The comfortable world of the Barchester clergy is hit by scandal, accusations of corruption and on the death of the old Bishop has to contend with a new threat, Bishop Proudie, his wife and his chaplain, Obadiah Slope.
The Warden and Barchester Towers
Septimus Harding, the unassuming warden of Hiram’s Hospital becomes the target of John Bold’s crusade to rid the Church of England of corruption. Accused of being overpaid and underworked, Septimus Harding, to the frustration of his son-in-law Archdeacon Grantly, has sympathy with the viewpoint of his attackers.
In defence of Mr Harding, the Archdeacon uses the wealth of the church to secure the legal advice of Sir Abraham Haphazard. Eleanor Harding breaks off her relationship with John Bold, who eventually gives way and withdraws the case, but it is too late.
As old Bishop Grantly lies slowly dying, there is about to be a change of government. If the present administration outlasts the Bishop, his son Archdeacon Grantly will succeed him. On his death the Archdeacon rushes to send a telegram to London, but it is too late, the government has fallen, and Dr Proudie is appointed Bishop. The arrival of the Proudies and their chaplain, Obadiah Slope shakes Barchester and sparks a power struggle.
The question of who should be warden of Hiram’s Hospital polarises the clergy. Mr Slope makes an offer to Septimus Harding which is calculated to guarantee refusal.