Trollope's panoramic, six-volume portrayal of the professional and landed classes of Victorian England, The Barsetshire Novels, are as a group one of the great works of 19th-century English fiction. Following the intrigues of ambition and love in the cathedral town of Barchester, these novels--the first serial fiction in English literature--include both Trollope's most popular novel, Barchester Towers, as well as his own personal favorite, The Last Chronicle of Barset. Now Oxford is bringing the Barsetshire Novels back in an elegantly crafted hard-bound set--with acid-free papers and durable binding--allowing readers unfamiliar with these classic volumes the perfect opportunity to enjoy them at last.
These books teem with the life of 19th-century England. Whether describing gracious country living, with croquet and tea on the lawn, or the cut and thrust of London life in the 1860s, Trollope was one of the master chroniclers of his age. But perhaps the most endearing aspect of Trollope's art are the characters he created. Here readers will find Trollope's most charming heroine, the bewitching Lily Dale; the upright clergyman Mr. Harding, central character of the first novel, The Warden; the disreputable Duke of Omnium; the reticent, stern, honorable Doctor Thorne; the amiable and breezy Stanhope family; and the oily symbol of progress Mr. Slope. Each is skillfully handled with that subtlety of ironic observation and the pleasant humor that won Trollope such a wide and appreciative readership.
Nathaniel Hawthorne hailed Trollope's novels as "just as real as if some giant had hewn a great lump out of the earth and put it under a glass case, with all its inhabitants going about their daily business and not suspecting that they were being made a show of." Few authors have captured that "daily business" with as much sensitivity and insight as Trollope.