Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 4 April 2006
Following The Warden, we return in a longer book to the fictional world of Barchester, and the intrigues festering within the ecclesiastical community. The new Bishop, Mr Proudie and his fearsome wife, have moved into the city, with their chaplain, the oily Mr Slope. The wardenship of the hospital is to be given, but there is much debate as to whether it should be given to its previous occupant, the delightful Mr Harding, or to the deserving, if weak, Mr Quiverful, an impecunious gentleman with fifteen children and a determined wife. The main subplot is Mr Slope's inept wooing of the widow, Mrs Bold (Mr Harding's virtuous and sensible daughter), and the feeling of her friends that she should have nothing to do with him.
What marks Trollope as a great original is the way he takes the reader into his confidence - he has no time for the writer who is mysterious as to the outcome: we have no doubt as to the happy outcome for Mrs Bold, but the interest is in how the denouement is reached. And in seeing how many men can make fools of themselves with the Countess Neroni. This superb novel has a variety of well-drawn supporting characters, and the reader will find himself living their dramas with them. The other author who comes most to mind is Austen, but Trollope has a wider cast of characters. The strong women characters are drawn from Trollope's own family: his mother, Frances, herself a noted novelist, was a strong-willed woman who kept their family together in the face of her husband's impecunious habits. This is rightly regarded as one of Trollope's many masterpieces, and is a firm favourite with Trollopians. After reading it, I can easily see why.
0Comment| 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 11 July 2003
Barchester Towers is the second book in the Barchester Chronicles series. A new bishop is appointed, Dr Proudie, with a wife who dominates him, and a scheming chaplain (Mr Slope) who rapidly earns the dislike of all of the existing clergy in the town. Mrs Proudie and Mr Slope battle for control of the Bishop's actions, largely over the appointment of the warden for Hiram's Hospital. Mr Harding, the former warden, waits to find out if he will get his old position back. His daughter Eleanor is now a wealthy widow, and her family become convinced that the detestable Mr Slope is courting her and that she is responding to his charms.
Trollope often warns his readers what to expect, so nothing that happens in the novel comes as a great surprise, but somehow, reading it is still a joy. I couldn't put this book down because the characters are so involving, and Trollope's easy to read style and his humourous observations make the book a pleasure to read. If you like a book where the unexpected often happens, this probably isn't for you. If you're a fan of Jane Austen though (another author famous for her subtle observations about her characters), then you will probably find this a worthwhile read.
0Comment| 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 April 2007
This was the first Trollope's novel that I had ever read and since then or maybe because of it I became a faithful fan of Mr Trollope. I have read all the series of Barset. In my opinion although not so well known as others English writers, Trollope is one of the best of this period. I like him a lot better than Dickens for instance. Like Austen he speaks about people and about the normal everyday things that happens to normal people and like Austen he created real alive characters, not perfect, not absolutely good or bad but human beings, and so much lovable because of it. You learn to love as much the nice people in this novel as the less worthy people because Trollope makes you to know them so well. They become just like your family, you have to love them in spite of their faults or just more because of them.

The bishop for instance ... How can you learn to love so much this weak and rather contemptible character? Well, you do love him because Trollope makes you feel that he is lovable in spite of everything. He makes you feel tenderness about him. Even Mrs Proudie, such absolutely repellent character, she is described with so much humour and so much life that you have to enjoy her and like her. The same you can say of the wonderful Mr Slope so masterful portrayed. I think that I almost like better these characters than the "good" ones. With the exception of course of Mr Harding that is the grand-father anyone would love to have.

Of course we can find that the way Trollope writes is in many ways old fashioned. Now, we are not used to have the writer including his own personal opinion about the characters... but even that, I have learn to love it, just as a characteristic of himself. Just as his characters, not perfect, but because of this even more lovable.

When I finished this book I didn't stop until I read all the five books about Barset. I wasn't disappointed. I couldn't had enough of Barset and its people. A whole world for you to enjoy it.
0Comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
There are three reasons why Barchester Towers stands out as one of the finest of all Victorian novels: Mr Slope, Mrs Proudie and the Signora Madeline Vesey Neroni, fabulous individual characters all! Of course, like all excellently drawn characters, they need a decent stage on which to perform and Trollope's tale of clerical shabby beaviour regarding the appointment of the warden at Hiram's Hospital, and the various plays for the hand of the demurely lovely Eleanor Bold, provide a fabulous backdrop. Mr Slope would walk away with the title of oiliest character in English lterature: he slides furtively beside Eleanor as he attempts to gain her hand in marriage (and her income); he moves with silent greasy ease between the respective cases of Mr Quiverful and Mr Harding as they vie for the position of warden in Hiram's Hospital and he fawns shamelessly upon the bishop and the bishop's wife, Mrs Proudie, playing one off against the other as the situation demands. Everything he does is purely for his own benefit and no sychophantic act is too demeaning or shameful. The character of Mrs Proudie has been well documented, surely one of the most icily fearsome women in literature, a masterful portrayal of sustained closet ferocity. But perhaps the greatest character of the three is the Signora Madeline, a lady who is carried everywhere due to a hip injury and who reclines at parties holding court on a large sofa surrounded by the adoring husbands of other women. Any male who comes with ten yards of her falls head over heels in love and proceeds to make a complete idiot of himself, professing undying devotion regardless of his own marital status or position in life. If I could actually meet a character from a novel it might well be her (but then again, perhaps by saying that, I'm only making an idiot of myself.....). Fabulous creature!
In short Barchester Towers is a book to curl up with of a winter's evening, a book to cherish and to live with over a few weeks. Cosy and comfortable but not without a definite edge when it comes to social observation. Within its pages you will, I promise you, meet characters you'll never forget.
0Comment| 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 December 2013
What fabulous characters Anthony Trollope has created. 3 dimensional, living, breathing, real people. If you remember the series from the 70's? it helps to put the actors into the roles. Nigel Hawthorne is the Dean, right down to every 'good gracious' he utters! And we all know who was Slope. Brilliant!
11 comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 December 2013
Barchester Towers is the second of Trollope's Barset novels (in all, there are six in the series). As the novel opens, in July 185-, the question being asked in the cathedral city of Barchester is who will be the new Bishop? The answer is Dr. Proudie, the hen-pecked husband of Mrs. Proudie. With the installation of the new Bishop, the scene is set for a battle as to who will control ecclesiatical affairs in the diocese: will it be Mrs. Proudie or the ambitious chaplain Mr. Slope?

In parallel with the manouevres over the various appointments for positions in the church runs a contest for the hand of Eleanor Bold, a young widow with several suitors, including Mr. Slope.

Barchester Towers is more than twice the length of first volume in the sequence (in this audio version, it extends over 19 hours) and the leisurely development of the story is perhaps not to modern taste. There are wonderful scenes and passages of delightful wit, but also longueurs and stretches in which the forward motion of the plot is barely perceptible. Simply due to its length, I enjoyed it rather less than the first of the series.

I listened to the recording of Barchester Towers made by Simon Vance for Blackstone Audio in 2006. He has a pleasant voice, but the recording level is rather uneven: the effect is of Mr. Vance stepping in and out of a partially sound-proof room as he reads.
11 comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 April 2012
A blast from my academic past. I first read this book as a a student some 35 years ago and came across it as I was browsing the Kindle lists. What a delight to revisit it. I still remember the BBC version with a young Alan Rickman playing the invidious Mr Slope. A greatly refreshing read especially in this post modern secular society.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 January 2012
This is a beautiful book for sitting with by a warm fire in the evening while the modern world is bustling away outside. I was transported to a time when there were no cars, motorways or mobile phones but still plenty of power struggles and intrigues.
I would recommend to anyone not familiar with A Trollope's work to start at the beginning of this series with "The Warden" and follow the wonderfully drawn characters through their lives. Well worth reading more than once!
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 July 2010
I had this book on my shelf and left it unread for many years before deciding to give it a whirl. I cannot explain why except that I am lazy and when I pick up a book to read, knowing it is a classic, and deserves close study, I am reluctant to do so because it means work. One's pleasures require the minimum of effort for the maximum of gain. Such shortsighted stupidity deserves to be punished and I duly was: I prohibited myself the pleasure of reading a great comic masterpiece.

From the first page to the last, I laughed and laughed. And laughed. Bishop Prudie and his wife the she-bishop, united with Mr. Slope, present us with an infinite source of mirth. The description of Archdeacon Grantley and Mr. Harding paying their initial respects to the new Bishop is sublime. The tea party (given by the Bishop) in the Palace, when the Signora is carried in over the heads of the guests and placed on the sofa carefully preserved for her by Mr. Slope, is another jewel in the crown.

A small word of warning. Barchester Towers follows on from Trollope's `The Warden' and it is recommended (but not essential) that one first read this before moving onto Barchester Towers. Personally, I read The Warden after Barchester Towers and found the former in no way comparable with the latter (it is, nonetheless, a great read too). Barchester Towers, however, is just wonderful and highly recommended.
11 comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 September 2004
I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a book as much as this one, and Dr Thorne, which follows it. Once I got into it, which took a little while (especially as I struggled a little with The Warden, which is the first book about Barchester) I found it an absolute page-turner. I dreaded reaching the end, and am now close to the end of Dr Thorne and feeling the same way again. I would recommend this heartily to anyone who enjoys Jane Austen. Trollope is also satirical, also has great insight into human nature, but he deliberately cultivates a trusting relationship with the reader in a way Austen doesn't, which makes it a "cosier" read than Austen. I'm not saying he's overall better than Austen, but he certainly gives her a run for her money.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse