How Trollope would have wished to win the £10,000 for the Desmond Elliott Debut Novel Prize.
Would he have persisted in the Irish vein begun with The MacDermotts of Ballycloran had he done so? Indeed, would he have merited the prize had it been available in 1847. I cannot help but feel that Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, which also made its debut in the October of that year, might well have been a more deserving winner. Though her sister Anne’s Agnes Grey or, particularly, Emily’s Wuthering Heights, both published the same year would be strong contenders.
So I fear that Trollope would have been overwhelmed in the deluge from Haworth.
Fast-farwarding to 2015, we have a worthy winner in Claire Fuller for her novel Our Endless Numbered Days. However, there is a parallel with Trollope which I am sure he would have appreciated, because, like Trollope, Fuller held down a day job for more than 20 years while writing in her spare time. So it is great to see her emerge as a new talent in the literary scene and my heartiest congratulations go to her.