All Hogglestock believed their parson to be innocent; but then all Hogglestock believed him to be mad.' Josiah Crawley lives with his family in the parish of Hogglestock, East Barsetshire, where he is perpetual curate. Impoverished like his parishioners, Crawley is hard-working and respected but he is an unhappy, disappointed man, ill-suited to cope when calamity strikes. He is accused of stealing a cheque to pay off his debts; too proud to defend himself, he risks ruin and disgrace unless the truth can be brought to light. Crawley's predicament divides the community into those who seek to help him despite himself, and those who, like Mrs Proudie, are convinced of his guilt. When the Archbishop's son, Major Grantly, falls in love with Crawley's daughter Grace, battle lines are drawn.
The final volume in the Barsetshire series, The Last Chronicle draws to a close the stories of many beloved characters, including the old Warden, Mr Harding, Johnny Eames, and Lily Dale. Panoramic in scale, elegiac and moving, it is perhaps Trollope's greatest novel.
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