One of the most enduringly popular novelists of the Victorian era, English writer ANTHONY TROLLOPE (1815-1882) created entertainingly rambling fictional explorations of towering social issues, from class and money to politics and gender roles. Trollope has been a huge influence on modern storytelling, from the bumblings of the upper-crust of P.G Wodehouse's yarns to the intricate, interwoven, interpersonal narratives of television soap operas.
The Warden, first published in 1855, is Part I of Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire, a series of six novels set in the invented county of Barsetshire. Here, in the cathedral town of Barchester, the charitable work of an almshouse in operation since the Middle Ages is threatened when a zealous young reformer arrives in town. Or is the real scandal in the overly comfortable living the almshouse affords those who run it?
A sprawling tale pitting institution and tradition against reform and modernization, this is one of Trollope's most beloved works... and the one that introduces, in the words of the great 20th-century English novelist Hugh Walpole, "two of the great figures in English fiction, Mr. Harding and Archdeacon Grantly."