Barchester Towers

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Anthony Trollope

Narrated By: Christopher Timothy

Publisher: The Copyright Group Ltd.

Date: May 2017

Duration: 2 hours 25 minutes

Summary:

The intrigues of peaceful Barchester are of tremendous importance to its inhabitants, and Anthony Trollope enjoys observing how differently they impinge on the separate worlds of men and women. Men have to make a place for themselves in society; for them ambition is necessary and justified. Women, on the other hand, have to make marriage their career, and it is up to them to make as good a match as possible. For Trollope, however, genuine love is of the utmost importance to everyone, and the only real basis for marriage. 1. A NEW REGIME. Old Bishop Grantly dies, and his son Dr Grantly is overlooked as his successor. Dr Proudie is appointed, and he duly arrives with his wife and his domestic chaplain, Obadiah Slope. Dr Grantly and his father-in-law, Mr Harding, pay their respects. They are shocked by Mr Slope's strict views on Sunday observance, and his rudeness. Mr Slope gives a startling sermon on proper behaviour in the clergy. The Proudies decide to return to London for a while to avoid the uproar. During their absence, Mr Slope begins to make his influence felt. 2. A SPECTACULAR PARTY. Canon Dr Vesey Stanhope, who has lived in Italy for 12 years, is recalled to Barchester with his family. They are guests at the Proudies' party, held to mark their return from London. Anybody who is anyone has been invited. A sofa is set aside for Canon Stanhope's married, invalid daughter, the beautiful Signora Neroni, and she creates a stir with her dramatic entrance. But when Bertie Stanhope and Dr Proudie try to move the sofa, with the Signora on it, Mrs Proudie's lace train is caught under the castors. Her costume is ripped and her dignity dented. Her only option is to retire from the party. 3. TROUBLE BREWS. Mrs Grantly wrongly assumes that her widowed sister, Eleanor Bold, may contemplate taking Obadiah Slope as her husband and alerts their father, Dr Harding, to the possibility. Dr Grantly appoints his friend the Reverend Arabin to the nearby parsonage of St Ewold's. Mrs Proudie, without the approval or knowledge of her husband, berates Mr Slope for paying too much attention to Signora Neroni at the party, and also for taking on too much responsibility in the diocese. 4. TORMENTED LOVE. Mr Slope visits Madeline Neroni and feels overwhelmed by passion, despite the knowledge that his visits will cause a scandal and ruin his chances with Mrs Bold, to whom he is also attracted. Signora Neroni, however, simply wants to trifle with him, and teases him about the possibility of his marrying Eleanor. When he comes too close to declaring his passion for her, she tells him to marry Mrs Bold and reminds him of the existence of a Signor Neroni. Mr Slope says he loves only Madeline. But when she calls his bluff and suggests they live together, he does not know how to respond. 5. EMOTIONS RUN HIGH. Mr Arabin, now feeling some tenderness towards Eleanor himself, calls on Mrs Bold and her father. She has discovered that Mr Arabin has been discussing her friendship with Mr Slope with her brother-in-law, Dr Grantly. When he admits that they have discussed their possible marriage, too, Mrs Bold and Mr Arabin quarrel, and he realizes his mistake. He is unable to say what is in his mind, and she cannot forgive him - although she can tell that he loves her. 6. AWKWARD SITUATIONS. Dr Trefoil, the old dean of Barchester, suffers a stroke, and while it is obvious he will never recover, he remains alive. Mr Slope proposes himself to Dr Proudie as the dean's successor - to the Doctor's alarm, which he conceals. Circumstances force Eleanor to share a carriage with Obadiah Slope when they go to a party at Ullathorne - a situation which delights him and horrifies her. Mr Arabin notices that they arrive together and is tormented by it. However, he is comforted by Signora Neroni. She realizes that he is in love with Mrs Bold and wonders whether to try to intercede on his behalf. 7. FALL FROM GRACE. Eleanor is pursued into the garden at Ullathorne by Mr Slope, who is determined to propose. She is shocked and embarrassed - particularly because Dr Grantly and Mr Arabin had been right about his intentions. Mr Slope tries to put his arm around her waist, which earns him a box on the ears. He is outraged. The party finishes with an announcement of the death of the dean. Signora Neroni arranges a meeting with Eleanor and tells her that Mr Arabin is in love with her. The next day, Madeline torments Mr Slope by telling the assembled company - including Mr Arabin - that he is to be the new dean and will marry Eleanor. He is so discomfited that his passion turns to hate. 8. JUSTICE IS DONE. Miss Thorne, sister of the squire of Ullathorne, invites Mr Arabin and Mrs Bold to a supper party, where she purposely leaves them alone together. He apologizes profusely, she accepts his apology and they embrace passionately. Mr Slope learns that Mr Arabin has been appointed dean. Further, Dr and Mrs Proudie sack him for paying too much attention to Signora Neroni. Mr Slope soon leaves Barchester and doesn't look back.

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