The Big Read starts

To mark the bicentenary of Trollope’s birth, Trollope fans around the world are gathering together – in person or online – to read one of his finest novels Barchester Towers. This was his breakthrough novel, the second in the Barchester series, and brought him to the attention of a wider audience. It is therefore appropriate that it should be selected as the one for Trollopians everywhere to read as part of the celebrations.

If you want to join in The Big Read then you can do so in several ways:

Through the Trollope Society Facebook Page:

This read will take place over four weeks and starts on Friday (Trollope’s actual birthday). The group includes John Bowen, editor of the Oxford World’s Classics Barchester Towers so promises an interesting discussion.

Through the Anthony Trollope Society Facebook Group:

This group will be reading at a more leisurely pace and will complete the novel by 30 June. The reading is being led by Jane Woolley who is based in Australia and being 9 hours ahead of the UK is, of course, slightly in front. I saw the first chapter synopsis has already been posted and the discussion is underway.

If you want to meet in the real, as opposed to the virtual world, there are options in the UK to join reading groups in Cambridge and London. For information contact:

Cambridge Meeting on 17th May: Michael Williamson at

London Meeting on 30th June: Martin Chown at

If you want to join in the Big Read but don’t yet have a copy of Barchester Towers then you can get a copy from various places (all good book shops!) including:

From The Trollope Society

From Oxford University Press (Oxford World’s Classics edition with introduction by John Bowen]

Or you can download a free copy from Project Gutenberg




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