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"The Warden" is the first book in Anthony Trollope's six part Barchester series. While the subject matter, the intrigues surrounding clerical life in a fictional English cathedral town, might seem slightly esoteric, the book itself is excellent.

"The Warden" provides a necessary introduction to the Barsetshire novels, which, in turn, provide a marvelous introduction to rural Victorian society, and its religious, political, and social underpinnings. However, "The Warden" is a small literary masterpiece of its own, even though the more popular Barchester Towers tends to obscure it.

Trollope was a master at succintly summing up intriguing characters and although Barchester Towers is more highly regarded, this is an excellent short introduction both to the series and to Trollope's writing as a whole.

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