”No doubt the finite and meagre nature of our feelings does prevent us from extending our sympathies to those whom we have not seen in the flesh. It should not be so, and would not be with one who had nurtured his heart with the proper care…”
When the eccentric and scholarly Reverend Josiah Crawley, impoverished curate of Hogglestock is accused of stealing a cheque for twenty pounds, the crime causes a public scandal, sending shockwaves through the world of Barsetshire.
No one who knows him believes he is guilty, but somehow matters escalate and he faces trial.
Many citizens of Barsetshire decide on his guilt before the case comes to court.
Already poor and relatively friendless, Crawley settles in to enjoy his martyrdom and alienate those friends who do try to assist him in his time of need.
The Crawleys desperately try to remain dignified while they are shunned by society, but the scandal threatens to tear them, and the community, apart.
Crawley’s family suffers for his principles, but they stand by him, even when threatened with the terrifying prospect of the workhouse.
The story of Mr. Crawley’s devastating brush with the law gives Trollope plenty of opportunity to expose the hypocrisy, inequality, and cruelty of human society as well and the humaneness and courage of the people who live in it; a wonderful conclusion to an absolutely absorbing saga.
ANTHONY TROLLOPE (1815-1882) was a British novelist and journalist, one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. He wrote insightful novels on political, social, and gender issues, and on other topical matters. Among his masterworks are the Palliser novels, The Warden, Barchester Towers, and The Way We Live Now.