Places: The Last Chronicle of Barset

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

First published: 1867

Type of work: Novel

Type of plot: Domestic realism

Time of work: Mid-nineteenth century

Asterisk denotes entries on real places.

Places DiscussedBarchester

Barchester. Last Chronicle of Barset, TheEpiscopal seat of the Church of England’s diocese of Barset, the site of the bishop’s palace as well as all the ecclesiastical politics, which involves the Reverend Josiah Crawley’s trials after being accused of stealing a bank draft. Bishop Proudie and his wife are the chief powers of the town. In fact, Mrs. Proudie leads the bishop by the nose and is actively working against the honest but obtuse Crawley. Barchester is also the site of the dean and chapter, who also wield influence in matters spiritual and temporal.

Hogglestock

Hogglestock. Small bleak parish of which the Reverend Josiah Crawley is the perpetual curate. While no one in his right mind could aspire to live in this god-forsaken hamlet, Crawley serves his poor parishioners well. Nevertheless, Mrs. Proudie conspires to oust him for malfeasance and insert her obsequious dependant, the Reverend Caleb Thumble, in his place.

Silverbridge

Silverbridge. Town on the railway line in Barset where Crawley is taken to face legal charges after he is accused of stealing a bank check. His daughter Grace, the romantic heroine of a subplot of the novel, teaches at the Misses Prettyman’s School in Silverbridge but resigns her post in shame because of her father’s accusation.

*London

*London. Great Britain’s capital city is the site of the office of the barrister Thomas Toogood, a member of a respected law firm and cousin to the Reverend Crawley’s wife. Toogood defends Crawley and solves the mystery of the missing check. His urban offices provide a contrast to the rural milieu of Barset.

Allington

Allington. Small Barset village that is the home of Squire Dale and his daughter Lily, who persuade Grace Crawley to live with them after she resigns her teaching post in Silverbridge. Archdeacon Grantly’s son, Major Henry Grantly, courts Grace at Allington and eventually persuades her to marry him after her father’s name has been cleared.

Bishop’s palace

Bishop’s palace. Site of many ecclesiastic and domestic struggles between Bishop Proudie and his lady wife, Mrs. Proudie. Other ecclesiastical disputes take place there as well. Mrs. Proudie’s dominion at the palace is virtually complete until she is told to be silent by Crawley–which spurs Bishop Proudie finally to rouse himself and begin to assert his prerogatives. Mrs. Proudie repairs to her room in the palace and expires suddenly of a fit of pique at her waning influence over her husband. Thus dies one of Trollope’s greatest comic inventions, the odious Mrs. Proudie.

Dragon of Wantly

Dragon of Wantly. Pub owned by Mrs. Eleanor Harding Bold Arabin, wife of the Reverend Francis Arabin. The Dragon of Wantly is the site of the theft of the check the Reverend Crawley is accused of stealing. A dishonest employee of the pub steals the check and puts in motion the central mystery, which drives the plot of The Last Chronicle of Barset.

BibliographyapRoberts, Ruth. The Moral Trollope. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1971. Discusses Trollope’s efforts as a moralist; helpful in thinking about this particular novel.Booth, Bradford A. Anthony Trollope: Aspects of His Life and Art. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1958. Discusses how Trollope’s view of the world, particularly the religious and political world, affected his fiction thematically and aesthetically.Cockshut, A. O. J. Anthony Trollope: A Critical Study. London: Collins, 1955. Trollope’s entire career, with substantial discussion of the Barsetshire series and this novel in particular.Davies, Hugh Sykes. Trollope. London: Published for the British Council by Longmans, Green, 1960. Short pamphlet that provides an accurate, succinct introduction to a long, complicated career.Edwards, P. D. Anthony Trollope. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968. Short study of Trollope’s work with a section on The Last Chronicle of Barset. Uses extracts from the novels to discuss specific topics. A good starting place.Gill, Stephen. Introduction to The Last Chronicle of Barset. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1980. Attractive, short introduction to the novel and its relation to the other works in the Barsetshire series.
Categories: Places