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Chronicles of Barsetshire Books In Order

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Publication Order of Chronicles of Barsetshire Books

The Warden (1855)Description / Buy at Amazon
Barchester Towers (1857)Description / Buy at Amazon
Doctor Thorne (1858)Description / Buy at Amazon
Framley Parsonage (1861)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Small House at Allington (1864)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Chronicles of Barsetshire series is a series of fiction novels written by the popular English novelist Anthony Trollope. This series is set in a fictitious county in England called as Barsetsire and the cathedral town called as Barchester. There is a total of 6 books in the series which were published between the years 1855 and 1867. All the novels in this series deal with the dealings of the gentry and the clergy, as well as the amatory, social, and political manoeuvrings that take place between and among them. Out of all the six books, the second one is very well known and is titled as ‘Barchester Towers’. The last book of the series is author Trollope’s personal favorite. Overall, the series is considered by many people as the finest work of author Trollope. Both the fictitious locations of Barchester cathedral town and the Barsetshire county are located somewhere in the West Country, as described by the author. In the some parts of the series, it is shown that the stories have connections with the other series written by author Anthony Trollope, which is known as the Palliser series. In some places, the series is also known by the name ‘Barchester Chronicles’. Author Trollope began writing the Chronicles of Barsetshire series in the year 1855 and published the debut book of the series at the end of the same year. Author Trollope says that even though the stories described in the novels of the series follow each other and refer to events from previous titles on many occasions, they can be read individually as each one of them is complete in itself. The novels are regarded as the classics of the Victorian literature.

The first book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series written by author Trollope was published under the title ‘The Warden’. It was released by the Oxford University Press in the year 1855. This book features the important characters in the form of Septimus Harding, Eleanor Harding, John Bold, and Susan Harding. The overall story of this book revolves around Septimus Harding, who is depicted by the author as an elderly warden called the meek, at the Hiram’s Hospital and also the precentor of the Barchester Cathedral. The Hiram’s Hospital is described as an almshouse and is supported by one of the medieval charitable trust which is bequest to the Barchester Diocese. All the income generated helps to maintain the almshouse, support its 12 bedesmen, and also helps to provide a comfortable living and an abode to its warden, Mr. Harding. He was appointed to the position with the patronage from one of his old friends, the Barchester Bishop, who is the father of the son-in-law of Harding named Archdeacon Grantly, married to his daughter Susan.

Mr.Harding lives with his second daughter and performs all his duties with great responsibilities. The main story of the novel deals with the impact of a campaign launched by a young reformer named John Bold, on Harding and the functioning of the almshouse. John Bold intends to expose the disparities in the apportionment of the income from charity between its bedesmen, its objects, and the officer, Septimus Harding. In the spirit of performing public duties, John Bold embarks on the campaign in spite of being in a romantic relationship with Mr. Harding’s second daughter named Eleanor, and also having a cordial relationship with Mr. Harding himself. When a lawsuit is started by John Bold, Mr. Harding is advised to by his son-in-law to maintain his stand. With the intention of gaining the support of the press, John engage with the editor of The Jupiter named Tom Towers. He, in turn, pens down editorial in support of the reforms in the charity. This presents Mr. Harding as a selfish person and a derelict in his office conduct. As the pressure keeps on building on him and despite the constant support of his friends and family, Mr. Harding goes on to resign from his post. After this, John Bold returns to Barchester and shows regret about the things turned out to be, with the intention of marrying Eleanor. At the end of the novel, it is decided by the bishop the post of warden of the Hiram’s Hospital will be left vacant.

The next novel that followed in the series was titled as ‘Barchester Towers’. This novel was released by the Hard Press publication in the year 1857. The plot of this book deals with the leading clergy of the Barchester city. At the beginning of the book, it is depicted that the beloved bishop of Barchester is dead and people begin to expect that his son, named Archdeacon Grantly, will be the successor. But, because of the passage of the patronage power to a newcomer as the Prime Minister, an Evangelical bishop named Bishop Proudie gains the support. His wife named Mrs Proudie appears to have a lot of influence over him, which makes herself and the new bishop quite unpopular among the clergy of the diocese. She even tries to interfere in the reappointment of Mr. Harding as Hiram’s Hospital’s warden is also received well, in spite of the fact that she hands over the position to a more needy clergyman named Mr. Quiverful, who had 14 children to feed. The newly appointed chaplain of the bishop, named Mr. Obadiah Slope, appears to be less popular than the bishop’s wife. He seems to be a sycophantic and hypocritical person, who thinks of marrying the widowed daughter of Mr. Harding, Eleanor Bold.

Slope tries to get into her good books by interfering into the wardenship controversy. Mr. Proudie orders Dr. Vesey Stanhope to return from Italy, where he lived for more than 12 years. He comes along with his wife and 3 grown up children. The younger daughter of Stanhope poses a great threat to the plans of Slope. Mrs. Proudie considers Signora Vesey Neroni’s presence as unsafe for her daughters, Mr. Slope, and the servants. The son of Dr. Stanhope, named Bertie, appears to be skilled in managing money, but is far from earning some of them on his own. His sisters support him for getting married to Eleanor Bold, with the intention of gaining financial support. A scholar named Reverand Francis Arabin is summoned by Grantly to support him in the war against Mr. Slope and the Proudies. Later, a huge misunderstanding takes place between Eleanor, her sister, her father, and Mr. Arabin, all of who think that she wants to get married to Mr. Slope. Although Mr. Arabin feels attracted towards her, he does not push it as the efforts of Grantly and his wife to prevent Eleanor from marrying Slope interfere in the development of any relationship at the moment. In the end, Eleanor and Mr. Arabin get engaged, and Mr. Slope is removed from his post. He tries to campaign for the post of Dean, but that post is handed over to Mr. Harding. But, he proposes that Mr. Arabin be given the post as he does not think himself suitable for the post of Dean.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Chronicles of Barsetshire

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