Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
After the death of Bishop Grantly of Barchester, there is much conjecture as to his successor. Bishop Grantly’s son, the archdeacon, is ambitious for the position, but his hopes are defeated when Dr. Proudie is appointed to the diocese. Bishop Proudie’s wife is of Low Church propensities as well as being a woman of extremely aggressive nature, who keeps the bishop’s chaplain, Obadiah Slope, in constant tow.
On the first Sunday of the new bishop’s regime, Mr. Slope preaches in the cathedral. His sermon concerns the importance of simplicity in the service and the consequent omission of chanting, intoning, and formal ritual. The cathedral chapter is aghast. For generations, the services in the cathedral were chanted; the chapter can see no reason for discontinuing the practice. In counsel, it is decreed that Mr. Slope never be permitted to preach from the cathedral pulpit again.
The Reverend Septimus Harding, who resigned from his position as warden of Hiram’s Hospital because of moral scruples, now has several reasons to believe that he will be returned to his post, although at a smaller salary. Mr. Harding, however, is perturbed when Mr. Slope tells him that he will be expected to conduct several services a week and to manage Sunday schools in connection with the asylum. Such duties will make arduous a preferment heretofore very pleasant and leisurely.
Another change of policy is effected in the diocese when the bishop...
(The entire section is 1062 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Barchester Towers Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!