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An Autobiography

“That I, Or any man, should tell everything of himself I hold to be impossible…(but) nothing I shall say shall be untrue.” The early chapters of Trollope’s version of his life resound with the miseries of his childhood. Everything his fatherThomas touched resulted in disaster: his law practice having failed, he turned to farming in Harrow, but that too was doomed.

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An Autobiography

Introduced by John Sutherland

ISBN 9781870587723

240 pages Hardback

Publication October 2000


The family had to move constantly, and the burden of keeping the family afloat fell increasingly upon Trollope’s mother Fanny. The most physically robust of the children, Anthony found himself increasingly marginalised, and the resentment he felt still burns strongly in these early pages.

From his ‘hobbledehoy’ years as a junior Post Office clerk in London, to his breakthrough as postal surveyor in rural Ireland, he is anxious to show how he turned his life around. He also gives us his theories on the writing of fiction: his working methods – his meticulous time-sheets, his plot break-downs; the amounts of money he is so obviously proud to have earned; and we get his candid – mostly wrong-headed – opinions about his own novels. But the proud author here inadvertently shows us another picture of himself, a man who is also laceratingly sensitive and insecure. The Rev.W.Lucas Collins, a close family friend, wrote: “Every word reveals to me the man himself, his warm heart, sterling honesty, abhorrence of meanness and injustice and even his prejudices.”



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