Barchester Towers.


It may not have escaped some readers’ awareness that I have been struggling against a ailment of some sort for the last few days. This morning, Jackie made an appointment, forced me into the car, and drove me to the GP’s surgery where I was given a prescription for antibiotics which I collected from the adjacent pharmacy.

‘Anthony Trollope’s own goals’ is the title of a post on Adrian is Jackie’s eminently erudite cousin whose piece gave me the nudge I needed to get on and read my complete set of the writer’s works before I run out of time. When I conveyed this intention to the blogger, he advised me to start with ‘Barchester Towers’, then move on to ‘Can You Forgive Her?’ Today I finished reading the first.

Here is a link to Wikipedia on the great Victorian novelist:

Anthony Trollope

I had been under the impression that the only one of his forty seven novels I had already read was ‘The Warden’, some forty years ago. It was not until I found a slender bookmark towards the end of ‘Barchester Towers’, that I realised I had read that one as well. Never mind, I had forgotten it, so enjoyed it afresh. The writer’s style, a little lengthy for today’s taste, is superb. Trollope has an insightful knowledge of human nature combined with the ability to convey the emotional life of his characters with clarity, compassion, and passion. He has subtle humour and evokes the manners of the the time with a keen descriptive eye. The book in question is well crafted, keeping the reader interested in the tale he is telling. As usual, I will not give away any details.

My set is from The Folio Society. This one is dated 1977, and has an introduction by Julian Symons.

The text is embellished by Peter Reddick’s delicate drawings, nicely evoking both the setting and the characters.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s marvellous macaroni cheese, green beans, broccoli, carrots, and ham. Jackie drank Hoegaarden; I finished the Costières de Nîmes; and Becky and Ian didn’t imbibe.



  1. Laughter is the best medicine…

    Little birdie in the sky
    Did a poopy in my eye
    I didn’t scream, I didn’t cry
    I thanked the lord that cows can’t fly 🙂

      1. Something of the sort, Jim. I never know whether I have a virus or an infection, and since antibiotics don’t work on viruses, I suppose its a bit more than a cold

  2. Take care, Derrick. GPs can’t seem to do more than prescribe antibiotics these days but I would prescribe plenty of rest and fluids of the non-alcoholic kind. No doubt you are already getting plenty of TLC.

    I like Trollope. Pity I don’t have the full set.

    1. The Warden, along with the entire Barchester Chronicles canon, was dramatized on BBC Radio 4 within the past [?]2 years or so. Possibly there was a Trollope anniversary. It may still be available online.

  3. I love Trollope (wordy he may be but I am a wordy miss which may explain why he ranks high in my esteem) …. but when did certain ladies become Trollops I often wonder. Do get well soon – antibiotics will do the trick but I hope they don’t make you feel rotten whilst they do their best.

      1. And, unfortunately, it probably means that one of Anthony’s forebears purveyed such a trade, hence his surname.

  4. I believe Trollope wrote a large part of Barchester Towers whilst travelling by rail across Ireland as a postal service employee. He wrote little by little in pencil and his wife would later copy his drafts.
    Slow and steady wins the race. Get well soon.

  5. Quite a post and love the comments. I, also have the wonderful gift of forgetting entire novels. No matter, I get to enjoy them all over again. Fell better, soon, my friend.

  6. I read Trollope many years ago when I was deeply immersed in the great writers of those times. But I realised I really can’t remember any details of Barchester Towers except for the enjoyment of reading it. Perhaps it is time to revisit!! Darn, just when I have given away the last of my aged books!! 🙂

  7. I don’t think I’ve read Trollope. Your Folio Society book is beautiful.
    Hope the antibiotics help you towards a speedy recovery and that you feel better soon, Derrick!

  8. Antibotics!!!!! obviously you have got something worse than man flu, hope you are feeling better soon.

  9. I love Trollope. You can’t read them back to back, though because the same characters appear with different names. Just sayin’. Read something in between. My favorite of his books–and the most modern, I think, is The Way We Live Now. Dr. Thorne isn’t bad either. Just come up for air in between. I hope you feel better soon. That leftie knows how to handle you!

  10. Get well soon. Hope your antibiotics are as good as mine – they seem to have cured several things I didn’t know I had!

    Haven’t read Trollope for years. Enjoyed DrThorne on TV last year but don’t have a slot available as I still have a couple of Wodehouse to go and have just downloaded the complete works of John Buchan and Saki on my Kindle.

    So many books, so little time!

  11. I’m glad to hear you’ve enjoyed Barchester Towers, even if it has been for a second time. I think I read “The Warden” at either high school or university. I have a vaguely positive feeling about it, although I can’t remember anything about the story.

  12. So sorry to hear you were sick and needed visit to GP and meds, too. Hopefully, all will be over very soon!
    The books look well written and intriguing. The illustrations quite detailed. Thank you for sharing these works and their author. 🙂

  13. Dear Derrick I hope you are soon feeling much better and the medication from the Drs soon kicks in to help my friend.. I know from my own recent virus chest infection how soon it can pull us down.. So do take care Derrick..
    As for your books they look a fascinating read.. And I love it when we forget what we have previous read and re-read as if for the first time.. Which is why I am loathed to get rid of my books as I often revisit them years later.. 🙂

    Wishing you and your lovely Jackie a wonderful Happy Healthy New Year my friend.. Take care..
    Love and Blessings
    Sue <3

  14. I like Trollope too and admire his skill at creating a community. I’ve always found it unfair he’s connected in our minds with rubbish (that’s a load of trollope).

  15. So many of our contacts have had what we might now call The Queen’s Virus (i.e. a debilitating cold whose after-effects hang around for seems like ever). For those abroad who don’t get to hear such trivia, HMQ missed her usual Xmas Day and New Year’s Day church services at her Norfolk estate a week or two ago, due to “a heavy cold”, according to officials.
    Margery can pinpoint when she picked up hers: Nov 15th, from her acupuncturist (who should have known better and cancelled appointment; “but you can’t ,when you’re self-employed”, he countered shamelessly, when she vsiited him again, still suffering on Dec. 12th). She still hasn’t shaken off the remnants, though she shares DJK’s aversion to taking anti-biotics.
    I might add that “our contacts” doesn’t mean that she passed hers on to all ours: some are contacts we haven’t seen since before November. And our contacts don’t include HMQ, so she didn’t get it from us!
    Glad to hear yours is subsiding.

  16. I’ve been hanging on to this post for a while, waiting until I had enough time to take it all in. I have never read any Trollope, perhaps I should put it on my list. In reading the Wikipedia link, I learn he did come to Australia in 1871 and wrote a not-so-well received book on his visit. My local uni library has a copy, so I will seek it out. His attitude and observations may well give me inspiration for one of my characters. I knew there was a reason I kept this post!

  17. Derrick, I was mulling over one of your posts and came across this particular one. It’s a year old–plus, so I was happy to find it. Back in the nineties, I wrote my dissertation on Anthony Trollope. Yep! And I will admit right here and now, I still have a few novels to read. I think I read most of them. I have the Trollope Society collection, which I love and cherish. Everything you say about Trollope is spot on. It was interesting to note that several responders mentioned they had never read Trollope. It reminds me when I went to the graduate school director and told him I wished to write my dissertation on Anthony Trollope. He responded with a single word: “Who?”


    Trollope has gained a bit in this country, due to PBS movies based on his novels, but he’s still overshadowed by Dickens, Thackeray, and Eliot.

    But, since it’s been a year, I have to ask. Have you finished all 47 novels?

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