Barchester Towers (version 2)


Read by Nick Whitley

(4.7 stars; 25 reviews)

Barchester Towers, published in 1857, is the 2nd novel in Anthony Trollope's series known as the "Chronicles of Barsetshire". It follows on from The Warden, set some years later, with some of the same characters. Among other things it satirises the then raging antipathy in the Church of England between High Church and Evangelical adherents. Trollope began writing this book in 1855. He wrote constantly, and made himself a writing-desk so he could continue writing while travelling by train. "Pray know that when a man begins writing a book he never gives over," he wrote in a letter during this period. "The evil with which he is beset is as inveterate as drinking – as exciting as gambling." And, years later in his autobiography, he observed "In the writing of Barchester Towers I took great delight. The bishop and Mrs. Proudie were very real to me, as were also the troubles of the archdeacon and the loves of Mr. Slope." But when he submitted his finished work, his publisher, William Longman, initially turned it down, finding much of it to be full of "vulgarity and exaggeration". More recent critics offer a more sanguine opinion. "Barchester Towers is many readers' favourite Trollope", wrote The Guardian, which included it in its list of "1000 novels everyone must read". Barchester Towers concerns the leading clergy of the cathedral city of Barchester. The much loved bishop having died, all expectations are that his son, Archdeacon Grantly, will succeed him. Instead, owing to the passage of the power of patronage to a new Prime Minister, a newcomer, the far more Evangelical Bishop Proudie, gains the see. His wife, Mrs Proudie, exercises an undue influence over the new bishop, making herself as well as the bishop unpopular with most of the clergy of the diocese. Her interference to veto the reappointment of the universally popular Mr Septimus Harding (protagonist of Trollope's earlier novel, The Warden) as warden of Hiram's Hospital is not well received, even though she gives the position to a needy clergyman, Mr Quiverful, with 14 children to support. Now listen on... Summary by Wikipedia (24 hr 54 min)

Chapters

Who will Be the New Bishop? 24:31 Read by Nick Whitley
Hiram's Hospital, According to Act of Parliament 19:21 Read by Nick Whitley
Dr. and Mrs. Proudie 19:29 Read by Nick Whitley
The Bishop's Chaplain 20:23 Read by Nick Whitley
A Morning Visit 23:49 Read by Nick Whitley
War 36:54 Read by Nick Whitley
The Dean and Chapter Take Counsel 18:53 Read by Nick Whitley
The Ex-Warden Rejoices in His Probable Return to the Hospital 20:21 Read by Nick Whitley
The Stanhope Family 36:21 Read by Nick Whitley
Mrs. Proudie's Reception--Commenced 29:43 Read by Nick Whitley
Mrs. Proudie's Reception--Concluded 36:48 Read by Nick Whitley
Slope versus Harding 22:18 Read by Nick Whitley
The Rubbish Cart 23:58 Read by Nick Whitley
The New Champion 21:36 Read by Nick Whitley
The Widow's Suitors 30:59 Read by Nick Whitley
Baby Worship 35:07 Read by Nick Whitley
Who Shall Be Cock of the Walk? 21:46 Read by Nick Whitley
The Widow's Persecution 24:23 Read by Nick Whitley
Barchester by Moonlight 29:08 Read by Nick Whitley
Mr. Arabin 35:49 Read by Nick Whitley
St Ewold's Parsonage 31:12 Read by Nick Whitley
The Thornes of Ullathorne 38:03 Read by Nick Whitley
Mr. Arabin Reads Himself in at St. Ewold's 24:24 Read by Nick Whitley
Mr. Slope Manages Very Cleverly at Puddingdale 33:24 Read by Nick Whitley
Fourteen Arguments in Favour of Mr. Quiverful's Claims 25:04 Read by Nick Whitley
Mrs. Proudie Wrestles and Gets a Fall 33:20 Read by Nick Whitley
A Love Scene 45:46 Read by Nick Whitley
Mrs. Bold is Entertained by Dr. and Mrs. Grantly at Plumstead 43:01 Read by Nick Whitley
A Serious Interview 26:36 Read by Nick Whitley
Another Love Scene 37:14 Read by Nick Whitley
The Bishop's Library 16:06 Read by Nick Whitley
A New Candidate for Ecclesiastical Honours 48:57 Read by Nick Whitley
Mrs. Proudie Victrix 31:15 Read by Nick Whitley
Oxford--The Master and Tutor of Lazarus 23:49 Read by Nick Whitley
Miss Thorne's Fete Champetre 28:22 Read by Nick Whitley
Ullathorne Sports--Act I. 31:23 Read by Nick Whitley
The Countess De Courcy, Mrs. Proudie, and the Signora Neroni Meet Each Other at… 29:52 Read by Nick Whitley
The Bishop Sits Down to Breakfast, and the Dean Dies 34:54 Read by Nick Whitley
The Lookalofts and the Greenacres 24:20 Read by Nick Whitley
Ullathorne Sports--Act II. 28:24 Read by Nick Whitley
Mrs. Bold Confides Her Sorrow to Her Friend Miss Stanhope 22:25 Read by Nick Whitley
Ullathorne Sports--Act III. 36:14 Read by Nick Whitley
Mr. and Mrs. Quiverful Are Made Happy. Mr. Slope Is Encouraged by the Press 36:56 Read by Nick Whitley
Mrs. Bold at Home 23:47 Read by Nick Whitley
The Stanhopes at Home 26:10 Read by Nick Whitley
Mr. Slope's Parting Interview with the Signora 24:03 Read by Nick Whitley
The Dean Elect 26:45 Read by Nick Whitley
Miss Thorne Shows Her Talent at Match-making 30:29 Read by Nick Whitley
The Beelzebub Colt 20:00 Read by Nick Whitley
The Archdeacon Is Satisfied with the State of Affairs 23:11 Read by Nick Whitley
Mr. Slope Bids Farewell to the Palace and Its Inhabitants 20:55 Read by Nick Whitley
The New Dean Takes Possession of the Deanery, and the New Warden of the Hospital 23:10 Read by Nick Whitley
Conclusion 12:57 Read by Nick Whitley

Reviews

Classic!

(5 stars)

An excellent read that does not disappoint. The misadventures of Mr. Slope are brought to life as well as Mrs. Bold's love life. All's well that ends well. A lively tale of life in a cathedral town. I love the names Anthony Trollope gives his characters: Slope, Quiverful, Harding, etc. This is an excellent reading that I would highly recommend and listen to again.

Top-notch reader!

(5 stars)

Nick Whitley does a terrific job with this classic. At first I wasn't sure I liked his doing different voices, but then it really grew on me. I especially appreciated his Northern accent for Mr. Arabin. His Dr. Grantly voice immediately conjured up Nigel Hawthorne in the role in the 1982 BBC production (a good thing).

absolutely perfect reading

(5 stars)

I can't think of a better reading of this novel! It was innovative, but also a perfectly faithful rendering. Absolutely incredible.

Amazing reading!

(5 stars)

Nick Whitley nails this one perfectly, with great comedic timing. Dr. Grantly's voice is especially good, as is Slope's.

great way into 19th Cent English lit

(5 stars)

Really enjoyed the reading and the flavour if the times the reader imparted. Recommended.

(4 stars)

The reader is excellent. This story moved more slowly than I liked but was enjoyable.

(3 stars)

Better than the other version but still not as good as it could be

such a great story and the reader is excellent

(5 stars)