Anthony Trollope

Hieronder het artikel uit Chambers’s cyclopædia of English Literature uit 1886 over Anthony Trollope.


Letter One of the most prolific novelists of recent times – far exceeding Scott and Dickens in the number of his works – was Mr. Anrhony Trollope, second son of T.A. Trollope, barrister, and of Mrs. Trollope, the distinguished authoress.

Anthony was born April 24, 1815, and died December 6, 1882. He was educated at Winchester and Harrow, obtained an appointment in the Central ost-office, rode high in the service, and was despatched to Egypt, America, and other countries, in order to arrange postal conventions.. He retired from the service in 1867, having made a handsome competency by his literary labours, which he was enabled to carry on during the busiest portions of his life by means of the invaluable habit of early rising.

It was while stationed in Ireland, in the surveyor’s department of the Post-office, that Mr.Trollope commenced his career as an author.
In 1847 he published the first of his long file of novels – an Irish story entitled The Macdermotts of Ballycloran. This was followed, a twelvemonth afterwards, by another Irish tale, The Kelly and the O’Kellys, or Landlords and Tenants. Conscious of his powers, and sure of readers, Mr.Trollope continued to pour forth works of fiction, among which are the following: La Vendée, 1850; The Warden, 1855; Barchester Towers, 1857; The Three clercks, 1858; Doctor Thorne, 1858; The Bertrams, 1859; Castle Richmond, 1860; Framley Parsonage, 1861; Orley Farm, 1861; Tales of All Countries, 1861; Rachel Ray, 1863; Can You Frogive Her? 1864; The Small House at Allington, 1864; Miss Mackenzie, 1865; The Belton Estate, 1866; The Last Chronicle of Barset, 1867; The Claverings, 1867; Lotta Schmidt, 1867; He Knew he was Right, 1869; Phineas Finn, 1869; The Vicar of Bullhampton, 1870; Ralph the Heir, 1871; Sir Harry Hotspur, 1871; The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson; The Eustace Diamonds, 1872-73; The Golden Lion, 1872-73; Harry Heathcote, Lady Anna, Phineas Redux, 1874; The Way We Live Now, and Diamond Cut Diamond, 1875; The Prime Minister, 1876; The American Senator, 1877; Is he Popenjoy? 1878; John Caldigate, 1879; Duke’s Children, 1880; Doctor Wortle’s School, 1881; The Fixed Period, 1882, Marion Fay, 1882; Mr.Scarboroughh’s Family, and The Land Leaguers, both posthumous novels, 1883.

Besides the above, he has written The West Indies and the Spanish Main, 1859; North America, 1862; Hunting Sketches, 1865; Travelling Sketches, 1866; Australia and New Zealand, 1873; South Africa, 1878; Thackeray, 1879. Trollope left the MS of an interesting Autobiography, issued in 1883, from which we learn that he made about £69,000 by a life of constant literary industrie. For Orley Farm he received £3135, and for Can you forgive her? £3525.

Mr.Trollope is emphatically a realist, a painter of men and manners of the present day, a satirist within a certain range, ready to make use of any type that may present itself, and seem characteristic of the special conditions of the present century. Though a liberal, and with apparently little of the religious sentiment, his best portraitures are those of the clergy. Who can ever forget Mr. Slope, Dr. Grantly, Bishop Prowdie or Mrs. Prowdie?

Ladies of rank, aspiring members of parliament (Irish and English), habitués of the clubs, Australian stocjmen, female adventurers – all of these, and many more, he has taken up, and so set them in midst of their surroundings, that his pictures look like photographs, and they seem to be produced as easiliy as the photographer throws off his scenes and portraits. Mr. Trollope is eminently practical and also public-minded, for his characters frequently refer to great public questions, and suggest political changes. His humour is peculiar to himself, dry, direct, and with no infusion of sentiment.

In his excellent story, The Small House of Allington, he will not allow sentiment to suggest even the slightest poetical jusitice in reference to his beautiful and brave, but unfortunate heroïne, Lily Dale. The reality of his subsidiary characters, and his manner of seizing on peculiar traits without dwelling on them, so as to suggest oddity, separate him entirely from the school of Dickens, whilst his dislike of moralising, and his trick of satire, separate him as distinctly from the scho ol of Thackeray, in whom tenderness always lies alongside the cynical touches and bitterness. Mr. Trollope’s style is clear, natural, sometimes eloquent, and without any trace of artifice.