Another well-remembered read from my bookshelves are the novels of Anthony Trollope (1815-1882). Besides being a prolific writer – novels, essays, letters – he was also a civil servant. His perspective on English manners allowed him to gently critique his society and at the same time keep them laughing.
The Barsetshire Chronicles are particularly enjoyable, focused on the created county of Barset and centered on its cathedral and clergy. The model is probably Salisbury and, if you have traveled to that wonderful cathedral, you’ll certainly see the parallels in Trollope’s descriptions.
The BBC did a wonderful television series, The Barchester Chronicles in 1982, which was also broadcast on PBS. I believe I started reading Trollope after watching this series. They are delightful books and great fun to read. The Barchester Chronicles is still available. You can buy the DVDs or rent them on Netflix. There also appear to be a few YouTube renditions. When I was looking for all these, I also saw that there are some more productions based on Trollope’s books, including some Barsetshire reprises.
Here is a New Yorker article from 2015 about what is clearly a Trollope trend: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/04/trollope-trending
These are the 6 Barsetshire Chronicles in order. Following is a photograph of my Trollope shelf.
- The Warden (1855)
- Barchester Towers (1857)
- Doctor Thorne (1858)
- Framley Parsonage (1861)
- The Small House at Allington (1864)
- The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867