Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Tea & Opening Sentence of the Day: Barchester Towers

In the latter days of July in the year 185__, a most important question was for ten days hourly asked in the cathedral city of Barchester, and answered every hour in various ways -- Who was to be the new Bishop?

-- Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

This is the second of six books in Anthony Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire.  Written in 1857, it is a witty satire of English country life and the machinations of the Church hierarchy in the cathedral city of Barchester. 

For years, I've had good intentions to read all six books, but never added any more to my TBR shelf than a pretty folio edition of The Last Chronicle of Barset, the final volume.  So I finally got the audiobooks from my library and have been reading them with my ears, starting with The Warden.  (I am a big fan of audiobooks, especially when it comes to older "classics," as I explain here.)

The Warden was very good, but Barchester Towers  is even better.  It has a complex but not difficult story, the characters are over-the-top, and Trollope brilliantly clever.

This is my first time participating in Thursday Tea, a weekly event hosted by Anastasia at her Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.

I get to participate this week because, for once, I'm at home on a Thursday.  I'm taking a Bon Bon Day, as my sister and I call them.  (Don't tell my law partners I'm playing hooky.)  So I am listening to Trollope while I putter in the garden, organizing my craft room, and play with the Jazz Cats.

And I'm drinking cup after cup of Earl Grey.  Hubby prefers this particular blend of Irish Breakfast, which is my daily drinker as well. But when he's not around, I hit the Earl Grey.


  1. I enjoy Anthony Trollope but for some reason have never quite gotten through all of his books. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. I've got to give Trollope another try. I read one of his short stories (or was it a novella?) and was kind of bored, but you make this sound like a fun read.

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings!

  3. I haven't read any Trollope, but I adore this beginning.

  4. I read and loved the Barchester series but I watched the Barchester Chronicles (1982)tv series first which is on dvd. It has Alan Rickman and Geraldine McEwan in it as the slippery Mr Slope and domineering Mrs Proudie - great!
    I'm now reading Trollope's Palliser series.

  5. Oooo, Anthony Trollope. I read Mr Scarborough’s Family and Miss Mackenzie a while ago and (mostly) enjoyed them, and I've got all his other books downloaded to my Kindle for reading. Haven't worked up the motivation to do so yet, though!

    Thanks for joining in on Thursday Tea this week!

    - Anastasia @ Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

  6. Fun to have a day off! I love Earl Grey.

  7. How nice to find you doing Thursday Tea. I used to and just sorted my tea cupboard and decided to start posting again. I've tried so hard to enjoy audio books but I just can't stand it. Perhaps if I ever go blind. :)
    I could drink Earl Grey any time and all the time. It always satisfies I find. Enjoy your Trollope.


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