What if wife abstains from buying another book until she has read every single book already in the house?
Husband calculates. That would actually save money, the parrot's initial cost and maintenance costing less each month than wife's book budget.
I haven't come up with a name yet. He's an Indian Ringneck Parrot. My sister has been suggesting Bagheera, Baloo, Kaa and Shere Khan but I'm not feeling it.
Maybe something bookish? Hercule Parroh kind of appeals to me. I'm open to suggestions.
The Warden by Anthony Trollope
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Warden is the first of of six books called the Chronicles of Barsetshire. At 157 pages it is the shortest but extremely interesting.
Septimus Harding is the warden of an almshouse for twelve bedesmen. Bedesmen are elderly retired men who are payed to pray for their benefactor.
A medieval bequest allotted a certain sum of money for the living of these twelve men and also the warden. At this time the twelve men were living off of a paltry sum that barely paid for their room and board while the warden was living in luxury in a large house, spending his evenings playing his beloved instruments and socializing.
John Bold, a zealous young man, sees the disparity and decides to take legal action against the warden so that the money can be more equitably distributed.
The Archdeacon, Mr. Grantly, who is also Harding's son-in-law, browbeats the bedesmen and also his father-in-law, insisting that the money is distributed at it should and the elderly men should be grateful for their living.
The story gets into the press because Bold has mentioned the lawsuit to a friend who writes for the Jupiter. The public takes a dim view of what they see as exploitation of the poor and abuse of authority by the Warden. The Church in Barchester begins to receive bad publicity.
Surprisingly, the Warden himself is guilt-ridden and worries that the bequest has not been carried out as intended. A further complication is that John Bold is in love with Harding's daughter.
I won't retell the story, that's just to get the ball rolling. What makes this story interesting is how well Trollope dresses his characters. There are no cartoonish parodies as in a Dickens or Austin novel. Even the Archdeacon, who is quite a blowhard, has his vulnerable side, as manifested in his relationship to his wife.
As in other Trollope novels I find myself asking, "How is this going to turn out?" The Warden is not a story of high action and suspense, yet there is a certain amount of "pressure" if you will, that urges one on to the end towards the resolution.
Another quality I enjoy in Trollope's novels like this one is that he shows how people think. Especially people who are doing things they know they should not be doing. It's insightful to see how they justify to themselves and their world why they are acting the way they are. Surprisingly, some don't try to justify themselves and honestly enjoy what they are doing for the sake of it being bad.
I only have the sixth in the series after this and since I am currently on a book buying fast, I don't know if I should read the last book or wait.
View all my reviews