Trollope and elections

Anthony Trollope stood as a Liberal candidate for the seat of Beverley in Yorkshire in a by-election in 1868.  He came last of the four standing after what he described as “the most wretched fortnight of my manhood” campaigning in the district. The borough was notoriously corrupt, with an estimated 1/3 rd of all the voters willing to sell their votes to the highest bidder.

The result was appealed and it was found on investigation that there was such widespread corruption that the winning candidates were barred from taking their seats in the House of Commons and the borough was struck off.

Trollope, inevitably, put the experience to good use in his descrtiptions of the election at Percycross in Ralph The Heir.

It was, however, the end of his political ambitions.


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