This 1857 sequel to The Warden wryly chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester. It opens with the Bishop of Barchester lying on his death bed; soon a battle begins over who will take over power, with key players including the rather incompetent Dr Proudie, his fiendishly unpleasant wife and his slippery curate, Slope. This is a wonderfully rich novel, in which men and women are too shy to tell each other of their love; misunderstandings abound; and Church of England officials are only too willing to undermine each other in the battle for power.
One of Trollope's best-loved novels, it is a dazzlingly real portrayal of nineteenth-century provincial England peppered with humour, wisdom and extraordinary characters.
Anthony Trollope was born on 24 April 1815 and attended both Harrow and Winchester schools. His family were poor and eventually were forced to move to Belgium, where his father died. His mother, Frances Trollope, supported the family through writing. Trollope began a life-long career in the civil service with a position as a clerk in the General Post Office in London - he is also credited with later introducing the pillar box. He published his first novel, The Macdermots of Ballycloran in 1847, but his fourth novel, The Warden (1855) began the series of 'Barsetshire' novels for which he was to become best known. This series of five novels featuring interconnecting characters spanned twenty years of Trollope's career as a novelist, as did the 'Palliser' series. He wrong over 47 novels in total, as well as short stories, biographies, travel books and his own autobiography, which was published posthumously in 1883. Trollope resigned from the Post Office in 1867 and stood for Parliament as a Liberal, though he was not elected. He died on 6 December 1882.