The Warden, Introduction
Introduction; The Place of These Books in Trollope's Career, Politics and Life; ; An Unknown Review of The Warden by Wilkie Collins in the socialist paper, The Leader; Political and Church History; Church Politics: High and Low Church as related to Class and Religious Belief (Little Versus Big Endians; or, High v Low Churchism); Owen Chadwick's Essay; Barchester Chronicles, The Film

To Trollope-l

June 4, 1999

Re: The Warden and Barchester Towers: Introduction & Calendar

I don't know how many people on our list are aware that it was with Framley Parsonage that Trollope achieved his first thorough-going commercial success, and became a "name" to conjure with and a name which would sell novels. When he came to write the The Warden he had behind him two superlative novels, the second of which had sold very poorly, and the first of which had barely sold at all and been jeered at. They were not total flops: we can still dub what Trollope got through The Macdermots and The Kellys a "success d'estime" as they did bring his work to the attention of the good minds (he did get some high praise from a couple of reviewers). Trollope's name had appeared in the public papers of the period. He had then written two books which were dead in the water: La Vendée and The New Zealander, the latter did not get into print until the late 20th century. He had gone on to work hard on a travel book on Ireland, send a large manuscript to Murray only, after he demanded its return, to receive it back nine months later and to discover that it had not been read.

Undaunted, our man carried on. One of my favorite phrases by him in the early part of his An Autobiography is "I got used to it."

His next two books were The Warden and Barchester Towers. Though I think many people nowadays assume the first was a success, it was only in the French sense of "d'estime." It did not sell widely; the reviewers were at last respectful, even if they did not quite understand Trollope's use of an ironic dilemma where both of two choices are understandable and even morally and socially sound. Still here's what Trollope says of The Warden:

"The novel-reading world did not go mad about The Warden; but I soon felt that it had not failed as the others had failed. There were notices of it in the press, and I could discover that people around me knew that I had written a book. Mr Longman was complimentary, and after a while informed me that there would be profits to divide. At the end of 1855 I received a cheque for £9, 8s. 8d., which was the first money I had ever earned by literary work; -- that £20 which poor Mr Colburn had been made to pay [for La Vendéeafter Colburn published _The Kelly's_ and lost money] certainly never having been earned at all. At the end of 1856 I received another sum of £10,15s.1d. The pecuniary success was not great. Indeed, as regarded remuneration for the time, stone-breaking would have done better. A thousand copies were printed, of which, after a lapse of five or six years, about 300 had to be converted into another form, and sold as belonging to a cheap edition. In its original form The Warden never reached the essential honour of a second edition (Oxford An Autobiography, 1980 reprint ed Sadleir and Page, intro PDEdwards, p. 98).

In its original form. I am one of many people who see Barchester Towers as a kind of 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). The high spirits are important: Trollope tells us 'In the writing of Barchester Towers I took great delight'. Barchester Towers was the book Trollope says was his first success: 'It was one of the novels which novel readers were called upon to read.' Trollope thought it could perhaps 'become one of those novels which do not die quite at once, and which live and are read for perhaps a quarter of a century' (p. 104). Here he was wrong: it has not only never fallen out of print, a library of editions exists, and it is today Trollope's best known book. It is the one you find in bookshops which carry English classic novels.

He had not been very respected by his publisher. The reader had actually said the novel would be acceptable if Trollope would turn it into a 2 volume book. Of this Trollope writes:

"I am at a loss to know how such a task could be performed. I could burn the MS., no doubt, and write another book on the same story; but how two words out of every six are to be withdrawn from a written novel, I cannot conceive"(p. 104)

Trollope rejected most of the minor strictures too. He had gotten an advance of £100 (the result of The Warden) and there were now 'moderate payments'. Also The Warden began to sell again, and Trollope computes his income from them as a pair. At the time of writing his An Autobiography (1875-76) he had received for the pair £727,11s.3d (p 109). However, even this did not lead to pecuniary success and selling power. Trollope tells us that this is more than he got for the next 3-4 books he wrote (The Three Clerks, The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson, Dr Thorne and The Bertrams).

Of this group Dr Thorne is often said to have been the most successful, but people who have studied the group argue The Bertrams sold as widely (it fetched Trollope the same sum) and point out the satire of bureaucracies in The Three Clerks made a great splash at the time -- as did Chaffanbrass who makes his first brilliant appearance in this novel. The Three Clerks is today called Dickensian and it was then seen as a book in competition with Dickens: Trollope tells us his villain, Undecimus Scott represents a far more insidious and wide-ranging danger to our society than poor Bill.

One result of all this is that there is no set pattern we can follow for any of Trollope's books before Framley Parsonage. They were issued as volumes; and in some cases even if you follow the original volume divisions, you discover that sometimes the first issue was one the publisher had tampered with: Castle Richmond was redivided to suit the publishers' convenience, so some modern editions which follow this text obscure where the climax of the 2nd & 3rd volumes really comes. As all three of my editions of Barchester Towers are not divided into the original three volume ordering, but based on a later two volume set (it was cheaper to print a book this way after it went through Mudie's cycle), I have myself simply to follow the two volume division.

Trollope described The Warden as '"hat pleasant task -- a novel in one volume" (p. 83). If you look at all his novellas, they come in well under 300 pages. Still I thought we wouldn't want to rush through. Thus I divided the book into mostly 4 chapters a week. Thus treating it lovingly.

Barchester Towers in my Oxford edition is a 2 volume work of 50 chapters. There I thought it would be a good idea to go a little faster so we wouldn't spend too much time on a single book. So I divided it into mostly 5-6 chapters a week. I will be using the paperback Oxford classics because they are good editions (good introductions, lots of notes) and don't weigh too much.

Here then is our calendar for the summer:

The Warden

We begin with The Warden on Sunday, June 13th:


Then we'll charge on straight into Barchester Towers

Vol I:


Vol II


One week break means we'll begin Dr Thorne in early October or autumn, a beautiful time of year here in Virginia.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

There was some talk before I wrote the first "introductory" and calendar posting.

Date: Sun, 28 May 2000 09:36:45 +0100
Subject: Re: [trollope-l] Trollope reviews

I have just read a review of The Warden written by a youthful Wilkie Collins and printed in the socialist paper the Leader. Collins admires the characters of the Warden and Archdeacon and generally loves the book but dislikes the authorial intrusion and the ending.

Perhaps this is reprinted in a collection of Trollope reviews or mentioned by biographers and others know of it?

It seemed a thrilling find to me (my partner found it doggedly looking at Collins' work in the British Library.)


To which Joan Wall replied:

Hi Angela,

I have a book Anthony Trollope, the Critical Heritage edited by Donald Smalley that contains an "Unsigned notice from the Leader of 17 Feb 1855, pp. 164-5. It sounds very much like the review you're writing about. How did Paul find out it was by Collins?

This book was a big find for me sometime last year and I've enjoyed reading along from the contemporary reviews as we read the books.


From: "Paul Lewis"
To: "Angela"
Subject: Collins on Trollope
Date: Mon, May 29, 2000, 10:42 am

To forward to the Trollope list

The work attributing anonymous pieces in The Leader to Collins was done by an American professor Kirk H Beetz (Victorian Periodicals Review XV No.1 Spring 1982 pp 20-29. Beetz used Collins's letters, then unpublished, to attribute 51 pieces definitely to Collins and a similar number probably to him. They appeared between 1851 and 1856. Sadly Beetz did not fulfil his plans to publish Collins's collected items from The Leader. My role has been checking Beetz and copying the pieces for my own use.

The evidence for Collins's authorship of the review of The Warden is a letter from Collins to Edward Pigott, then the owner and editor of The Leader. On 3 February 1855 Collins wrote

"...Is anybody at work on Wolfert's Roost? or The Warden? - both of which I think of tackling this week."

Those reviews appeared in The Leader on 24 February 1855 p187-188 (Wolfert) and 17 February 1855 p164-165 (The Warden) respectively.

Unfortunately this important letter was not included in the recently published The Letters of Wilkie Collins, Baker and Clarke, Macmillan 1999.

Sadly The Leader is a very rare publication and few people have seen it or read Collins's pieces. Most were reviews of books, art, or plays, but he did write on a few other things. The Wilkie Collins Society plans to republish two of the items in the forthcoming issue of its Newsletter. More may follow.

Paul Lewis web
47 Hereford Road, Acton, London W3 9JW United Kingdom
tel 020 8993 2361 - fax 020 8992 1753 - mob 07836 217311

I replied to all:

Re: The Unsigned Notice in the Leader on The Warden

In response to Angela, Paul, and Joan,

The review printed as anonymous in Donald Smalley's Trollope: The Critical Heritage (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul & New York: Barnes & Noble, 1969), pp. 36-38, is dated 17 February 1855. It is the one identified by Prof Kirk H Beetz as by Wilkie Collins.

What fascinates me most is the complete lack of any identification of the Leader as a socialist paper. Here in the USA where there is no socialist party or any effective organisation of socialists of any kind this is understandable. However, one of the publishers is English, and in the interests of historical accuracy as well as understanding why the reviewer takes the positions he does, one might think the real context or framing of this piece would be brought up. Not so. I should say I have talked to people about this Smalley production and it has been more than hinted that it has errors, does not pick the best of criticism by any means, and shows ignorance in some areas (this last comment comes from Skilton's book on reviewers and Trollope, Trollope and His Contemporaries). Of course no book is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, and Smalley had only so many pages allowed him.

Still were one to know that the paper was socialist, it would become clear where some of the writer's -- Collins's -- criticisms of The Warden are coming from. Throughout the piece Collins testifies to the highest respect for the author of The Warden. That Trollope starts with a real and important subject as opposed to most novels ('in these days ... people sit down to compose fictions, having nothing in the world to write about'), that Trollope fully reveals that the way the charity is administered is an egregious abuse of what was intended, that the man who exposes the abuse is the 'accepted lover of the good Warden's youngest daughter', and that the Warden himself is a well-meaning good man who has assumed he is fulfilling the terms of the bequest by 'bestowing the most watchful kindness and attention on the fixed number of destitute men whom the rules of charity place under his charge' -- are all strongly commended by the reviewer as a superb subject for a novel. What is assumed is a novel reaches so many people. Collins admires the 'delicacy and truth to nature' with which the Warden is drawn', the 'feeble old Bishop, his truculent and intensely clerical son', and 'the old men who live on the mismanaged funds'.

What does the reviewer object to? 'The defective part of the book is the conclusion, which seems to us careless and unsatisfactory'. Alas, Collins does not make explict what he refers to here, but I suspect it is that the resolution does not come out clearly for or against how the charity has been perverted from its original intentions to support the ecclesiastical establishment. This complaint is made explicit in the Eclectic Review: "A moral is wanting. To say nothing of the fact -- in itself significant -- that the views of the author on the subject of ecclesiastical revenue are not apparent, there is no fitting end attained by all which is done' (The Critical Heritage, ed. D Smalley, March 1855, nx. ix, 359-361, p. 39). What we see here is the Victorian educated reader read the novel as political fable. In Collins's case he looks for a political comment.

But Trollope's ultimate interests are elsewhere: in human nature, in realism, in paradigms of Trollope's own autobiography as seen in other of his novels (e.g., An Old Man's Love).

Another thing of interest are the three further complaints: Collins argues that Trollope 'speaks far too much in his own person in the course of the narrative'. It would seem an aesthetic standard is asserted here, but if we look at the example presented to explain what Collins means it seems it is also a matter of an upper class bias. Somehow it is higher art not to talk directly to an audience as a clown does in an pantomime. Great comedians, Collins says, never address their audiences directly. This is music hall stuff.

Collins also objects to the 'want of thorough earnestness in the treatment of the subject'. Trollope distances himself too much; he mocks Eleanor's conflicts between love and duty when he should enter into them fully. James R. Kincaid's argument that Trollope was a subversive writer is vindicated here. Again Collins refers for his standard to an upper class standard: he alludes to Horace, the kind of text gentleman studied.

I take this to be part of the objection to Trollope's mockery of Dickens and Carlyle. This kind of "farce" is a mistake, says Collins: "Trollope is far too clever a man, and has far too discriminating an eye for character to descend successfully to such low literary work as that". Note the use of the word "low". Again it's class bias; there is something vulgar, too practical and not removed enough from the realms of art in Mr Trollope. In its place in the review it is also clear that to Collins such farce disturbs the social and political criticism which the Leader wants to assume is Trollope's central purpose. The scene the reviewer quotes is the one by Grantley in which he threatens the old men with losing everything if they seek this improvement. They should be grateful for what they have. This is just the argument used today in many a debate: don't go for an improvement in health care because you might end up with something worse, or lose the little you have. It is a brilliant resonating emblem. Nonetheless, politics is not the final shaping element in The Warden or Trollope's art.

I hope Angela's partner, Paul Lewis, or Prof Beetz make it more widely known that this review, familiar to all those who own the Critical Heritage is by Collins. It would go far to explain it and also how The Warden was originally read and partly intended. For I have no doubt that Trollope meant this novel to be read partly and strongly as a political statement as he meant his first & early works: two Irish books, The New Zealander and La Vendée

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 21:05:06
Subject: [trollope-l] Further Unsigned Leaders in the Critical Heritage

Allow me to add that there are a number of unsigned pieces from the Leader on Trollope's novels. The closest in time and voice to that on The Warden are on Barchester Towers (date 23 May 1857) and The Three Clerks (date 19 December 1857). These two read as if written by the same man who wrote the review of The Warden. Dr Thorne (29 May 1858) and The Bertrams (25 April 1859) were also written about in the Leader and enough is given of the first of these to suggest it is again the same man who is writing.

Cheers to all,
Ellen Moody

Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2000 09:37:20 +0100
Subject: Re: [trollope-l] The Unsigned Notice in the Leader on The Warden

Thank you Ellen for responding so thoroughly. There are many points about the Leader and the review of the Warden that are interesting. It was an anti-establishment paper which criticised the Church (and reminds me of the paper in the Warden itself).

What struck me about Collins' tone was the sheer confidence of the 20 something who had after all very few novels under his belt. Its interesting that his very first novel, Iolani, which he couldn't get published, also addressed the reader directly. I was initially thinking how presumptious it was of him to write in this tone about a more established author, but when I checked I could see that they were both pretty much on a par as would-be successful novelists. I suppose Trollope didn't need to earn money writing reviews at that time, as Collins did, because he was in the civil service.

Paul will be going to the Library today to check out the other unsigned pieces you identify but he is not confident they will prove to be by Collins. Apparently, he had a falling out with the Leader over religious views and may not have been writing at that later date.

Thanks for giving this so much thought.


Meanwhile people had begun to talk about church politics in the Barsetshire series:

Re: [trollope-l] Pre-ramble to Barchester Series

Jill Singer had responded to something Gene Stratton wrote:

The discussion about the contemporary problems facing the Church and the difference between High/Low Church are enlightening. I wonder if someone would be kind enough to wax even more basic and provide the basic "hierarchy" of Church officials. Being Jewish, I have always been fairly vague about who ranks above whom in the novels.

Jill Singer

So Gene replied:

Jill: Please don't take the following as gospel (no pun intended) but this is my understanding of the hierarchy under the Anglican Communion:

The head of the Church of England is the King or Queen. However, the sovereign is now but a figurehead and Parliament reigns supreme and, within political tolerances, can make or change whatever church rules it wishes. This was one of the concerns of many Victorian Tories who were only lukewarm at best about the church being "established" by law, for they feared "half-atheist" members of parliament might be able to appoint the bishops and completely change the complexion of the church.

The two highest clerics are the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York, with Canterbury having somewhat more powers than York. England is divided into so many bishopric sees subordinate to one or the other of these two archbishops. L. G. Pine, The Story of Titles, 1969, [note the possibility of Pine being outdated now] states that "The Archbishop of York is Primate of England and Canterbury Primate of all England, behind which distinction is a long history of unseemly bickering." I guess the number of bishops has changed over the years, and someone else might have today's division between Canterbury and York. Pine has the total number of Lord Bishops in the Established Church as 43.

Archbishops are termed Right Reverend and Most Honourable, and they are addressed as Your Grace. Interestingly in regard to our discussion of Archbishops, according to Pine there is still a Protestant Archbishop fo Armagh and he is Primate for all Ireland. Bishops rank next in the hierarchy and are responsible for their respective sees. Pine says that most bishops are termed Doctor, even though few of them have such degrees, earned or honourary.

Deans appear to be next in rank and are addressed as Very Reverend. The dean is the head of a cathedral, or perhaps more properly a cathedral chapter, which means all the clerics assigned to a given cathedral, each of whom is generally known as a canon, in addition to his other title(s). Or a cathedral may be headed by a provost. Pine says that in the modern church of England there are 14 provosts and 29 deans (interestingly totaling 43, the number of bishops with sees, and I believe there is a cathedral in every see). Barchester Cathedral has a dean.

Archdeacons are the administrative heads of the sees, and might be termed the diocese's business head. They are termed Venerable Sir, and called Mr. Archdeacon in speech.

The head of a given church may be a rector or a vicar or parson, and he (or she in current times) is frequently said to hold the "living." The living is a feudal power whereby someone has the frequently hereditary right to appoint a clergyman to a vacant church. Sometimes this power is vested in an important local landowner, and sometimes in a bishop or dean, or other.

The rector need not assume charge of his church in person, but may appoint a curate to handle day-to-day or year-to-year or decade-to-decade affairs. One of the abuses attacked in Victorian times was the favoritism shown to some influential clerics who could be appointed rectors to one or several churches at, say, 800 pounds a year each, and then be absent, say, in Paris, for many years, paying a curate perhaps 80 or 100 pounds a year to handle all sermons and other church matters. This was known as pluralism. The Rev. Dr. Vesey Stanhope in Barchester Towers was an absentee vicar living many years in Italy.

The above is a quick and dirty sketch, but it may suffice for some to put the titles in the Barchester stories in proper perspective. I'm sure some others can improve on this and perhaps correct parts. I'm also sure that it would be tremendously difficult to explain the entire Anglican Church hierarchy in any kind of outline form, for there are too many exceptions. Think of it as the U.S. Internal Revenue Code; every time some politician wants to do a constituent a favor, new exceptions are made to the Code, and in the Church of England this has been going on for over 400 years. Case in point: Probate is (or perhaps was, for I may be somewhat behind times) handled by the local diocese. Probates crossing diocesan lines are handled by the Probate Court of Canterbury (PCC) or Probate Court of York (PCY). However, if you are trying to locate an old will, you have to know that exceptions were always being made so that some probates are/were handled by clerical authorities known as Peculiers (note the spelling).

Another example which may show how difficult it is to make straight, short, simple definitions comes up when we try to decide if a given church is under a vicar or rector. In the Anglican Church a rector is the head of a church "where the tithes are not impropriate" (from Chambers English Dictionary). A vicar is the parson of a parish church who receives only the smaller tithes or a salary. I don't pretend to know the distinctions, but only know that some fine distinctions exist. Archdeacon Grantly was the rector of Plumstead Episcopi. Dr. Stanhope was the vicar of Crabtree Canonicorum. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about the Church of England could tell us if some of these distinctions have dissolved over the years.

There are numerous other titles in the Church, such as a prebendary, a resident clergyman who enjoys a share in the revenues of a cathedral or collegiate church; and a precentor, who is the choir leader (such as Mr. Harding). Note that Mr. Harding was a both precentor and a warden of an almshouse.

This may tide you over until better information is available.

Gene Stratton

Gene wrote again:

Subject: [trollope-l] Pre-ramble to Barchester Series

I don't think the following is a spoiler, but some people might be more fastidious than I about such matters, and so I want to give them a chance now to press the delete key. Essentially the following discusses some Church of England background to the first two Barsetshire novels.

List members know or will soon find out that the Reverend Mr. Septimus Harding is the protagonist of The Warden, and in fact -is- the Warden. David Skilton in his Introduction to the OUP World's Classics series of The Warden says that Mr. Harding had held his position "since before the days when such things as the disportionate size of a warden's income were considered abuses." This is both possible and likely, but I think it could give an erroneous impression.

There seems to be a popular misconception that at the time The Warden was written (1855), the public was just beginning to become aware of financial abuses by the Church of England, when actually the public had been long aware of them.

I'm reading Owen Chadwick, The Victorian Church, 2 vols., 1966 & 1970, Oxford Univ. Press, which C. P. Snow in his biography Trollope calls "essential reading for the Barchester novels." This may be somewhat exaggerated, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have some familiarity with the Anglican Church of Trollope's times when reading these novels.

Let me give a thumbnail sketch of the background of the Victorian religious situation (with profound apologies to those who are already well aware of it). Henry VIII (died 1547) split from the Catholic Church when the Pope would not allow him to divorce his first wife so he could marry the second of his six wives. Much beheading and burning at stakes followed, and the Church of England was born. It was still essentially Catholic, but no longer Roman, and now had the King (or Queen) of England (Defender of the Faith) as the head instead of the Pope.

Catholics remained strong even into the late 17th century, when James II was ousted in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 by his own daughter and her Dutch husband, who jointly ruled as William and Mary. During the Reformation in Europe, England, too, saw the rise of many "dissenting" Protestant churches, later followed by Quakers and Methodists. But the Church of England was the official church, established by law, which required, among other things, that everyone pay tithings to it even though they attended some other church. All wills, even for dissenters, had to be probated through the Church of England. This Church of England, or Anglican Church, also had a number of other privileges in law that other churches lacked, such as its bishops' being automatically members of the House of Lords. Non-Anglican church members at various times and to varying degrees suffered various forms of persecution, although the general trend was to allow them more freedom. Eventually dissenting religionists were allowed to be Members of Parliament, but still no Catholic or Jew could be.

The following comes from Chadwick, who in his books points out that the Whigs were eager for Catholic emancipation as early as 1829. And this is the real point of my ramblings, that it was around 1830 that popular feeling became enraged against the abuses of the Church of England, some 25 years prior to the writing of The Warden. Chadwick also observes that this was not the first time that the Church had come under attack.

This was also the time of the 1st Reform Bill, when the electorate was enlarged and various political, as well as Church, abuses began to be corrected. The 1st Reform Bill was finally passed and enacted into law in 1832, but earlier it had suffered several defeats. When reform was defeated in the House of Lords in 1831, with the aid of the votes of the Bishops, popular enmity against the clergy raged hot. There were mobs in the streets, and the recent Tory Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington (once England's hero following his 1815 victory over Napoleon at Waterloo) was villified, with rioters even throwing stones through the windows of his London residence, Apsley House.

One popular method of non-violently attacking the Church was by displaying placards showing the fantastic incomes of various high-ranking Church leaders. But signs of real revolution were in the air, feared alike by the clergy, the Whigs themselves, and the level-headed Tory politician Robert Peel, who around this time thought that the monarchy could not last more than another six years in England.

And, horror of horrors for the later Trollope (who was only around 16 years old at this time), there was even a strong movement "to end parsons who hunted."

I mention this to show that long before Trollope wrote The Warden (triggered as it probably was by some specific Church abuses of the time that he conceived the idea) the Church was not only unpopular with many people, but Church and political leaders had been under much stronger attack than I had believed before I started reading Chadwick. By the time of the Barchester novels, this enmity against the Church was entering its second generation.

And this was still just the beginning. Darwin's publication of The Origin of Species in 1859 began a new kind of intellectual challenge to the Church of England, but that's another story. The amazing thing seems to be how on earth was it able to continue as the State Religion even into our own times? (N.B. This is all reportorial and is not intended to be offensive to members of any faith.)

And now for a question: I know that England has two Archbishops, those respectively of Canterbury (the premier Archbishop) and of York. But Chadwick (1:31) refers to three (!) Archbishops voting in the House of Lords in 1832. Who was the third? Did the Anglican Church in Ireland (called the Church of Ireland) have at that time its own Archbishop?

Now don't you wish you had pressed that delete key? ;-)

Gene Stratton

To which Michael O'Neile replied:


I much appreciated your background on the evolution of the Church of England. Would the third Archbishop have been Westminster?

A question for you (two-parts) - how did the High/Low church split occur? which is the basis of "The Warden"?


He was answered by Virginia Preston:

Either Ireland or Wales I think. The Irish Church was disestablished in 1869 and the Welsh Church in 1919, at which point they lost their episcopal representation in the Lords - I don't know which of them had an archbishop there. Michael suggested it might be Westminster, but actually there isn't an Anglican Archbishop of Westminster - it's a Roman Catholic post, currently held by Cardinal Hume (and of course not in existence at the time we are discussing, as the Catholic hierarchy had not been restored then).

(drawing breath for a discussion of what high and low mean in the Church of England)

Gene Stratton:

Hi, Michael. Thanks for your message. Let me answer the first part now and perhaps attempt the second later. Unfortunately the answer will not be satisfactory. The third archbishop must have been the Anglican Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin. So far, so good. But although I'd read this before, the significance must have passed over me until I rechecked it: On pp. 53-54 Chadwick points out that the Church of Ireland, a distinct minority in Ireland, received tithing from all the Irish, although often the rectors "maintained the common and courteous habit of not troubling the [local] Catholic priest for his tithe"!!! More to the point, this church seemed a bit top-heavy with 4 archbishops (!!!) and 18 bishops. We seem to have a surfeit of archbishops. Could it be that only the Archbishop of Dublin was in the House of Lords? I just don't know.

For an interim quick-and-dirty attempt at answering your 2nd question, I'd say that High Church essentially leaned toward Roman Catholic rites and was non-evangelical, and Low Church was both evangelical and more bare-bones Protestant. I believe the High-Low Church division enters more into Barchester Towers than The Warden, for after the death of Bishop Grantly, the contest both to become the new bishop and to dominate the diocese following the new bishop's election is between the Archdeacon Grantly high-church group and the Proudie/Slope low-church group. However, this explanation may be simplistic, and if I find it is, I'll address your 2nd question again. In real life during Trollope's time, we see some high-church Anglican dignataries eventually converting over to Roman Catholicism, with Newman and Manning becoming cardinals in that church.

Gene Stratton

I replied to Gene, Michael and Virginia:

Re: Pre-ramble to Barchester Series

Like Gene, I am going to tell some details of the book in the following; all of these come from the opening 3 chapters of the book. However, if you do not want to read about these chapters as yet, do not read on.


I too enjoyed Gene's historical account; what's more he brings to the fore the background to the book a modern reader won't assume. Many people reading this book see it as a sweet story about an apparently mild man who demonstrates an unusual moral courage. So far, so good. In the background they feel a pastoral at work and much nostalgia; what they don't know is that Trollope is also writing a political novel about a hot issue of his day. One may see in the psychological give-and-take of the political events of the book a subtle parable about the way politics works, but it's not just allegorical. It is grounded in the real world of 1852.

When we open the book we discover a story about a church official who does almost nothing; who is, in comparison with the rest of society at the time, leading a supine, comfortable life, and gets an enormous income. At the sametime, very early on, we learn the people whom the founder of the wardenship meant to have the money are only receiving what is a pittance when the founder meant them to have some sort of independence from their income, even if a very modest one. The story begins when someone begins publicly to protest this egregiously unbalanced distribution of income. In the Trollope Society edition of the novel, Chadwick points out that Trollope did have a specific real incident in mind that had become something of a cause célèbre in the press. When we get started we will have the details before us.

Still even without these, if we know the background as we begin to read, we could liken The Warden to a cherry bomb thrown at a barricade on one side of which are those who are angry at the use of their money (tithes are taxes). This anger leads to protests against the lack of real religious spirit in the upper clergy; their use of curates to do the ministerial work; the way they are chosen based on who they know, how much money they can pay or who they are. The average person in England worked a long workweek for very little. On the other side of the barricade are those who would of course stand firm on behalf of their lifestyle and privileges, their caste. Michael Sadleir argues The Warden is a book about caste-arrogance as much as anything. (Castes include lawyers like Sir Abraham Haphazard.) Characteristically Trollope does not call our attention to a profligate: rather he shows us an ordinary man who has been lucky; he has been offered this income, place, and has to the best of his small ability, done what he could for his men -- without of course taking away from himself the life offered him by the place. Who would refuse this? Most of us leap at offers we are given -- and sometimes all the while knowing just how corrupt and unfairly the positions are allotted out and the incomes (I think of the modern American university system.) So on the other side of the barricade there is this one man. As we are told almost upon meeting him, he has even gotten into debt and been bailed out by his son-in-law (Archbishop Grantly) because he loves music and wants to publish learned works on it. We may conclude that if the Warden had not lucked into his income, he might not have fared very well in this world.

The 'crisis of conscience' of the book is thus not a private matter at all. Nor one which is not still relevant to us and our attitudes towards work and money today.

And the more we know about the hot political background the more we'll get out of the book. I didn't know about the riots Gene mentioned nor the larger history of the 1830s with respect to the church.

Ellen Moody

Someone asked for some distinction between high and low church and how these terms came about:

Virginia Preston wrote:

High Church as a term starts being used in the 17th century, I think, to describe people like the Arminians who wanted to go on being as Catholic as possible, preserving many of the pre-Reformation traditions, stressing the sacraments (I believe that officially the CofE only has 2, as opposed to the RC 7, but High Churchmen will often promote practices like auricular confession) and the authority of bishops. After the Restoration of Charles II they were quite strong, then I think they declined a bit and came into their own again in the 19th century - the Oxford Movement is extremely High Church, with Keble and others writing Tracts (the first one was published in 1833) in defence of Catholic doctrines. Newman eventually published one (1841) which tried to prove that the 39 Articles are compatible with Catholic theology and was very unpopular with the Evangelicals.

I don't know when people started using the term 'Low Church' but it means those who emphasise preaching, the centrality of the Bible and the importance of the Reformation. At the end of the 18th century and early 19th, there was an Evangelical revival which was also connected to the anti-slavery movement and things of that kind - the Earl of Shaftesbury was an Evangelical. They then got tied up fighting the High Church/Anglo-Catholics.

Then there is the Broad Church, which attempts to avoid the fights between both these movements. Bishops weren't actually very keen on the Oxford Movement, and I think a lot of them belonged to the Broad Church - they didn't like Biblical literalism either, preferring to emphasise the national comprehensiveness of the Church of England, and prepared to consider the results of contemporary scientific and historical study. Benjamin Jowett (Master of Balliol 1870-93) was a Broad Churchman and so was Charles Kingsley.

Archibald Tait, who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1868 was one of those who protested against Newman's Tract. He was personally low church, but like the 'Broad Church' believed in the comprehensiveness of the Church of England and vetoed prosecutions for ritualism.


Then Tyler Tichelaar added:

Subject: [trollope-l] High and Low Church


I have consulted Daniel Pool's What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew about the question between High and Low Church. He breaks down the difference as primarily being that the High Church tended to go in more for ceremony and ritual, while the Low Church preached the desperately sinful nature of man and they abhorred ceremony and ritual. Part of the separation is due to the ceremeony in the High Church which was bordering upon Catholocism. If I am remembering my history rightly, eventually this problem even caused the High Church groups to have splits, and people like John Henry Newman, a member of the Oxford movement, who advocated the Anglican church becoming almost completely Catholic eventually left the Anglican Church and converted to Catholicism, as did John Henry Manning. This desire for a return to Catholicism was also a desire for medieval reform, growing out of the popular Victorian medievalism. Pool says that in 1874 was passed the Public Worship Act which tried to find a middle common ground between the two factions. As a result, many Anglican churchmen actually went to jail for introducing "allegedly" Catholic practices into their worship. Pool also mentions the Proudies as part of the Low Church establishment, while Archdeacon Grantly was of the old-fashioned High Church group, which would have disliked the Proudie's low Church feelings, and the newer, more Catholic faction inside the High Church.

Tyler Tichelaar

From: "Jill D. Singer"

The informative background posts about the problems besetting the Church of England prior to and at the time of Trollope's work have been wonderfully informative. Another interesting commentary is the Introduction to the Trollope Society's publication of AT's Clergymen of England, written by Westminster Dean Emeritus Michael Mayne, who dedicated the Poets' Corner memorial to AT in 1993. He notes that when Trollope's essays appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette, a few months before Trollope started on The Last Chronicle of Barset, the Church of England was being rocked by German Biblical Criticism, something we now take very much for granted but that must have seemed terrifying in the 1860's. He also discusses the feud between the Church and Bishop Colenso of Natal.

Dean Mayne describes AT as drawn to the following "defining marks of Anglicanism: tolerance within a broad spectrum of belief and interpretation; a high regard for the individual conscience; moderation in face of extremism; a recognition that sometimes the truth may lie in both extremes rather than somewhere in between." In the first essay in the book, "The Modern English Archbishop," Trollope himself observes, "We hate an evil, and we hate a change. Hating the evil most, we make the change, but we make it as small as possible." It will be interesting to see how these views are reflected in The Warden and the other five novels.

The discussion about the contemporary problems facing the Church and the difference between High/Low Church are enlightening. I wonder if someone would be kind enough to wax even more basic and provide the basic "hierarchy" of Church officials. Being Jewish, I have always been fairly vague about who ranks above whom in the novels.

Jill Singer
Overland Park KS

I wrote about the class perspective:

To Trollope-l

Re: Little Versus Big Endians; or, High v Low Churchism

I am not sure I have spelt "Endians" correctly; it represents my phonetic memory of a hilarious scene in Jonathan Swift's Gullivers Travels where we find in the Lilliputian government an inexplicably venomous controversy raging over whether one should open one's morning egg from the big or little end first. Swift is mocking all sorts of human political behavior as it appears on the surface as absurd, mad, inexplicable. This particular scene generalises (among others) the still felt opposition between a 'high' and 'low' approach to the way one should worship one's God in churches of the Christian denomination.

As others have said, the terms ultimately descend from the 17th century, and probably the English Civil War (or, as the more fashionable phrase has it, the War of the Three Kingdoms). There were really scenes before the war where people in a given church hierarchy in a local area physically fought over where to put the Communion table: in the middle of the room showing the equality of all partakers, or up by or beyond a barriers showing the important intermediary role the clergyman was to take in any communion service. Laud, Charles's surrogate, was determined to reconfigure an elitist hierarchical and physically rich surface texturing to what went on in churches. Those who have studied the 39 articles argue that the Elizabethan understanding of these was not Catholic (or sacramentalising) in its scope or tendency, but Protestant, Reformist.

A silly thing? No, because for many people how others behave and what they wear is terribly important; the intangible set of values they live by is embodied in the silliest of ribbons, foolish gold statues, and other symbolic representations of respect for something done by a specific powerful or influential group. In the case of high versus low we have a charged _class_ and political conflict which manifests itself in religious symbolism and behavior. In the Trollope household, the children were brought up to look at those who worshipped in the more equalising, anti-rich-luxury way as not gentlemen, not ladies, vulgar types, in short, low. We can saw this strong class bias in Rachel Ray; it will come out sharply in Barchester Towers though there is it shaped by the contemporary manifestation of this class and political clash: the Oxford movement, the mid-19th century manifestation of an attempt to return to sacramentalism and strong hierarchy, versus the evangelical movement, an outgrowth of Methodism in the 18th century which was at the time clearly a movement which grew out of the people. The American form of congregationialism where the people in the church get to elect their minister, and can throw him out will serve to stand for the politics here. Such groups have in their earlier history apparently decided they will not be led by people elsewhere who have been able to pick the minister on the grounds of who he is, who he knows, what money he has, or the people he is connected to. I believe (not sure) that American Jews also run the synagogue on a more or less Congregationalist basis (the rabbi must be chosen by his congregation too).

It will be said it's not just a matter of class and political stance. I agree but would put it that to these stances of class and political behaviors other kinds of behaviors adhere. The drive for respectability which is at its strongest in the lower middle class family who seek to differentiate themselves from the unrespectable working class family do so by advocating a pious exterior. They will not get drunk in public, certainly not on Sundays. They will not have sexual liaisons outside marriage, and certainly not openly. A strict attitude towards outward behavior is not necesary among the very rich if they want respectability. Their money does it for them. They needn't prove they are among the election and virtuous by outward behavior. Further, they have access to private places that are comfortable and can sometimes control the press. The continual connection beween low church and repressive behaviors in public is thus one natural to the lower middle class and becomes part of what is meant by low church. Trollope calls much of this kind of thing hypocritical, a way of manipulating and controlling others, and embodies it in Barchester Tower by the sycophantic hypocrite Slope and his aggressively domineering mistress, Mrs Proudie.

A deeper matter which also underlies Trollope's Barset and later books too concerns the nature of religious belief. Gene has reminded us of the publication of what I think was the most important book of the 19th century in 1859: Darwin's Origin of Species (somewhat misnamed since he is talking about how speciation works). That Trollope read some Darwinian books is demonstrated by some of Mullen's comments on his religion and we can find Darwinian metaphors in some of the novel (e.g., He Knew He Was Right, The Bertrams). How much did one believe in the mythic or Christian narratives; how deeply or in what kind of fashion (allegorically or literally?) The Victorians were maybe more alive to this than us. Their resort to seances is one odd manifestation of their new doubts.

The Protestant Reformation in the 16th century in Europe had been an attempt to return to a religiously-driven culture; the claim was the Roman Church was anything but Christian, religious; it was corrupt, whorish, secular, maybe harboured libertines and atheists. But sometimes 'high' church movements have the same underlying motive. To want to sacramentalise reality is to assert there is some other order in nature beyond the natural and want to manifest it by what I'll call baroque means. So the Counter-Reformation is born as is the Oxford Movement. A number of the Pre- Raphaelite painters stubbornly allegorised their pictures as filled with deeply religious symbolism and certainly they drove back into painting a deeply spiritual sense of meaning as pictured in the ordinary thing. The loving detail in which the Pre-Raphaelites bothered to depict reality shows they think it matters. We are not just squirrels, here for the day and squashed tomorrow.

By-the-bye my Finch family is gone. The other morning my husband I woke to find the nest had fallen to the ground. Originally I had thought it would never last. It seems I forgot my original sense of the fragility of the effort and strength and indifference of the natural forces and beings surrounding this nest; I had become hubristic and the book on Darwin's finches made me almost assume I would see clutch after the clutch of eggs. Recently too the father bird was often feeding the mother; they seemed to have been bonded by their first success. Still it fell; maybe a crow attacked it -- or a high wind shook the awning. The mower I hire has flattened what was on the ground. I never saw the mother bird again. The father has reappeared several times on the slats and flown away immediately. Are we like the birds? Well the sacramentalist doesn't want to think so.

So it matters whether we eat our eggs from the big or little end not because the outward behavior matters but because it signals some very large and important issues. Swift did know that, but he couldn't resist.

Ellen Moody

June 9, 1999

To Trollope-L

Re: High Angican Versus Roman Catholic

I'd like also to agree with Virginia that we should remember that although today there's a tendency to blend High Anglicans with Catholics, especially among people who are neither High Anglican or Catholic (joke alert), in 17th century England these two sects (regarded as sects not as groups of actualy human beings) were regarded as distinct species: Roman Catholics were demonized; Irish Catholics regarded as primitive superstitious barbarians, and both thought to be a kind of 'fifth column' in England working for the Pope. The history of the religious wars in Europe, the vying for power between Italian aristocrats, Germany princes and a plethora of royal types gave this idea some reality though as regards real people it was mostly lurid legend.

The history of Catholics in England is complicated, but speaking generally in the 19th century in England the average Anglican and Dissenter did not accept Catholics as members of a socially acceptable 'grown-up' and desirably placid religion. Wordsworth voted against the Catholic Emancipation Act (I give him as an example of someone people look upon as enlightened). Trollope would immediately point out to us that his highest High Church people (Arabin and the young man Patience Oriel marries -- his name escapes me) married, had children, were not beings apart. We should keep this in mind as we read Phineas's story. He is a fringe person by virtue of his religion too (though I wouldn't lean too heavily on that).

Then there's where the Catholic person resides. I wonder how many people know that Trollope has an essay on the Irish Anglican Church where he presents an argument for disestablishment. In _The Kellys and O'Kellys_ he does not lose any opportunities to satirise a self-satisfied bigoted Anglican clergyman who lives off his income and has but four people coming to his church. When Trollope presents Catholics in England, they are proselytisers, people who are irritating and not a little silly (Father Barham in _The Way We Live Now_). However, plant the Father in Ireland and you have loving detailed portraits of attractive men. Trollope's first loving deeply humane intelligent charitable (&c&c) male hero is Father John in _The Macdemots_. While, there is a strong probability that in some of these portraits he was remembering specific Catholic priest whom he describes in Father Giles whom he became cordial friends with; nonetheless, it's interesting how Trollope changes attitudes towards Catholicism depending on where he is imagining it.

Until the 20th century Catholics were regarded by people in England as a political party, and after all religious attitudes shade into the political (and nowadays ethnic and racial).

Cheers to All,

Subject: Re: [trollope-l] Rectors & vicars; High & Low Church

From: Virginia Preston

On Sat, 5 Jun 1999, Gene Stratton wrote a long and informative post on the various ranks of clergy in the Church of England, and said

"Another example which may show how difficult it is to make straight, short, simple definitions comes up when we try to decide if a given church is under a vicar or rector ...."

The distinctions no longer exist because tithes are no longer. But incumbents are still known as vicars or rectors in accordance with the parish's history, though a curate now is likely to be an assistant to the vicar/rector, learning how to run a parish and under supervision.

This is how the differences started (I have left out lots of details): Parishes were originally formed (c.8th century) because local landowners wanted their manor to have its own church. They'd endow it out of their land (providing the glebe, the priest's farmland), build it, and get the right to appoint the priest (though they had to be inducted by the bishop). Once appointed, they were hard to get rid of. As well as cultivating the glebe (which was still an important source of income to Jane Austen's father) they received one-tenth of all produce of the land & of beasts (made compulsory in the tenth century). There are still parishes where a lay person appoints the rector, having inherited that right from the original endower.

The tithe becomes distinguished as the great tithe (from crops such as wheat) and the lesser tithe (of things like vegetable crops and eggs). Rectors get the whole lot, so are usually found in parishes where a lay person owns the right to appoint someone, but can't take the church's income. But some of the original endowers' descendants gave away 'their' parishes to monasteries (or even dioceses) as a source of income. The monastery takes the great tithe and appoints a vicar (=receiver of the lesser tithe only) or takes great and lesser and appoints a perpetual curate (=receiver of no tithes, just a fixed & low income, but with job security), or nobody at all. Any of these people might appoint a curate to do the work, paying what they like. When the monasteries were dissolved the parishes passed to dioceses or the state, who did the same.

Mr Crawley is a perpetual curate - they can't get rid of him, but he has no money; his friend Mark of Framley Parsonage is a rector, much better off - but his patron often acts as though she has bought him. Trollope could see how unfair this system was - but he was very reluctant to condemn it altogether. Perhaps partly he thought that a system which operated on 'interest', rewarding one person and ignoring another, was one of the ways the Church of England maintained the numbers of 'true gentlemen' taking orders.

In response to Ellen's very interesting comments linking High and Low Church to class, I certainly agree that Trollope sees the difference between 'High' and 'Low' as being related class. However, it's also possible to see similarities between the Oxford Movement and John Wesley's Methodists a century earlier, who started as a small group of young men at Oxford University (attempting to regulate their lives according to strict standards of religious discipline, taking communion weekly and ordering their lives in deliberate contrast to the indifference they saw around them in the university) and become a broad movement, by no means confined to any one class but very popular with some groups of 'the masses'.

It's interesting that some of the devices intended to make services accessible to an illiterate laity (e.g. colour, music) should become so important to highly educated gentlemen.


From: (Teresa Ransom):

Talking of High and Low church, am I right in thinking that the Dissenters were a faction of the Low church end of the system. Tom Trollope writes in his autobiography that when the family visited his grandfather, the Revd William Milton at Heckfield, 'there were two or three Dissenters and their families, generally considered by their neighbours much as so many Chinese settled among them might have been - as unaccountably strange and as objectionable.'

Congratulations Ellen. It will be good to meet some of the list members at the AGM. I hope to be there.

Teresa Ransom

Virginia responded to Teresa:

Yes, and I believe one of the marks of High Church Tories in around Queen Anne's period was their resentment at the way in which some Dissenters and Roman Catholics were 'occasional conformists' - attending the Church of England every few months - to make themselves eligible for public office. They thought this was very wrong and did their best to stamp it out. One should perhaps remember, while realising that 'High Church' is quite close to Roman Catholicism theologically and to some extent liturgically, RCs were still feared and distrusted by them as by everyone else.


And then Gene Stratton wrote again:

A footnote in the 1908 book mentioned that "This charity is still distributed under the above terms."

Later Ginger and I went to Taunton, Somershire, and visited St. Mary's, which is known for its extremely tall perpendicular steeple. I was pleased to see that the tablet in memorial to Thomas Trowbridge was still there. However, I was not able to find anyone in the church who knew anything about the tablet. On my return to the U.S. I wrote to the rector of St. Mary's to ask if the Trowbridge Charity was still being distributed as it apparently was in 1908. A prebendary of the church wrote me the following reply:

"Thank you for your letter. I have met several members of your family in the past, engaged on similar pursuits.

"I can't tell you much more about the Trowbridge Charity. The value of money invested with the Charity Commission has been eroded by inflation. Evidently it has not been possible to reinvest in any satisfactory securities to keep pace with the fall in the value of money. Doubtless innumerable individuals and corporations have been made the poor, here and in the States and elsewhere.

"The answer to your question therefore is, that to the best of my knowledge Charity money such as the one you mention is not bringing in appreciably more income now than [when I first arrived here]. One wishes that it did, but it doesn't.

"I suppose that one might mention too that in our welfare state old people are in fact far more buttressed against poverty than they used to be; pensions are general - and we find it hard to realise that this has only come in the present century. To that extent we are not really dependent on ancient charities; to relieve people in distress they would provide but a minute contribution in modern times."

To the above I should add that on a still later visit to Taunton, I gathered in talks with church officials that properties such as the Trowbridge Charity had most likely been commingled with others into one overall charity, so that it would be impossible to trace the path today of Mr. Thomas Trowbridge's original donation.

Gene Stratton

Now he wrote about Barchester Chronicles: The Film Adaptation

This does not give away plot, but still may be a spoiler for the punctilious.

Barchester Chronicles is not a title by Trollope, but the name given by BBC to its miniseries of the combined The Warden and Barchester Towers in 7 episodes of about 50 minutes each. Most of us are aware of the general superiority of a book over its graphic representation, so there should be no need to give reasons why (though of course anyone is free to disagree).

But there are sometimes advantages of a movie or TV show in specific elements. The most outstanding, I think, in this miniseries is the singing by an English boy's choir. of Lincoln Cathedral. You can't get that in a book, although you could play a recording as you read (which might not be a bad idea). The singing is inspirational and mood setting. In typical British TV form, the music in Barchester Chronicles is derivative, a word used as a pejorative when hurled at some composers, such as Andrew Lloyd Weber, but quite appropriate for background music in TV productions (case in point: the TV production of John Mortimer's Summer's Lease, for which the composer beautifully interwove aspects of Gregorian chants with modern Italian popular music).

It's also true that visual representations of settings can act as the picture worth a thousand words. In Barchester Chronicles there is some lovely scenery, including external Anglican cathedral shots.

But to be worthwhile, a TV miniseries must adhere close to the original book, have good direction, and boast of a superior cast. Barchester Chronicles has all these, and a thumbnail sketch of the cast might be worthwhile. Needless to say, the below is somewhat subjective, as is the above.

The Rev. Mr. Harding is protrayed by Donald Pleasance. Yes, the villain in some James Bond movies and elsewhere. But Pleasance rises to the occasion here showing his repertory training, and is the perfect Mr. Harding.

Archdeacon Theophilus Grantly is played by Nigel Hawthorne, my candidate as the greatest living English-language actor. His versatility is awe-inspiring. Compare and contrast, for example, his Grantly with his Georgie in Mapp and Lucia. Molto grazioso. For a complete different portrayal, see him as the top British civil servant in Yes, Minister, and then again in the movie playing the title role as The Madness of King George (American title; in England it's The Madness of George III). Hawthorne alone is worth the price of admission to whatever he appears in.

There are some interesting pairings in BC, such as for the Barchester Towers part, the role of the wife of Bishop Proudie is played maginficently by Geraldine MacEwen. She and Hawthorne play in Barchester antithetically to each other, although in Mapp and Lucia, MacEwen as Lucia had a cozier relationship with her Georgie. Au reservoir.

Another pairing is Susan Pleasance as Susan, the Archdeacon's loving wife who knows how to use sweetness as a weapon to control the savage beast. In the miniseries, as in real life, she is the daughter of Donald Pleasance.

Mr. Harding's other daughter, Eleanor, is played by Susan Maw. I've never seen her in anything else, and I would consider her the main miscasting in this role.

John Bold is played by David Gwillam. He did a competent, but not outstanding, job. I've only seen him once later, in a not-center role in the British TV miniseries A Very Peculiar Practice.

Bold's sister, Mary, was played, again competently, by Barbara Flynn. We've seen her before. She was in one of the Inspector Morse mysteries (The Silent World of Nichols Quinn, I believe). And she played Dee Tate in the miniseries Chandler & Company. Not especially glamorous looking, I thought she was at her sexiest in A Very Peculiar Practice (see above) playing the part of a Lesbian.

Bishop Proudie in Barchester Towers was portrayed by Clive Swift, who has many acting credits, but Americans will recognize him best as the husband to Mrs. Boo-KAY in Keeping Up Appearances. He was at his best in Barchester.

Mr. Slope was played by Alan Rickman, who has gone on to bigger roles since, such as, I think, one of the Robin Hood movies. He also played Colonel Brandon in the Sense and Sensibility miniseries. Suffice it to say that it would difficult to imagine anyone doing a better job as Slope. May he live forever.

Madame Neroni was played by Susan Hampshire, who needs no introduction as one of the best and best-known British actresses.

Other character parts were played by some of my favorite actors, such as Cyril Luckner (Bishop Grantly), John Ringham (Lawyer Finney), Peter Blythe (Bertie Stanhope), and Michael Aldridge (Sir Abraham Haphazard). I didn't recognize any of the 12 bedesmen.

All told, a splendid production. I believe it is still available as commerical video tapes.

One thing (e pluribus unum) I don't know is who or rather which played the cathedral. I don't believe it was Salisbury, Norwich, York, or Canterbury, although it might have been a composite. Perhaps some kind soul can enlighten me on this. Many thanks.

Gene Stratton

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