Worldwide Trollope Conference


Taking place on 22 June at the National Liberal Club in London, The Trollope Society is running an all-day conference on Trollope the Travel-writer.

Anthony Trollope was probably the most travelled of the nineteenth century novelists, undertaking overseas journeys on behalf of the Post Office as well as travelling widely for personal reasons. During all his journeys he continued to observe and write. During the day we will consider how these experiences influenced his work and we will also review work relating to Trollope being undertaken throughout the World today.
In addition to this, the Conference will commemorate the 140th anniversary of Anthony’s journey to Iceland with ‘The Mastiffs’ in 1878.

The cost of the day will be £45 per person which will include a working lunch and light refreshments. Places are limited so early application is advised. Alternatively you can join by webinar, price £10.00.

Draft Programme
9.30: Registration and Coffee
10.00: Welcome: Dominic Edwardes. Trollope Society Chairman
Part 1: Cause and Effect
10.05: Tales of All Countries: An Introduction by Michael G Williamson
10.30: The Irish Connection: Howard Gregg M.A.
11.00: Seminar Groups covering UK Travel, Europe, Americas and Rest of the World
12.00: Plenary Session
12.30: Working Lunch
Part 2: Worldwide Trollope: Current Research and Publication Initiatives throughout the World
13.30: Tales of All Countries 2: An Introduction by Michael G Williamson
13.40: Trollope in Europe: Professor David Skilton
14.05: Reception in Japan: Professor Haruno Kayama Watanabe
14.30: Refreshment break
14.50: A Walk in a Wood: Panel led discussion on the Way Forward identifying projects and activities for the future
15.45: The Last Chronicle?: Concluding remarks
16.00: Conference concludes

To book your place at the conference go to:

If you’re unable to travel to London for the conference, you can join by webinar, to register go to:




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Golden Man Booker Prize

To mark five decades of the Booker Prize the judges have selected five past winners, one from each decade, for a public vote to determine the greatest (if tbere can be such a thing).

The five shortlisted books are:

In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul; 

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively; 

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje; 

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel; 

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
You can vote online at:

Just as an aside, I wonder if any of the authors share Trollope’s doubts about the permanence of his position in the canon of English Literature and entertain the same doubts that he would no longer be read 100 years hence?

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London Seminar at Trollope Christening Church

The London Seminar Group of the Trollope Society met to discuss The Bertrams at St George’s Church in Bloomsbury. Before the discussion, the group was given a private guided tour of the church, which is where Anthony was christened.

London seminar at st georges

(Photo courtesy of Nicky Barnes)

The church spire can just be discerned in the background to Hogarth’s depiction of the squalor and degradation of the nearby Rookeries (a copy of which appears outside the church).


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Power, Land and Society 1847 to 1980

Michael Keyton has written a book on Trollope’s depiction of the English landed gentry. Available as both paperback and ebook, Michael explains:

“One of Trollope’s last books, The Fixed Period reveals his vision of the 1980’s; one still dominated by steam and landed power. The British Empire remains intact, ruling unchallenged in lieu of America, which has fragmented. It explains the title of this book. For Trollope, landed power and its politics controlled the future. He could not foresee—or didn’t want to—any alternative. The sci-fi aspects of The Fixed Period are risible. His exploration of Euthanasia is, on the other hand, profound. 
And as for his conviction that landed power would dominate the future that, too, is understandable. Trollope had invested so much in it as the great chronicler of English Landed Society
Books on Anthony Trollope have tended to emphasise the biographical, social convention or else offer analyses of Trollope’s moral code. There has been little, if anything, written about Trollope as the literary expression of a landed society during a period of flux.
Anthony Trollope: Power, Land and Society 1847 – 1980 makes the argument that Trollope’s canon constitutes a profound exploration of Nineteenth Century landed society, providing insights into the cultural and political mores of great and small landowners, as well as the economic opportunities and problems they faced during a period of transformation; his characters, too, subtly illustrate the dilemmas, moral and social that so many Victorians encountered as economic circumstances changed.”

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Getting into Hot Water

Trollope was a great traveller and used many of his travel experiences to good effect in his short fiction. 

I am presently journeying through Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, which lies in the Caucasus on the divide between Europe to the west and Asia to the east. Tbilisi is famous for its hot sulphur baths and on passing them, I was reminded of Trollope’s short story The Turkish Bath. 

This, the first story of his collection of Editor’s Tales, relates how a hapless editor is pursued by a would-be writer even into the hammam Turkish bath where he is forced to promise to read the man’s manuscripts in order to be left in peace. This experimental piece features much of the ritual of the hammam – the vigourous lathering, scrubbing and massage of the naked men – in a daring Victorian glimpse of homo-eroticism.

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Trollope Birthday Walk

The Trollope Society’s walk through “legal” London to mark his birthday this week set off from Chancery Lane tube station and soon reached Stone Buildings.

Facing onto Chancery Lame to the east and New Square of Lincolns Inn to the west, this building housed the offices of a number of the lawyers consulted by characters in Trollope’s novels The Belton Estate, Barchester Towers and Castle Richmond including the wonderfully named Neversaye Die and Mr Wharton had an office here in The Prime Minister.

We continue round the chambers of Lincolns Inn to reach the far side and enter Lincolns Inn Fields.

Here, Miss Mackenzie entered this, the largest square in London, via the archways that can still be traversed in the northwest corner of the square to consult her lawyers next to the old turnstile in the northeast corner.

From here we crossed Kingsway and reached Bow Street and its famouspolice station cum magistrates court.

It was here that Phineas Finn was brought when he was arrested on suspicion of murdering his fellow MP Mr Bonteen before being incarcerated in Newgate prison for his trial.

Just opposite, also on Bow Street, is the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

It was here that the opera singer Miss Rachel O’Mahony appeared in Trollope’s last, unfinished novel The Landleaguers.

The walk ended behind the opera house in Covent Garden itself where in the Tavistock Hotel (now demolished and replaced by the Apple Shop – how times change) Frank Gresham stayed and plotted the horsewhipping of Mr Moffatt outside his club on Pall Mall in Doctor Thorne.

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Trollope Birthday Walk on Sunday

To celebrate Anthony Trollope’s birthday this week, the Trollope Society has organised a  Birthday Walk on Sunday 29th April around Trollope-related areas of London led by City of London Guide Paul Baker .

The walk will explore the beautiful, historical central London area of Chancery Lane, High Holborn, Lincoln’s Inn, the Royal Opera House and Covent Garden. It will pass many sites of biographical relevance to Trollope and his family, especially his father, and a whole host of his novels.

The tour should last just under two hours, and finishes near Covent Garden Piazza.

The starting point is outside Chancery Lane tube station at 1.50pm for a 2pm start.

The walk costs £10 with the option of joining fellow Trollope enthusiasts for tea afterwards (not included).

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