Monthly Archives: April 2015

Post Office Celebrates Trollope

There will be a talk tonight entitled “My Dear Tony”, which will be given by Julian Stray (senior curator of the British Postal Museum and Archive) about Trollope’s career in the Post Office.  It takes place at 7pm at the Phoenix Centre, British Postal Museum Phoenix Place, London WC1X 0DL

Special Post Office franking used on all stamped mail in the UK to mark the Bicentenary

The Pop It In The Post exhibition is currently at the Islington Museum (until 2nd May) before going on tour around the UK.

Trollope’s Writing Desk

Trollope’s signature stamp

An example of a Victorian Pillar Box

Two original green pillar boxes from the Victorian era

All about Trollope’s role in the introduction of the pillar box


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Trollope is trending

I am indebted to Sara Henary, whose article we mentioned yesterday, for drawing my attention to another excellent article, this time by Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker magazine.

This provides a detailed study of what he classifies as the three types of Trollope novels:

There is the Trollope of Barsetshire, where little events assume great importance in this small microcosm of Victorian country life.

There is the Trollope of the political novels, where great world shaping events decided by the government of the then most powerful nation on Earth become secondary to the minute examination of the importance of personal relationships in such a setting.

Lastly, there is the Trollope of the one of novels – the comic novels such as The Three Clerks, the serious psychological and socological studies, such as He Knew He Was Right and The Way We Live Now.

I would argue there is a fourth Trollope – the writer of Irish novels – but that is a quibble.

To read this article in full go to:

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Trollope: the dedicated student of human nature

Sara Henary, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Missouri State University, has written an excellent article which brings out the reasons why so many of us love Trollope while not shying away from the fact that many others do not. For example:

“Trollope gives us the cad who is not quite entirely caddish, the woman who works hard to maintain a prudent marriage without forgetting the imprudent one she had herself wanted. Nothing could be less like Dickens’s stark portraits of saints and fiends moving through a black-and-white world in which the roads to perdition and redemption, though possible to miss, are nonetheless clearly marked.”

To read the whole article go to:

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Bicentenary Dinner at the Athenaeum Club

Cello playing worthy of Septimus Harding accompanied guests up the stairs to the reception

Julian Fellowes with Anthony Trollope

Margaret Drabble and Clive Swift (who played Archbishop Proudie for the BBC) receive their two copies of Trollope Novels from Trollope Society Chariman Michael Williamson to use in the Book Giving

Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall and Great Mulhall with Michael Williamson

Susan Hampshire (who played Lady Glencora in The Pallisers and Madelaine Neroni in Barchester Towers) receives her two Trollope novels from Michael Williamson

John Major and Norma Major with Trollope Society Trustee Susan Cooper

Michael Williamson proposes the toast to the Guests at the dinner

Professor John McCourt proposes the toast to the Trollope Society

Julian Fellowes proposes the toast to Anthony Trollope and, inter alia, announces he has been commissioned to write an adaption of  Doctor Thorne for ITV

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Last night at the British Library


Trollope’s biographer Victoria Glendinning, Mail On Sunday  editor and inveterate collector of Trollopiana Geordie Greig, author Joanna Trollope and late stand in Edward Fox who played Trollope in a one man production at the Riverside Theatre talked last night about what they admire most in Trollope. Their consensus view was that he was a man driven by insecurities drilled into him by his difficult childhood experiences. Yet out of this he was a thoroughly nice, sensitive and insightful man who hid behind a bluff exterior. 

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The Trollope Society and Oxford University Press Book Giving

The Trollope Society and Oxford University Press are marking the bicentenary of the birth of Anthony Trollope, born on the 24th April 1815, with a special Book Giving initiative. Members of the Society and guests attending a dinner to mark the occasion at The Atheneum Club in London will be given two Oxford World’s Classics editions of novels by Anthony Trollope. The first book is for them to keep but, more importantly, the second book is for them to give as a gift to a friend who has never read anything written by Anthony Trollope in the hope that it will spur them on to read more by the same author.

Guests at the event who will receive Oxford World’s Classics editions of Trollope novels to give away include Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame, Sir John Major, who famously said he would take Trollope’s The Small House at Allington as his book to read on Desert Island Discs and actress Susan Hampshire who played the leading female role, Lady Glencora, in the TV production of Trollope’s Palliser novels.

Michael Williamson, Chairman of The Trollope Society said: “It is the principal objective of The Trollope Society to encourage people to read the works of Anthony Trollope. He is a remarkable writer whose subtle delineation of character and often satirical explorations of Victorian social mores provides a clear insight into the world in which he lived. Few writers convey more accurately the constraints and conventions that affected the everyday lives of Victorians, and in particular Victorian women. Trollope did so with unerring accuracy and empathy with his characters, many of whom he developed over two great series: The Barsetshire Chronicles, which focus on life in a fictional cathedral city in the south of England; and The Palliser novels, which focus on political life in Westminster.”

The Oxford University World’s Classics range includes all six books in both of the series as well as other novels such as The Way We Live Now, which is still cited by modern financial journalists for its prescient dissection of the workings of a classic Ponzi scheme by which the rich and the powerful are taken in before its inevitable collapse.

Julie Gough of Oxford University Press said: “We are delighted to support this initiative by The Trollope Society to encourage reading Trollope. He is one of the key authors of the Victorian era, along with Dickens, Eliot and Thackeray, who are included in the Oxford World’s Classics imprint. We hope that many others will follow this lead and give a friend a Trollope in this his Bicentenary Year, whether it is as a birthday present, to mark a special occasion, or simply to let them know that they matter to you.”

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Happy Birthday Mr Trollope

On this, his 200th birthday, we publish a series of photos taken of Anthony Trollope popping up beside examples of his great innovation, the pillar box at sites around London close to where the first pillar boxes (all sadly long gone) were erected. 

Five of these now bear a commemorative plaque, also pictured, but the sixth is an interloper. Can you spot the odd one out and say what the connection is with Trollope at its location?


   Pall Mall opposite the Atheneum Club where Trollopians will be celebrating his bicentenary with a commemorative dinner this evening. 

   Piccadilly opposite The Ritz

   Outside King’s College on The Strand


 Fleet Street outside the former home of The Daily Express

   Lincoln’s Inn

 Rutland Gate in Kensington 

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