Barchester Towersby Anthony Trollope
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A satirical comedy, it is the second of the author's series of six BARSETSHIRE NOVELS and is considered to be his funniest. Set in Barchester, a cathedral town in the west of England, the novel opens with the political appointment of Dr. Proudie as the new bishop of Barchester.
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eBook, 2015 Read your Freebies, historical fiction read 1/10-1/13/2015 4 stars " The sorrows of our heroes and heroines, they are your delight, oh public!— their sorrows, or their sins, or their absurdities; not their virtues, good sense, and consequent rewards. When we begin to tint our final pages with couleur de rose, as in accordance with fixed rule we must do, we altogether extinguish our own powers of pleasing. When we become dull, we offend your intellect; and we must become dull or we should offend your taste" At almost 600 pages, this is a weighty tome. With its focus the mid 1800s British Anglican Church,aka the Church of England, its even heavier. However, Trollope, while taking on the polity if said church and all its foibles, makes what could be a dreary boring book a lot of fun and very humorous while introducing problems that are inate in human kind: we all stumble, we are all forgiven, and we all luve in an imperfect world. The names, in now hindsight introduce their character: Slope, Proudie, Grantly,Bold, Stanhope, Arabin, Harding, Quiverfill, Thorne....all well drawn characters in a soap opera to rival that of the original Upstairs,Downstairs. The profundity of their actions and pronouncements are dissected by Trollope as he speaks to the reader directly on occassion, to elaborate outside the situation, for good or not. Hence the quote above taken from the last chapter, as we catch our breath, from a death at the beginning that changes the characters and their interactions, to one near the end that makes it "all good", sliwly we follow these people through a season of change in response to life, as well as politics, polity, the role of women, and propriety. "Our doctrine", writes Trollope, "is that the author and the reader should move along together in full confidence with each other. Let the personages of the drama undergo ever so complete a comedy of errors among themselves, but let the spectator never mistake the Syracusan for the Ephesian; otherwise he is one of the dupes, and the part of a dupe is never dignified." This was an easier read than I had imagined, and very entertaining. It is my first Anthony Trollope book, read at the suggestion of a reviewer/ blogger I know who praises Trollope to the heavens. So, Simon, this review is for you
Great book, but this epub version is missing 15 chapters of the book....not the one to get...