YOUTH
POST OFFICE
ADULTHOOD
THE WRITER

This is a brief biography. Click on the titles below for the relevant sections,click on the top button to return to the list of choices.

For a view of Anthony Trollope's descendants, see the family tree, courtesy of his great, great grandson, Hugh Trollope.

photo of trollope

Anthony Trollope
24 April 1815 -
6 December 1882
 

YOUTH

Anthony Trollope was born in the year 1815, better known as the year of Waterloo. He was the fourth child to live of those born to the union of an intelligent, industrious, well-connected barrister and the daughter of a not very well-off parson, Frances Milton. Anthony Trollope's father was a disputatious man: not a popular nor a well-liked one. By 1826, the family were getting into deep financial water. Fanny Trollope removed herself, three children, and a male companion ­ an accomplished artist, Auguste Hervieu ­ on what at first glance must have seemed a crazy expedition to America, leaving Anthony for six months the only member of the family in England.

In America, Fanny's initial plan to join a Utopian community of do-gooders in Nashoba fell through. Instead she started a disastrous bazaar outside Cincinnati, which her husband stocked with '4,000 dollars worth of the most trumpery goods that were ever shipped.' The bazaar failed, of course, financially. However, this strange episode turned out, in the most oblique way, to be the founding of the family fortune.

The farm at Harrow where the family were living was failing too. Mr Trollope senior's temper reached a pitch that made Anthony think his reason would become unhinged. Fanny Trollope deployed her secret weapon. She had been writing, industriously, a record of her crazy trip to America. She called it: Domestic Manners of the Americans. It was published, and quickly became a bestseller.

Not only did this save the family at a time when the father was financially, and in every other way, at sea. It gave Anthony an insight into how a professional writer should write. From his mother's example (she was constantly writing for many years, although she never quite achieved the same degree of success), he learned the habit of sheer hard work. From this germ a mighty oak tree spread.

 

POST OFFICE

The father died in penury, exiled by a burden of debt, near Bruges. Anthony was found a place through a connection of his from school as a lowly clerk in The Post Office. Asked to copy out a piece from The Times, with an old quill pen, he at once made a mess of it. 'That won't do, you know,' said the friend; Trollope begged a second chance, and was given it. That was to prove the second milestone in his life.

In fact, to begin with he was rather a failure. Anthony records a farcical row with a new boss, Colonel Maberley, and adds, 'I was always in trouble'. But after seven years of boring, mechanical labour (punctuated for relief mainly by day dreams) there came a way of escape. Anthony spotted an offer of a surveyor¹s job in Ireland, and volunteered. Colonel Maberley, glad to get rid of him, gave him the post. Moreover, he sent a very bad reference after him; but, as Trollope recorded: 'From the day I set foot in Ireland, all these evils went away from me.'


 

ADULTHOOD

He did increasingly well, and prospered modestly; and in June 1844 he married the daughter of a bank manager in Rotherham (later discovered to have not been wholly honest). A year later, the first of his 47 novels - The Macdermots of Ballycloran - was finished. He presented it, and his new wife, to his mother on his first holiday. She elected not to read it, though she did send it on to her publisher: who, quite correctly, accepted it. Two further novels followed reasonably quickly, neither making money for either author or publisher. Anthony was transferred to an English post, in surveying. In the course of this he visited Salisbury: and, he tells, 'whilst wandering there one midsummer evening, I conceived the story of The Warden ­ from whence came that series of novels of which Barchester was the central site.' These became known as The Barchester Chronicles*.(1855 - 1867). Essentially, Trollope's life was now set on its long and steady course. As soon as he finished one novel, he started another. This was a habit to which he adhered for the rest of his life. Research suited him. He spent months in the Press Gallery at The House of Commons before commencing the other sequence of novels for which he is famous, The Pallisers* (1864 -1880) which many consider his best work. Other of his most notable works include The Belton Estate; Orley Farm; Is He Popenjoy?; Mr Scarborough's Family; The Vicar of Bullhampton; Rachel Ray and Ayala's Angel . But Trollope's literary well seems almost bottomless, for a maintained a remarkably high level of consistency in his writing.

When, late in life, he made many voyages round the world, he wrote steadily all the way. Lady Anna was started on his first night on board The Great Britain at Liverpool: and the last line was written as Brunel's great iron ship drew into Sydney Harbour. When he wrote his own Autobiography he confessed that he trusted for happiness only in his work. It was the comment of the most professional of all professional writers: a trade he had acquired from a most unusual mother.


 

THE WRITER

Listed below are the titles of Trollopes books in chronological order, for more details about the Trollope Society's updated publications click on the buttons leading to the books.

NOVELS


    The Barset series is denoted by *
    The Palliser series is denoted by +

  • The Macdermots of Ballycloran (1847)
  • The Kellys and the O'Kellys (1848)
  • La Vendee (1850)
  • The Warden (1855)*
  • Barchester Towers (1857)*
  • The Three Clerks (1858)
  • Doctor Thorne (1858)*
  • The Bertrams (1859)
  • Castle Richmond (1860)
  • Framley Parsonage (1861)*
  • Orley Farm (1862)
  • Brown, Jones and Robinson (1862)
  • Rachel Ray (1863)
  • The Small House at Allington (1864)
  • Can You Forgive Her?+
  • Miss Mackenzie (1865)
  • The Belton Estate (1866)
  • Nina Balatka (1867)
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867)*
  • The Claverings (1867)
  • Linda Tressel (1868)
  • Phineas Finn (1869)+
  • He Knew He Was Right (1869)
  • The Vicar of Bullhampton (1870)
  • Sir Harry Hotspur (1871)
  • Ralph the Heir (1871)
  • The Golden Lion of Granpere (1872)
  • The Eustace Diamonds (1873)+
  • Phineas Redux (1874)+
  • Lady Anna (1874)
  • Harry Heathcote of Gangoil (1874)
  • The Way We Live Now (1875)
  • The Prime Minister (1876)+
  • The American Senator (1877)
  • Is He Popenjoy (1878)
  • An Eye for an Eye (1879)
  • John Caldigate (1879)
  • Cousin Henry (1879)
  • The Duke's Children (1880)+
  • Dr Wortle's School (1881)
  • Ayala's Angel (1882)
  • Kept in the Dark (1882)
  • The Fixed Period (1882)
  • Mr Scarborough's Family (1883)
  • The Landleaguers (1883)
  • An Old Man's Love (1884)
  • An Autobiography (1883) [Non Fiction but uniform with The Trollope society editon of novels]

SHORT STORIES (1859 - 1882)

  • Vol 1: Christmas Stories
  • Vol 2: Editors & Writers
  • Vol 3: Courtship & Marriage
  • Vol 4: Tourists & Colonials
  • Vol 5: The Journey to Panama and others

TRAVEL BOOKS & NON-FICTION

  • The New Zealander (1856)
  • The West Indies and the Spanish Main (1859)
  • Four Lectures (1861 - 1870)
  • North America
  • Travelling Sketches (1865)
  • Hunting Sketches (1865)
  • The Clergymen of the Church of England (1866)
  • The Commentaries of Caesar (1870)
  • Australia & New Zealand (1873)
  • The Life of Cicero (1877)
  • South Africa (1878)
  • How the Mastiffs Went to Iceland (1878)
  • Thackeray (1879)
  • London Tradesmen (1880)
  • Lord Palmerston (1882)

A Modest Proposal for an Addition to the Statues within The Palace of Westminister

The Wikipedia entry on Anthony Trollope can be accessed from this link


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