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Good heavens! Dr Grantly’s father is about to pass on and the bishop’s seat will become vacant. And that just at the time the government is about to fall and a new possibly Low Church minded one will come in. If he doesn’t go soon, all sorts of things could happen. When the new bishop Dr Proudie and his wife move in with their slimy chaplain Mr Slope, word gets out that the she bishop and her chaplain are raving evangelicals who love the word ‘Sabbath’ (who cares about your own opinions indeed, bishop?). They are on a clear collision course with the high and dry Grantly faction. Certainly when a new warden for Hiram’s hospital has to be appointed, now on a reduced income. Of course it is Mr Harding who will take his rightful post again, but is it, under the conditions which Mr Slope alleges are the bishop’s wish? Dr Grantly will not stand this petticoat government, and thus duly appoints Mr Slope’s archenemy Mr Francis Arabin to a vacant curacy under his jurisdiction. But alas! Disaster strikes when Mr Harding’s own now widowed daughter Eleanor is consorting with the enemy, Mr Slope! And that is not all. With £1,000 per annum at her own disposal, she is not only the object of Mr Slope’s desire (who would now move heaven and earth to counter Mrs Proudie in her wish for another meeker warden to the hospital), but she is also the object of the superficial Stanhope family: the disastrous products of a disinterested prebendary who has spent way too much time at Lake Como. As things all come together at pastoral Ullathorne and the old dean dies, maybe the bishop is not so bad after all and Eleanor may be given more credit, although it will not be down to Miss Thorne’s skill in matchmaking. And Dr Grantly was wrong, fiddlesticks! The quarrels of the High and Low Church play in the background of a delightful novel with beautiful prose and lovely deconstructive remarks, quite unique for 1857.--Submitted by kiki1982.
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