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This magnificent sequel to The Warden satirizes the struggle for ascendancy among the clergy of a cathedral city as they contend for each newly vacant post within the archdiocese.
The contest for power is between Archdeacon Grantly and his followers, who favor high-church tendencies, and the new bishop and his followers, with their distinctly low-church preferences. Speaking loudly and cleverly for the latter is the ambitious Mr. Obadiah Slope, championed by Mrs. Proudie and the newcomers. Each wishes to become the dominant voice in the quiet diocese of Barchester, but their antics, including romantic ones, reveal that their priorities are more social and political than spiritual or moral.
Their intrigues and misunderstandings entwine through the lives of many memorable characters and provide a humorous backdrop for an exploration of the clash between old and new ways in Victorian England.