfuls; Moonlit Stanhopes and Old-Gabled Buildings; A Somewhat
Altered Mr Harding: Changing Characters in the Barsetshire Series: Dr Thorne,
Miss Dunstable, Dr Grantly; A Candid Storyteller Close Up to UsMrs Quiverful & Mrs Proudie;
Countercurrents; Barchester Towers and Bleak House Compared:
What is Likable in One Unendurable in the Other.
- Chapters 17-22(in the first edition of the novel, Chapter 19 closed
Volume I, and Chapter 20 began Volume II): Who shall be Cock of the Walk?; The Widow's Persecution; Barchester by Moonlight; Mr.
Arabin; The Genuinely Searching Religious Themes Through the Characters of Crawley and
Arabin; Rambling Round St Ewold's; Quiet Scenes; The Thornes of Ullathorne; Trollope and
- Chapters 23-27: Mr. Arabin Reads Himself In At St. Ewold's; Mr. Slope Manages Very Cleverly at Puddingdale;
The Basis of the Manipulation; Fourteen Arguments in favour of Mr. Quiverful; Curiously
Touching Moments (Mrs Quiverful); Mrs. Proudie wrestles and gets a Fall; Madeline and
Obadiah; Gentlemen Once Again; Bawdy Moments between La Signori Neroni and the Rev Mr
Slope; Eleanor as Iphigenia (Once Again) and What Was Mrs Proudie's First Name?
- Chapters 28-32: Mrs Bold is Entertained; A Serious Interview; Maneuverings; Trollope and Oxford; La Signora
Neroni Used as a Plot Device; The Bishop's Library; A new Candidate for Ecclesiastical Honors;
Another Niche Opens; La Signora Neroni and the Rev Mr Slope: Who Do We Sympathize With?
- Chapters 33-37 (in the first edition of the novel, Chapter 34 closed
amd Chapter 35 began Volume III): Mrs Proudie Victrix; Dean Slope?: Not With Scent and Red Hair; A Festival Event; Oxford - The
Master and Tutor of Lazarus; A Chapter Whose Pace Marks the Time & A Clue; Miss Thorne's
Fete Champetre: An Eight Chapter Party; Quintain and the De Courcy family; Trollope's Not-so-
Festive Comedy; The Three Ladies Meet, or Three Heroines Converge.
- Chapters 38-46: The Bishop Sits Down to Breakfast; Rather like a Farce, or Musical Chairs; The Lookalofts and
the Greenacres; Social Stratification is the Truest Happiness; It was Philidor pitted against a
school-boy; Ullathorne Sports, Act II; Eleanor Confides Her Sorrow to Charlotte; Eleanor
Delivers a Blow; Ullathorne Sports -- Act III; The Last of Bertie; Our First Long Letter: From "The
Epistolary Trollope"; Three More Letters; 3 Letters & An Article in the Jupiter; The
Three Close-Up Acts; The Stanhopes at Home.
- Chapters 47-50: The Summing Up: Robin Gilmour's "Introduction"; Which Book Was Trollope Born to Write?;
Comic Closure; On Behalf of Esther Summerson (from Bleak House) and Contra
Madeline; Barchester Towers as a Sequel to The Warden?; Trollope's
Struggles with His Publisher and Editor over the Text of Barchester Towers.
- A Guide to the Classics in the Barsetshire Novels of Anthony Trollope: an informative easy-to-use online guide created by students at Hendrix College and Professor Rebecca Resinski.
A Talk by John Letts
Contact Ellen Moody.
Page Last Updated 11 January 2003