, Jan 30, 2009
- 116 pages
The first novel of Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire series, this work introduces the fictional cathedral town of Barchester and many of its clerical inhabitants. Originally published in 1855, the story centers on Mr. Septimus Harding who has been granted the comfortable wardenship of Hiram's Hospital, an almshouse from a medieval charity of the diocese. Mr. Harding, a fundamentally good man and an excellent musician, conscientiously fulfills his duties to the twelve elderly occupants of the hospital. He also cares for his younger daughter Eleanor, who is in love with a young doctor named John Bold. The misfortunes of Harding begin when Bold becomes an enthusiastic reformer and endeavors to expose the great disparity in the allotment of Hiram's antiquated charity funds. This leads to a sequence of events that he becomes powerless to stop, from the editorials of Tom Towers in 'The Jupiter' to the legal interference of Archdeacon Grantly. The novel is a thoughtful description of clerical life infused with the romance of a young couple, which combines to form a novel with a melancholy conclusion.