Trollope, Anthony - The Warden illlustrated by Bill Bragg - ( Item 109654 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2014. Reprint. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Introduced by Jane Smiley. Illustrated by Bill Bragg. This is the first volume of the Barsetshire Chronicles, and arguably Trollope's most celebrated work. Devoted to his daughter and the comfort of the elderly pensioners under his care, Septimus Harding is surely the most blameless of clergymen – apart from his one indulgence in church music. Yet when the ardent young surgeon and reformer John Bold begins to question Mr Harding's right to his income as Warden of Hiram's Hospital, a scandal threatens to divide the town and cathedral. Even more painful a division is going on in the heart of Mr Harding's daughter Eleanor, who is torn between her love for John and her loyalty to her father. Mr Harding bears no grudge over what he respects as honest opposition, but John will find that having released the genie of an angry Press, he will be unable to control it. The consequences, for all of Barchester, will prove unsettling. The hard and stinging words of that newspaper article were fresh in his memory. Was he to be looked on as the unjust griping priest he had been there described? Was he to bear all this? He felt he could not live under the weight of such obloquy. The Warden book. Bound in cloth, blocked with a design by Bill Bragg. Set in Garamond. 224 pages; frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations. Endpaper map. 9¾" x 6". The beginning of the Barsetshire Chronicles. In 1852, Anthony Trollope was a young official in the General Post Office and an aspiring writer whose novels had been published without success. Walking in Salisbury Cathedral, it suddenly flashed upon him where a cathedral close would stand and what cast of characters might live there. The inspiration for a novel was born and as Trollope wrote, 'no work I ever did took up so much of my thoughts'. This, after all, was the book that launched the Barsetshire Chronicles, arguably the most celebrated of all Trollope's works. The second book, Barchester Towers, will be published in a Folio edition later this year. In her introduction to The Warden, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley compares it to a garden of plants 'some blossoming, some budding out, some as yet just fertile seeds planted in the compost of Trollope's endless inventiveness'. A 'good-humoured but careful author'. The Warden is notable for its exuberance—although because of his busy schedule it took Trollope about nine months to write a novel that in later years, according to the autobiography, he could have written in six weeks, there is no sense of effort as the chapters progress. He smoothly delves into the minds of major characters and minor characters and occasionally allows himself a few remarks about his story or the issues that it raises. At least one of the novel's few reviewers objected to the narrator intruding upon the story, but the authorial remarks give the novel a sense of intimacy and ease that has not only been valued by many readers (The Warden is one of Trollope's most frequently reprinted novels), but also spurred Trollope's own contemplation of his characters and their issues. As The Warden expands to Barchester Towers (1857), Dr Thorne (1858), Framley Parsonage (1861), The Small House at Allington (1864) and The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867), we are glad to meet the familiar characters again, and we also welcome the good-humoured but careful author, the man who is always delving into the process of decision-making and the details of feeling. . An extract from Jane Smiley's introduction. From the Folio Society description.
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