Author(s): Anthony Trollope
The Warden introduces us to the lives of some of the most beloved characters in all literature. Septimus Harding, the warden of the title, is a kindly and naive clergyman who finds himself caught between the forces of entrenched tradition and radical reform amid the burgeoning materialism of Britain in the 1850s. The deeply insightful portrayals of figures such as the booming Archdeacon Grantly and the beautiful Eleanor Bold at the heart of this moving and deliciously comical tale launched the enduringly popular Barsetshire Chronicles series of six novels, and won Anthony Trollope an eternal seat in the pantheon of great literary figures. Illustrated by F C Tilney.
Anthony Trollope was born in London in 1815 and had a troubled childhood. His father was a barrister of good family determined to educate his three sons as gentlemen but unable to afford it. Anthony, the youngest, suffered most. Large and ungainly as well as embarrassingly impecunious, he suffered cruel mistreatment at Harrow and Winchester. His mother Fanny came to the rescue by winning fame and wealth as an author. She found Anthony a job in the Post Office in 1834. After seven hard years he transferred to Ireland, where he prospered, married, and started to write novels of Irish life. Posted back to London he travelled widely devising mail-delivery routes and was inspired to write his first novel set in England, The Warden, in 1855. It was followed by Barchester Towers, launching the popular series of Barsetshire Chronicles that established his literary reputation. Dozens more novels including the political series The Pallisers and many works of history and journalism were to follow. In 1867 he resigned from the Post Office, where he is credited with introducing the pillar box, to write full-time. He did so until his death in 1882.