A new bishop arrives in the fictional cathedral town of Barchester, launching a comical battle for ascendancy among the local clergymen and their dependents. Dr. Proudie, the newly appointed bishop, brings two powerful allies: Mrs. Proudie, the outspoken power behind the ecclesiastical throne, and a scheming chaplain, the odious Obadiah Slope. Anthony Trollope's novel satirizes Anglican Church infighting during the 1850s between "low church" reformers and "high church" conservatives. Trollope's ironic observations and keen social and psychological insights combine to form a tale with timeless appeal.
There are many ways to approache the prolific Victorian author's 47 novels, and Barchester Towers is among the best as an introduction. The success of its predecessor, The Warden, inspired Trollope to return to Barchester for the next in what ultimately became a series of six related novels. Rich in humor, wisdom, and memorable characters, this volume offers a captivating portrait of provincial life in 19th-century England.