Anthony Trollope (24 April 1815 – 6 December 1882) was a remarkable man. After an unhappy childhood, and an unpromising start to his career, he went on to write 47 novels and rise to the top of his profession as a senior civil servant in the Post Office.
Trollope introduced the pillar box to Britain and negotiated postal treaties across the world.
Trollope's novels topped the bestsellers throughout the mid Victorian period.
Trollope's childhood and early years were the most difficult of his life. Unhappy and unpopular at school, his father's business ventures failing, and his mother for several years away in America, Trollope took to daydreaming, and creating stories.
Trollope was one of the most widely travelled men of his day. His Post Office work and personal travel took him across Britain, Europe, the Middle East, Egypt and South Africa. He visited the West Indies, the United States, Australia and New Zealand; and everywhere he went, he wrote.
Trollope is rightly known as one of the great Victorian novelists, creator of Barsetshire and of The Pallisers. But he was also a fascinating man, full of idiosyncracies and driven to write.
Top Five Did You Know?
- Trollope wrote for three hours every morning from 5am - 8am, and then went to work. He paid a servant £5 extra a year to wake him up with a cup of coffee.
- Trollope introduced the pillar box to Britain. The first one was in St Helier, Jersey, and was hexagonal and green.
- Radio 4's setting for The Archers, Borsetshire with its county town of Borchester, is based on Trollope's imaginary county Barsetshire and its cathedral city of Barchester.
- Rather than leave his son a sum of money in his will, Trollope left him his autobiography and two novels ready for sale and publication.
- Trollope created hundreds of characters to populate his novels, but curiosly, only one whose surname begins with the letter I: Jefferson Ingram.