Anthony Trollope, 1815-1882

trollope portraitToday we celebrate the birth of beloved (and prolific!) Victorian author Anthony Trollope, 200 years ago. Trollope wrote over 60 books during his lifetime, including 47 novels, as well as numerous short stories, an autobiography, and even a few plays.

Trollope’s professional career was with the General Post Office. His early novels were written while working as a postal inspector in Ireland. A 1851 business trip to the southwest of England inspired the first of his “Barsetshire” novels, which helped him to gain a larger readership and wider literary reputation. He found further success through popular novels such as Framley Parsonage, serialized in The Cornhill, and the “Palliser” series of novels.

Trollope’s work is still well-regarded by writers and readers alike, though he has sometimes been disparaged for being a mechanical writer who set a goal of writing 40 pages per week (he often told people that all a novelist needs is glue on the seat of his pants to keep him stuck at his desk). Nevertheless Trollope is still appreciated for his timeless, realistic descriptions of and insights into everyday life and experience.

The Victorian Collection houses a large collection of Trollope’s works and Trollopeana, thanks to generous donations. It also includes editions of works by Trollope’s writing relatives, including his mother Frances, brother Thomas Adolphus, and sister-in-law Frances Eleanor.

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