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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