This sequel to The Warden satirizes the struggle for ascendancy among the clergy of a cathedral city. The contest is between the outgoing church authorities led by Archdeacon Grantly and the newcomers led by Mrs. Proudie and her protégé, the ambitious Mr. Obadiah Slope. Each wishes to become the dominant voice in the quiet diocese of Barchester, and they contend for the newly vacant post of warden of Hiram's Hospital. The truth is that Barchester's leadership is really concerned with social rather than spiritual or moral issues. These intrigues, entwined through the lives of many memorable characters, provide a humorous backdrop for exploring the clash between the old and new ways in Victorian England. This second novel in the Chronicles of Barsetshire satirizes the struggle for ascendancy among the clergy in a cathedral city. The social intrigues of the many memorable characters vying for the vacant warden's post provide a comic and ironic look at universal power struggles.