The Warden - Anthony Trollope

I really love Anthony Trollope, and his Chronicles of Barsetshire, to me, reach a level of Victorian perfection that was only attained by a select few authors and books. He manages to perfectly balance satire and seriousness, acerbity and sweetness, and he writes with an infinitely generous spirit. Even his villains are delightful in their villainy.

 

The road to hell is, of course, paved with good intentions, which is the entire point of The Warden. This is really a novella, not a novel, clocking in at a mere 122 pages, approximately 20% as long as the average Trollopian festival of Victorian awesomeness, which makes it quite accessible for readers who do not necessarily enjoy 800 pages of flowery 19th century prose.

 

It lacks Obadiah Slope, however, who makes his first, unctuously delicious appearance in the next book, Barchester Towers.

 

This book fits precisely zero squares in Halloween bingo, although the question of what will the wholly honest and forthright Mr. Septimus Hardy do after being accused of nefarious self-dealing by his daughter's lover, the extremely bold Mr. Bold, does create a bit of gentle suspense.