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!"
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"
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'.
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.
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."
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 ..."
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"
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"
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.
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."
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"
This comprehensive novel consists of three subplots which interlink to form the whole and supply a trio of targets at which Trollope aims his proselytising pen. The first treats on the courtship of a woman by a man whom she does not love and with whom she is not compatible. Mary Lowther will not accept such a marriage of dishonesty. The second deals with the plight of a young woman who has fallen prey to the wiles of an evil seducer and subsequently adopts a life of prostitution.
"How I missed Timothy West"
A thoroughly engaging collection of classic short stories from some of the greatest writers who lived.
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"
In the grand finale to the Barchester novels, the proud curate Mr. Crawley is accused of theft, and many familiar characters take sides. Bishop and Mrs. Proudie, Archdeacon and Mrs. Grantly, Reverend Harding, the Thornes, the Greshams, Lady Lufton, Johnny Eames, and Lily Dale are among those involved in this tale of pathos, intrigue, and love, which frequently leads to laughter.
It tells the tale of Frank Gresham and Mary Thorne, a couple intent on marriage despite their conflicting social backgrounds. Frank is engaged in a fierce battle with his family as his mother vehemently opposes the marriage and pushes him to marry a wealthy heiress; however, Frank shuns her attempts and is determined to accept Mary on her own terms.
"It's a treat"
In the fourth of the Barsetshire Chronicles, the values of a Victorian gentleman, the young clergyman Mark Robarts, are put to the test. Through a combination of naivety and social ambition, Robarts is compromised and brought to the brink of ruin. Trollope tells his story with great compassion, offsetting the drama with his customary humour. Like all the Barsetshire novels, it is an extraordinarily evocative picture of everyday life in 19th-century England.
"Everything an audiobook should be"
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.
Love, courtship, and marriage are explored in many moods and many lands in this unusual collection.