Historical records matching Anthony Trollope
About Anthony Trollope
Anthony Trollope (24 April 1815 – 6 December 1882) was one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of his best-loved works, collectively known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire. He also wrote perceptive novels on political, social, and gender issues, and on other topical matters.
Noted fans have included Sir Alec Guinness (who never travelled without a Trollope novel), former British Prime Ministers Harold Macmillan and Sir John Major, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, English judge Lord Denning, American novelists Sue Grafton and Dominick Dunne and soap opera writer Harding Lemay. Trollope's literary reputation dipped somewhat during the last years of his life, but he regained the esteem of critics by the mid-twentieth century.
Thomas Anthony Trollope, Anthony's father, was a barrister. Though a clever and well-educated man and a Fellow of New College, Oxford, he failed at the bar due to his bad temper. In addition, his ventures into farming proved unprofitable, and he lost an expected inheritance when an elderly childless uncle re-married and had children. As a son of landed gentry he wanted his sons to be raised as gentlemen and to attend Oxford or Cambridge. Anthony Trollope suffered much misery in his boyhood owing to the disparity between his family's social background and his own comparative poverty.
Born in London, Anthony attended Harrow School as a free day pupil for three years from the age of seven because his father's farm, acquired for that reason, lay in that neighbourhood. After a spell at a private school at Sunbury, he followed his father and two older brothers to Winchester College, where he remained for three years. He returned to Harrow as a day-boy to reduce the cost of his education. Trollope had some very miserable experiences at these two public schools. They ranked as two of the most élite schools in England, but Trollope had no money and no friends, and was bullied a great deal. At the age of twelve, he fantasized about suicide. However, he also daydreamed, constructing elaborate imaginary worlds.
In 1827, his mother Frances Trollope moved to America with Trollope's three younger siblings, to Nashoba Commune. After that failed, she opened a bazaar in Cincinnati, which proved unsuccessful. Thomas Trollope joined them for a short time before returning to the farm at Harrow, but Anthony stayed in England throughout. His mother returned in 1831 and rapidly made a name for herself as a writer, soon earning a good income. His father's affairs, however, went from bad to worse. He gave up his legal practice entirely and failed to make enough income from farming to pay rents to his landlord, Lord Northwick. In 1834 he fled to Belgium to avoid arrest for debt. The whole family moved to a house near Bruges, where they lived entirely on Frances's earnings.
In Belgium, Anthony was offered a commission in an Austrian cavalry regiment. In order to accept it, he needed to learn French and German; he had a year in which to acquire these languages. To learn them without expense to himself and his family, he took a position as an usher in a school in Brussels, which position made him the tutor of thirty boys. After six weeks of this, however, he received an offer of a clerkship in the General Post Office, obtained through a family friend. He returned to London in the autumn of 1834 to take up this post. Thomas Trollope died in the following year.
According to Trollope, "the first seven years of my official life were neither creditable to myself nor useful to the public service." At the Post Office, he acquired a reputation for unpunctuality and insubordination. A debt of £12 to a tailor fell into the hands of a moneylender and grew to over £200; the lender regularly visited Trollope at his work to demand payments. Trollope hated his work, but saw no alternatives and lived in constant fear of dismissal.
- "Anthony Trollope", Westminster Abbey
Anthony Trollope's Timeline
April 24, 1815
Camden, Greater London, UK
December 6, 1882
Kensington, Greater London, UK