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Trollope, Anthony

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This novelist with a realistic view of Victorian life was born at No.16, Keppel Street, Russell Square, on 24 April 1815, the son of Thomas Anthony Trollope and his wife Frances (also a novelist). His unhappy time at Harrow School entailed bullying from peers and masters and left him with an unsatisfactory education. His early years as a junior clerk in the General Post Office made him equally dissatisfied until he obtained a position as a postal surveyor in Ireland. On 11 June 1844 in Dublin he married Rose Heseltine, the daughter of Edward Heseltine, a bank manager. While in Ireland he wrote “The Macdermots of Ballyeloran” (published 1847), and upon his return to England as a postal inspector in the southwest, he wrote his first novel of distinction, “The Warden” (1855). Subsequently he produced his best-known novels: “Barchester Towers” (1857), “Doctor Thorne” (1858), “Framley Parsonage” (1861), “The Small House at Allington” (1864) and “The Last Chronicle of Barset” (1867). These novels are distinguished for their depiction of ecclesiastical circles and the landed aristocracy. Eventually he returned to London, retired from the post office, was unsuccessful as a candidate for Parliament, and wrote a number of other novels, especially “Orley Farm”, “Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite”, and (published posthumously) “Mr Scarborough’s Family”. Trollope has been called a master of pathos and humour and a keen and realistic observer of the manners and habits of the social classes. He spent his last years in the small Sussex village of Harting. On a visit to London in November 1882 he suffered a stroke and died on 6 December. Trollope became a member of the Garrick Club in 1862. Trollope himself wrote that the first time he really felt popular was when he joined the Club. In addition to the picture of him by O’Neil (G0821), his portrait by Samuel Lawrence is in the National Portrait Gallery; it was engraved by Lowenstam and prefixed to Trollope’s “Autobiography” (1883). See C. P. Snow, “Trollope: His Life and Art” (1975) and Christopher Herbert, “Trollope and Comic Pleasure” (1987). (DNB, EB)
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