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Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope Anthony Trollope[1†]

Anthony Trollope (24 April 1815 – 6 December 1882) was an English novelist and civil servant of the Victorian era[1†][2†][3†]. He was one of the most successful and prolific writers of his time[1†][4†]. His best-known works include a series of novels collectively known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, which revolves around the imaginary county of Barsetshire[1†][2†][3†]. Trollope also wrote novels on political, social, and gender issues, and other topical matters[1†][5†].

Trollope’s literary reputation dipped during the last years of his life, but he regained somewhat of a following by the mid-20th century[1†]. His steady, consistent vision of the social structures of Victorian England, which he re-created in his books with unusual solidity, is considered one of his greatest strengths[1†][2†].

Early Years and Education

Anthony Trollope was born on April 24, 1815, in the beautiful district of Bloomsbury, located in the West End of London[6†]. He was the fourth child of Thomas and Frances Trollope[6†]. His father, Thomas Trollope, was a sometime scholar, barrister, and failed gentleman farmer[6†][2†][6†]. His childhood was not a happy one because the family was always struggling with finances[6†].

In 1822, he started attending the Harrow School as a day-boy[6†][2†][7†][8†]. However, his time at Harrow was miserable as he was constantly bullied[6†][2†][8†]. In 1825, he was transferred to Arthur Drury’s private school at Sunbury[6†][7†], and in 1827, he attended Winchester School[6†][7†]. However, due to the poor financial condition of his family, he had to shift back to Harrow School in 1830[6†][7†].

During his school career, Trollope was described as a dirty, untidy, unpopular boy, isolated and bullied, not least by his elder brother Thomas[6†][8†]. His adolescent awkwardness continued until well into his 20s[6†][2†].

In 1830, his mother moved to America to improve the family’s situation. There she set up a bazaar to sell British commodities and goods. However, the enterprise was a failure. In 1832, she wrote ‘The Domestic Manners of the Americans,’ which was well received in England[6†].

In 1834, the family sold off their property in England and settled in Burges, Belgium[6†]. Attempts at University scholarships were abortive[6†][7†].

Career Development and Achievements

Anthony Trollope began his career as a junior clerk in the General Post Office in 1834[2†]. His early years were not particularly happy, but his life took a turn for the better when he was transferred as a postal surveyor to Ireland in 1841[2†]. There, he began to enjoy a social life and in 1844, he married Rose Heseltine, an Englishwoman[2†]. They set up their home at Clonmel, in Tipperary[2†].

Trollope embarked on his literary career with immense energy and versatility[2†]. His first novel of distinction was “The Warden” (1855), a penetrating study of the warden of an old people’s home who is attacked for making too much profit from a charitable sinecure[2†]. Over the next 12 years, Trollope produced five other books set in the imaginary county of Barsetshire, like “The Warden”. These include “Barchester Towers” (1857), “Doctor Thorne” (1858), “Framley Parsonage” (1861), “The Small House at Allington” (1864), and “The Last Chronicle of Barset” (serially 1866–67; 1867)[2†].

“Barchester Towers” is considered the funniest of the series, while “Doctor Thorne” provides the best picture of a social system based on birth and the ownership of land[2†]. “The Last Chronicle”, with its story of the sufferings of the scholarly Mr. Crawley, an underpaid curate of a poor parish, is the most pathetic[2†].

In addition to his work as a novelist, Trollope continued his career in the postal service, travelling across the world on Post Office business, to Egypt, the Caribbean, and America[2†][9†]. However, after missing out on senior promotion, Trollope resigned from the postal service in 1866[2†][9†].

Trollope’s literary reputation dipped during the last years of his life, but he regained somewhat of a following by the mid-20th century[2†][1†]. His steady, consistent vision of the social structures of Victorian England, which he re-created in his books with unusual solidity, is considered one of his greatest strengths[2†][1†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Anthony Trollope’s literary career began with the publication of his first novel, “The Macdermots of Ballycloran”, in 1847[10†][11†]. This marked the start of a prolific writing career that would span several decades and produce numerous works that are still widely read and studied today. Here are some of his main works:

Trollope’s works are known for their insightful portrayal of the social, political, and gender issues of his time[10†][1†]. His novels often revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire and offer a detailed depiction of the life and society of Victorian England[10†][1†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Anthony Trollope’s works are characterized by a genuine concern with moral existence, which was his primary means of insight into his characters[13†]. His characters are conscientiously described regarding their moral sensitivities[13†]. Trollope presents them through what they say and what they do, and also by directly commenting upon them himself[13†].

Trollope’s novels are not driven by plot. His characters, in keeping with their average morality, lead ordinary, average lives[13†]. There are no sensational or complicated situations, no great surprises or shocking situations[13†]. Instead, his characters deal with everyday issues that test their moral sensibilities, such as the problems of poor but well-bred young women seeking a suitable husband or the proper use of church endowments[13†].

Trollope’s posthumous reputation was harmed by his Autobiography, which claimed that he wrote automatically, that his characters were imitations of commonly observed types, that he transcribed reality without much aesthetic control, and that he forced his production by his methodical habits of composition whatever the circumstances[13†]. These admissions brought upon him the wrath of the next generation of writers in the 1880’s and 1890’s who were imbued with more aesthetic doctrines of carefully contrived and consistent viewpoints, detailed representation of interior states, a conscious interplay of ideas, and a complex style to suit a more complex method of storytelling[13†].

Despite what seems to be a simple theory of fiction—the writer tries as closely as possible to make the reader’s experience approximate his own, to make his characters and events appear to parallel actual life—Trollope was more sophisticated than many have allowed[13†].

Personal Life

Anthony Trollope’s personal life was marked by significant events and relationships. In 1844, he married Rose Heseltine, an Englishwoman[2†]. They set up their home in Clonmel, in Tipperary[2†]. This period of his life, spent in Ireland, was when Trollope began to enjoy a social life[2†].

Despite the professional success and recognition he enjoyed, Trollope’s early life and adolescence were not without hardship. His years from 1834 to 1841 were spent in a state of unhappiness as a junior clerk in the General Post Office[2†]. However, his transfer as a postal surveyor to Ireland marked a turning point in his life[2†].

Trollope’s personal life, like his professional one, was characterized by a strong work ethic and a commitment to his craft. His experiences, both personal and professional, greatly influenced his writing and contributed to the realism and depth of his characters.

Conclusion and Legacy

Anthony Trollope’s legacy is significant and enduring. His novels, particularly the Chronicles of Barsetshire and the Palliser novels, have influenced many novelists over the years[14†]. His idea of series novels was innovative and has been emulated by many authors, including C.P. Snow in his Strangers and Brothers series and Anthony Powell in his Dance to the Music of Time[14†].

Trollope’s literary reputation dipped during the last years of his life, but he regained somewhat of a following by the mid-20th century[14†][1†]. His steady, consistent vision of the social structures of Victorian England, which he re-created in his books with unusual solidity, is considered one of his greatest strengths[14†][2†].

In addition to his literary contributions, Trollope also had a significant impact on the postal system. He worked for the Post Office for 33 years until his retirement in 1867[14†][15†]. During his tenure, he contributed to the development of the postal system, including the introduction of the postbox[14†][15†].

Trollope’s work continues to be studied and appreciated for its critical analysis of the social and political structures of his time. His novels provide a valuable insight into Victorian England and remain relevant and influential today[14†][2†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Anthony Trollope [website] - link
  2. Britannica - Anthony Trollope: British author [website] - link
  3. Wikiwand - Anthony Trollope - Wikiwand [website] - link
  4. Oxford Bibliographies - Anthony Trollope [website] - link
  5. Victorian Era - Famous Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope's biography. [website] - link
  6. The Famous People - Anthony Trollope Biography [website] - link
  7. The Victorian Web - Anthony Trollope: Biography [website] - link
  8. The Dictionary of Irish - Trollope, Anthony [website] - link
  9. Trollope Society - His Later Career [website] - link
  10. Google Books - Early Short Stories - Anthony Trollope [website] - link
  11. Order of Books - Order of Anthony Trollope Books [website] - link
  12. Wikipedia (English) - Anthony Trollope bibliography [website] - link
  13. eNotes - Anthony Trollope Analysis [website] - link
  14. Trollope Society - Trollope's Literary Legacy [website] - link
  15. Interesting Literature - Five Fascinating Facts about Anthony Trollope [website] - link
  16. Book Series In Order - Anthony Trollope [website] - link
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