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The tranquil atmosphere of the cathedral town of Barchester is shattered when a scandal breaks concerning the financial affairs of a Church-run almshouse for elderly men. In the ensuing furore, Septimus Harding, the almshouse's well-meaning warden, finds himself pitted against his daughter's suitor Dr John Bold, a zealous local reformer. Matters are not improved when Harding's abrasive son-in law, Archdeacon Grantly, leaps into the fray to defend him against a campaign Bold begins in the national press. An affectionate and wittily satirical view of the workings of the Church of England, The Warden is also a subtle exploration of the rights and wrongs of moral crusades and, in its account of Harding's intensely felt personal drama, a moving depiction of the private impact of public affairs.
Anthony Trollope (1815 - 1882) had a successful carrer in the Post Office, alongisde which he wrote. His first novel was published in 1847, and he went on to write over forty novels as well as short stories. The Barsetshire Chronicles are by many regarded as his masterpieces.Robin Gilmour was Reader in English as the University of Aberdeen, and author of The Novel in the Victorian Age and The Victorian Age: The INtellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1830-1890. He died in 1999.