Here is a new audio edition of the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Anthony Trollope's gently satirical tales of provincial life, available together in one download. Nearly 20 hours of ironic, witty, and wonderfully written drama is contained in this audiobook. The cast includes Anna Massey, Alex Jennings, David Haig, Rosemary Leach, Kenneth Cranham, Emma Fielding, and Brenda Blethyn.
"Barchester comes alive!"
In this world of bribes, vendettas and swindling, in which heiresses are gambled and won, Trollope's characters embody all the vices: Lady Carbury is 'false from head to foot'; her son Felix has 'the instincts of a horse, not approaching the higher sympathies of a dog'; and Melmotte - the colossal figure who dominates the book - is a 'horrid, big, rich scoundrel... a bloated swindler... a vile city ruffian'.
The first of Trollope's Barsetshire novels, The Warden concerns the moral dilemma of the Reverend Septimus Harding, who finds himself at the centre of a bitter conflict between defenders of Church privilege and the reformers of the mid-Victorian period.
"Volume one in a perfect series"
Who owns the Eustace Diamonds? Lizzie Eustace claims that Sir Florian Eustace, her late husband, gave them to her. But Mr Camperdown, the family solicitor, insists that they are an heirloom, to be passed down from generation to generation. Lizzie is both beautiful and clever, yet Mr Camperdown believes her to be a scheming liar. And Mr Camperdown is right! The battle for the diamonds rages until a robbery intervenes and they disappear. Or do they...?
"The Eustace Diamonds"
Plantagenet Palliser, the Duke of Omnium and former Prime Minister of England, is widowed and wracked by grief. Struggling to adapt to life without his beloved Lady Glencora, he works hard to guide and support his three adult children. Palliser soon discovers, however, that his own plans for them are very different from their desires. Sent down from university in disgrace, his two sons quickly begin to run up gambling debts.
"Trollope and Timothy West perfectly matched ..."
In the fourth of the 'Palliser' stories, Trollope follows Phineas Finn's return to the dangerous world of Westminster politics. When his political rival is murdered, Phineas is thrown under suspicion and eventually finds himself standing trial at the Old Bailey. The situation is complicated by the presence of two women in his life: his old flame Lady Laura, whose estranged husband is determined to destroy Phineas's reputation, and the wealthy and enigmatic widow, Madame Max.
Trollope inextricably binds together the issues of parliamentary election and marriage, of politics and privacy. The values and aspirations of the governing stratum of Victorian society are ruthlessly examined and none remains unscathed. But it is above all on the predicament of women that Trollope focuses. 'What should a woman do with her life?' asks Alice Vavasor of herself, and this theme is echoed by every other woman in the novel.
In Phineas Finn, the second of the Palliser novels, Trollope balances the rival demands of public and private life, entangling political ambitions with the experiences of love. Phineas Finn, an irresistible but penniless young Irish barrister enters Parliament and comes to London leaving behind him an Irish sweetheart, Mary Flood-Jones. In London, Phineas wins friends on all sides and is admitted to high society.
"As good as it gets."
Plantaganet Palliser, Prime Minister of England - a man of power and prestige, with all the breeding and inherited wealth that goes with it - is appalled at the inexorable rise of Ferdinand Lopez. An exotic impostor, seemingly from nowhere, Lopez has society at his feet, while well-connected ladies vie with each other to exert influence on his behalf - even Palliser's own wife, Lady Glencora.
"This is now the full book. Bang up to date too."
In this, the last of the Barsetshire novels, many familiar characters appear, but the mood of the novel is darker and more uneasy than in earlier volumes.
Barchester Towers, Trollope's most popular novel, is the second of the six Chronicles of Barsetshire. Trollope continues the story, begun in The Warden, of Mr Harding and his daughter Eleanor.
"West is best"
When Louis Trevelyan's young wife meets an old family acquaintance, his unreasonable jealousy of their friendship sparks a quarrel that leads to a brutal and tragic estrangement.
"A refreshingly up to date reading of a dark, psychological, Victorian tale of a marriage breakdown"
Anthony Trollope's classic novel centers on Mr. Harding, a clergyman of great personal integrity whose charitable income far exceeds the purpose for which it was intended. On discovering this, young John Bold turns his reforming zeal toward exposing what he regards as an abuse of privilege, despite the fact that he is in love with Mr. Harding's daughter, Eleanor.
Unscrupulous financial speculator Ferdinand Lopez, aspiring to marry into respectability and wealth, has society at his feet, with well-connected ladies vying with each other to exert influence on his behalf. Even Lady Glencora, the wife of Plantagenet Palliser, prime minister of England, supports the exotic imposter. Palliser, respectable man of power and inherited wealth, is appalled by the rise of this man who seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
Orley Farm, described as a "[B]rilliantly choreographed legal thriller" (Mail on Sunday), centres on the pathos of the main character, Lady Mason. Youthful marriage choices, middle-aged marital crisis, love and loss revolve around the legal action and the complex portrayal of Lady Mason, who is both sympathetic and wily.
Frank Gresham, son of the impoverished squire of Greshambury, has fallen in love with penniless Mary Thorne. Despite the promptings of his family to consider a Miss Dunstable, heiress to a fortune, Frank's affections persist, and the humane Doctor Thorne, as Mary's protector, must confront the prejudices of the mid-Victorian society.
"Hooray! Real Trollope"
In Framley Parsonage, the fourth novel of Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire, the author leaves the confines of Barchester and looks to the countryside, where he relates the moral difficulties of Mark Robarts, the young clergyman who has recently been appointed Vicar of Framley. Desperate to keep up with the local aristocracy, the country parson is persuaded to underwrite the debts of Sowerby, a well-respected peer.
Lily is the niece of Squire Dale, a morose and rather unimaginative old bachelor who lives at the 'Great House' at Allington. His sister-in-law lives at the adjacent 'Small House', with her two daughters Lily and Belle, and the action centres on the relations between the two houses and on the romantic entanglements of the two girls.
"Lily & co"
Young, attractive and wealthy, Alice Vavasor is a woman in the prime of her life. And yet one question torments her: "What should a woman do with her life?" Torn between the kind but dull Mr. Grey and her dangerous and exciting cousin George, she is prone to constant indecision and uncertainty, much to the detriment of Mr. Grey. Can You Forgive Her? is a crisp and engaging novel, brimming with romance, humor, and pathos. It is the first of six in Trollope's celebrated Palliser series.
Can it be right to persist in a bigamous marriage? Mr Peacocke, a Classical scholar, has come to Broughtonshire with his beautiful American wife to live as a schoolmaster. But when the blackmailing brother of her first husband - a reprobate from Louisiana - appears at the school gates, their dreadful secret is revealed and the county is scandalised.
"Dr Wortle's School"