About The Author
Victorian-era novelist Anthony Trollope (1815 -1882) was best-known for his novels known as the "Chronicles of Barsetshire", involving the imaginary county of Barsetshire. He wrote about topical matters including political, social, and gender issues. His father was a barrister and he was educated in privileged, public schools Harrow School and Winchester but he had limited means and relied on his imagination to escape.
His mother had success as a writer, but his father gave up the law for farming and eventually fled to Belgium to avoid arrest. In Belgium, Anthony Trollope was offered a commission in an Austrian cavalry regiment and learned French and German, but instead returned to London to work at the Post Office. He volunteered to worked in Ireland and redeemed himself as a public servant. His salary and travel allowance went much further in Ireland than they had in London, and he enjoyed a small measure of prosperity. It was in Ireland that Trollope met Rose Heseltine, the daughter of a Rotherham bank manager, and they married.
At the time of his marriage, he wrote The Macdermots of Ballycloran, his first novel, and wrote during long train trips around Ireland while working for the post office. As a result, many of his earliest novels have Ireland as their backdrop, reflecting his life there during the great famine. (The Macdermots of Ballycloran, The Landleaguers, and Castle Richmond). The Kellys and the O'Kellys (1848) is a humorous comparison of the romantic pursuits of the landed gentry (Francis O'Kelly, Lord Ballindine) and his Catholic tenant (Martin Kelly).
In 1851, Trollope was sent to England for work, travelling throughout Great Britain on horseback and train. He visited Salisbury Cathedral where, according to his autobiography, he conceived the plot of The Warden, the first of the six Barsetshire novels. Barchester Towers, the second Barsetshire novel, was a success and he received an advance payment of £100.
George Murray Smith and William Makepeace Thackeray, who were starting a magazine, offered £1000 for a novel, which led to Trollope writing "Framley Parsonage", setting it near Barchester. It proved enormously successful and his position in literary society was solidified.
Trollope eventually resigned from the Post Office, hoping to be elected to the House of Commons. He stood as a Liberal candidate in Yorkshire but finished as the last of four candidates amid cries of corruption.