The title character, Septimus Harding, heads a hospital which supports a dozen retired workingmen, but whose charitable income has swollen over the centuries and now provides him with a very comfortable living.
His right to this money is challenged by John Bold, a young reformer, who involves the law and the press despite his own love for Harding's youngest daughter.
Bold is opposed by Harding's son-in-law, Theophilus Grantly, son of the Bishop of Barchester, and a stern defender of the traditional prerogatives of the church.
The Warden was Trollope's first major literary success, inaugurating the Barchester Chronicles, which returned to the same setting in a fictional cathedral city in the West of England. It is a classic of socio-political observation, despite its ultimately critical view of the reforming impulse which underlay much literary realism.
Free online texts
Gutenberg: The Warden. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: The Warden. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Standard Ebooks: The Warden. AZW3, EPUB and KEPUB formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Warden. EPUB, MOBI and HTML formats.
Wikisource: The Warden. HTML and other formats.
Librivox: The Warden - Public domain audiobook.
The Trollope Society: The Warden
Wikipedia: Anthony Trollope - The Warden
Rabelais - Rev. Grantly keeps a volume of the French satirist hidden in his study.
Charles Dickens - satirised by Trollope as Mr Popular Sentiment
Thomas Carlyle - caricatured as Dr Pessimist Anticant