Won’t You Break Your Lock and Key?

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image credit: Bill Bragg

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The Warden, by Anthony Trollope; The Folio Society, $53.95, 224 pages.

Since 1947, the Folio Society, a London-based publishing house, has offered exquisitely crafted volumes of the world’s greatest literature. Their edition of Anthony Trollope’s masterpiece The Warden is no exception – sheathed in a chestnut clamshell case, the clothbound volume includes appropriately dark, mysterious and complex illustrations by British artist Bill Bragg.  Pulitizer Prize winning author Jane Smiley provides readers with a nuanced examination of the author, as well as the world that influenced The Warden and other books in the Barsetshire Chronicles series.  Two major characters in English fiction both first appear here; Mr. Harding, the elderly warden of Hiram’s Hospital and the Rabelais-reading Archdeacon Grantly. Through their activities and relationships, Trollope keenly examines Victorian politics, society, and culture. Consider The Warden as an unexpected alternative to the traditional Dickensian offering this holiday season.

Folio FYI: You can’t get these books on Amazon. To ensure delivery by Christmas, the Folio Society requests orders to be placed by December 10th.

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