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.”