Anthony Trollope

His [Trollope's] great, his incontestable merit, was a complete appreciation of the usual ... he felt all daily and immediate things as well as saw them; felt them in a simple, direct, salubrious way, with their sadness, their gladness, their charm, their comicality, all their obvious and measurable meanings ... Trollope will remain one of the most trustworthy, though not one of the most eloquent of writers who have helped the heart of man to know itself ... A race is fortunate when it has a good deal of the sort of imagination of imaginative feeling that had fallen to the share of Anthony Trollope; and in this possession our English race is not poor. -- Henry James

Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money. Compared with him even Balzac is a romantic. -- W H Auden

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882), the son of a failed barrister, was a prolific Victorian writer.

Trollope carried out most of his writings whilst working as a civil servant in The Post Office. Whilst at The Post Office he invented the red pillar box.

The Warden (1855), Barchester Towers (1857) and several other novel in the series was a a highly critical, cynical and very witty look at church life, its politics and hypocrisies.

Trollope is the first English writer to write a series of books that form a series.

His contemporaries were Thackeray, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins and G H Lewes.

Henry James was a vocal critic of Trollope, although in later years he seems to have mellowed.

I had to study The Warden at college for English literature, and had it not been for an excellent dramatisation of the Chronicles of Barsetshire (as the series of which The Warden was the first is known), by BBC Radio 4 in their Classic serial slot, I would have been put off Trollope for life. Which only goes to show how inappropriate choice of reading material can put people off good literature for life. Luckily for me that did not happen.

I found Barchester Towers left in my local Library as a BookCrossing book. [see BCID: 4859647]

(c) Keith Parkins 2007 -- June 2007 rev 0