Anthony Trollope (24 April 1815 6 December 1882)) was a prolific English author. In a writing career of thirty-five years, he wrote forty-seven novels, seven non-fiction books, dozens of short stories, two plays, and an autobiography.
Trollope's narrative style is distinctive. He tells you what his characters do and say, what they are thinking, and what he thinks about what they are doing and thinking. Call it "third-person omniscient and chatty".
The typical Trollope novel is at least six hundred pages long and contains three or more plotlines. One plot is always a love plot. Within the first hundred pages, a young man and a young woman fall in love. But there's always something in the way. Sometimes the girl has a case of Wrong Guy First. Sometimes the boy has a previous engagement. Sometimes the couple has no money to live on. Sometimes there's a Parental Marriage Veto, perhaps caused by the lack of money. Don't worry; Trollope's love plots almost always have happy endings.
The other plots can be about anything; a perjury trial (Orley Farm), the collapse of a marriage (He Knew He Was Right), a clergyman accused of theft (The Last Chronicle of Barset), life in the British Civil Service (The Three Clerks), a massive stock swindle (The Way We Live Now), or British parliamentary politics (Phineas Finn, Phineas Redux, and The Prime Minister). These plots can have bittersweet or even downer endings.
Trollope's most important books are:
- The Chronicles of Barsetshire aka The Barchester Series
- The Warden
- Barchester Towers
- Doctor Thorne
- Framley Parsonage
- The Small House at Allington
- The Last Chronicle of Barset
- The Palliser Series
- Can You Forgive Her?
- Phineas Finn
- The Eustace Diamonds
- Phineas Redux
- The Prime Minister
- The Duke's Children
- He Knew He Was Right
- Is He Popenjoy?
- The Way We Live Now
- Orley Farm
Works by Anthony Trollope with their own pages:
Tropes found in Trollope's other works include:
- Bittersweet Ending - Lady Anna. It's not at all clear that this marriage will be a pleasant one.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall - One of the hallmarks of Trollope's narrative voice.
- Eagleland: Americans are caricatured as loud, brash and self-centred in several of his novels.
- Door Stopper: The best-known novels all come out at seven, eight, or nine hundred pages. In On Writing, Stephen King refers to Can You Forgive Her? as Can You Finish It? Trollope may have been a victim of his own success here. An Eye for An Eye, Lady Anna, and some other shorter works of his were masterpieces, but he became known as a good Doorstopper writer which may have hindered their longevity.
- Love Dodecahedron: In Ayala's Angel, the title character is beloved by Tom Tringle, Jonathan Stubbs, and Captain Batsby, but Batsby also takes a fancy to Tom's sister Gertrude, who wants to marry Frank Houston, who is in love with his cousin Imogen Docimer. Meanwhile Lady Albury has an interesting relationship with Stubbs, but is determined not to cheat on her husband Sir Harry. Also Tom's other sister Augusta accuses Ayala of trying to steal her fiancé, the honourable Septimus Traffik.
- Madness Mantra: At the start of An Eye for an Eye, we are introduced to a madwoman who incessantly repeats "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Is that not the law?" The rest of the book is a flashback that explains what made the woman go mad.
- Mistaken for Cheating - He Knew He Was Right features a husband who becomes fixated on his wife's non-existent adultery.
- Money, Dear Boy - Trollope's Autobiography shocked many contemporary readers, thanks to Trollope's undisguised interest in earning good money for his fiction.
- Ripped from the Headlines - Is He Popenjoy?, based on the Tichborne Case (which dragged on so long that it was still in the courts when Trollope's final deadline arrived, leaving him to end the novel on an inconclusive note).
- Two Lines, No Waiting - There are sometimes three, four, five, or more plots in his novels.