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It was so hard that the pleasant waters of his little stream should be disturbed and muddied... that his quiet paths should be made a battlefield: that the unobtrusive corner of the world which been allotted to him... and all within it made miserable and unsound.'
A controversy is set to erupt in a peaceful cathedral town. The zealous young reformer Dr John Bold believes that the Church is mishandling an almshouse's funds, and recruits to his cause the outrage of the national press. Soon the elderly, well-meaning warden, Mr Septimus Harding, finds himself at the heart of the scandal, even as its instigator courts his daughter.
Pitting the ancient institution of the Church against the new power wielded by newspaper editors, The Warden was the first of his novels to give full voice to Trollope's genius, and the first in his Chronicles of Barsetshire.