- Narrated by: Timothy West
- Series: Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 1, Audible Exclusive - Chronicles of Barsetshire, read by Timothy West, Book 1
- Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 09-02-09
- Language: English
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Whispersync for Voice-ready
The first of six in Trollope's series of the Chronicles of Barsetshire introducing the fictional cathedral town of Barchester and the characters of Septimus Harding, the Warden, and his son-in-law Archdeacon Grantly.
The Warden concerns the moral dilemma of the conscientious Reverend Septimus Harding, who finds himself at the centre of a bitter conflict between defenders of Church privilege and the reformers of the mid-Victorian period.
His daughter's suitor, John Bold, is a political radical and passionate reformer who launches a campaign against Harding's management of the financial affairs of the charity, thus shattering the atmosphere of the once tranquil town of Barchester. The scandal is not improved when Harding's indelicate son-in-law, Archdeacon Grantly, leaps to his defence.
The audiobook is a charming social comedy and love story that portrays life in an English cathedral town whilst looking at the larger social and political issues.
The Warden was Trollope's first literary success which paved the way for him to later leave his career as a Post Office Inspector and become a prolific and much-respected author of the Victorian era. He eventually published 47 novels, many of which are still popular and well-loved today due to their timeless quality and parallels with contemporary society.
Timothy West is prolific in film, television, theatre, and audiobooks. He has narrated a number of Anthony Trollope's classic audiobooks, including the six Chronicles of Barsetshire and The Pallisers series. He has also narrated volumes of Simon Schama's A History of Britain and John Mortimer's Rumpole on Trial.
Timothy West's theatrical credits include King Lear, The Vote, Uncle Vanya, A Number, Quarter, and Coriolanus and his films include Ever After, Joan Of Arc, Endgame, Iris, and The Day of the Jackal. On television, Timothy has appeared in Broken Biscuits (BBC), Great Canal Journeys (across 3 Series), and the regular role of Stan Carter on EastEnders (BBC).
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Philadelphus on 17-02-09
Volume one in a perfect series
It's hard to explain just how good Timothy West's readings of Trollope are. The authorial voice is humane, wise, and various and overcomes Trollope's prosiness and repeated turns of phrase. The characters are all wonderfully done - lively and distinct without caricature. This is how audiobooks should be done - a reader who enhances the books rather than, as so many are, being an obstacle to be endured in order to get at the book behind. Bliss.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Joseph R on 30-08-09
The Old Man & His Terrific and Single Daughter
Along with some romance, this is a broadside of satire directed at the gentlemen of the press and of the law. Anthony Trollope beards the lion in its den with this story of the power of a self-important press to inflict great damage on individuals and institutions. Under the guise of public interest reform, a newspaper runs stories which result in the resignation of a decent and kind old man Mr. Harding, as well as the virtual shut down of a charitable, well run, old folk's home. While these are matters of no moment to the newspaper editor except as sensational stories which sells papers, there is real pain and damage inflicted on the innocent. One might conclude from this book: doing what is lawful is not always the same as doing what is right or just. I just love the way this gentle, easily guided, old man takes matters into his own hands and overturns the apple carts and plans of those who considered themselves better suited to guide him than his own principles.
Timothy West's performance of this work cannot be praised enough. He somehow manages the trick of capturing Trollope's brand of humor and subtle jabs and making it accessible to the listener.
28 of 29 people found this review helpful
By Jean on 24-01-13
A witty Story
This book was written in 1852. I was unaware of A. Trollope until I read a comment about him in a book I recently finished "The Invisible Women" about Ternan and Dickens. I looked him up on Audible and read the various reviews by readers and decided to give him a try. The book is a beautifully written satire. I enjoyed the more flowery language of the Victorian age and I also got side tracked noting the societal change that have occurred since the 1850s. The story is of Reverend Septimus Harding who got caught up in the conflict between defenders of church privilege and the reformers of the Victorian age. Enjoyed the repartee between the characters. Timothy West did a great job narrating the story.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful