COMPLETE CLASSICS - The Warden by Antony Trollope - The Warden concerns Mr Septimus Harding, the meek, elderly warden of Hiram's Hospital and precentor of Barchester Cathedral, in the fictional county of Barsetshire. Hiram's Hospital is an almshouse supported by a medieval charitable bequest to the Diocese of Barchester. The income maintains the almshouse itself, supports its twelve bedesmen, and, in addition, provides a comfortable abode and living for its warden. Mr Harding was appointed to this position through the patronage of his old friend the Bishop of Barchester, who is also the father of Archdeacon Grantly to whom Harding's older daughter, Susan, is married. The warden, who lives with his remaining child, an unmarried younger daughter Elear, performs his duties conscientiously. The story concerns the impact upon Harding and his circle when a zealous young reformer, John Bold, launches a campaign to expose the disparity in the apportionment of the charity's income between its object, the bedesmen, and its officer, Mr Harding. John Bold embarks on this campaign in a spirit of public duty despite his romantic involvement with Elear and previously cordial relations with Mr Harding. Bold starts a lawsuit and Mr Harding is advised by the indomitable Dr Grantly, his son-in-law, to stand his ground.
Anthony Trollope (24 April 1815 - 6 December 1882) was one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of his best-loved works, collectively known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire. He also wrote perceptive novels on political, social, and gender issues, and on other topical matters. Trollope's literary reputation dipped somewhat during the last years of his life, but he regained the esteem of critics by the mid-twentieth century.