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The Last Chronicle of Barset

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

Both Trollope and some of his later critics have considered The Last Chronicle to be his greatest novel. Many of its characters are familiar from the earlier Barsetshire novels, including the Rev. Josiah Crawley, the impoverished curate of Hogglestock, whose alleged theft of £20, together with the efforts of many to clear up the mystery, lie here at the center. Central also is the trying courtship between Major Grantly and Grace Crawley, the clergyman's daughter, over the objections of the Major's parents, Archeacon Grantly and his wife; and the adventures of Johnny Eames, a protagonist of the Small House at Allington. Finally, it is in The Last Chronicle that Bishop Proudie of Barsetshire and his domineering wife, introduced in Barchester Towers, achieve their fullest and most dramatic portrayal.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . and with his eyes fixed on the corner where the wall and ceiling joined each other. He had been told to be firm, and he was considering how he might best display firmness. He thought that he remembered some story of two parsons fighting for one pulpit, and he thought also that he should not himself like to incur the scandal of such a proceeding in the diocese. As to the law in the matter he knew nothing himself; but he presumed that a bishop would probably know the law better than a perpetual curate. That Mrs. Proudie was intemperate and imperious, he was aware. Had the message come from her alone, he might have felt that even for her sake he had better give way. But as the despotic arrogance of the lady had been in this case backed by the timid presence and hesitating words of her lord, Mr. Thumble thought that he must have the law on his side. "I think you will find, Mr. Crawley," said he, "that the bishop's inhibition is strictly legal." He had picked up the powerful . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Reaching the end of Trollopes tales of Barsetshire left me very nearly lost for words.

The first book 'The Warden' created a world and set it spinning, the books that followed illuminated different places and different lives being lived in that world, and now that I have read this book a grand...more

It was a long, but satisfying, haul through the chronicles of Barsetshire - and such a pleasure to be reunited with so many of the characters in this final novel in the series. Trollope has one major plot device in the storyline - did high-minded but poor Rev Crawley steal a cheque for 20 pounds?...more

As expected, this was a triumph. I love Anthony Trollope, and I have loved the Barsetshire novels so much, that I almost worried this final book might not meet my expectations, or might tamper with the novels of the previous books in ways I wouldn't like. However, I should have trusted Trollope m...more

OK. Time to come clean. The original reason for me to read this book is that it is on THE LIST - the '1001 Books to Read Before You Die' list. But, it is the last book in a series of 6 titles and I was worried that I would not be able to follow the plot or be missing something, so I decided to re...more

This is dessert, the reward for having read the first five books of Barset. If Tennyson asks to see "the exact spot where Louisa Musgrove fell" in Lyme, then take me to the cathedral in Barset, so I may look at the memorial to Septimus Harding and pay my respects. I forgive Archdeacon Grantly eve...more

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing a really terrific (and terrifically long) book. The Last Chronicle of Barset is 852 pages in my edition, all of it dedicated to a series of interweaving plots roughly centred around one character, a clergyman named Josiah Crawley, who has been accused of ste...more

Fantastic! What a book! If you like great big long sagas full of crime, romance and interesting, if obnoxious, characters, this is for you. Its a beach book, a recovering-from-flu book or a flight-to-Indonesia (24 hours!) book. Of all the Barchester books, this one is the best. You don't need to...more

Since Mr. Trollope was so kind as to address me directly throughout the novels, I feel justified in addressing him directly in return: Dear writer, you done good! I'm so impressed that you brought it all home in the last book. You made me laugh. You made me cry. (view spoiler)[You didn't overdo the happy ending... (hide spoiler)]

With a meal where the portion size is a little too big, if you intend to get through it, you have to work fast or you'll falter and feel too full to finish. Similarly, a thousand page book about the doings of 19th century rural English clergymen has to be taken at a pace of about 100 pages a day,...more

I know very well that men are friends when they step up and shake hands with each other. It is the same as when women kiss.

"When I see women kiss, I always think that there is a deep hatred at the bottom of it. And so the long, arduous, fitful, endearing, maddening, and epic-filled Chronicles of...more

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