[This chronology is based in part on Karen Lawrence, Betsy Seifert, and Lois Ratner, The McGraw-Hill Guide to English Literature (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985), pp. 221-23.]

1815       Born in Bloomsbury, London the fourth son of Thomas Anthony Trollope and Frances Milton Trollope, a chancery lawyer and an author of novels and travel books, respectively.

1816       Family moves to a country house near Harrow, expecting an inheritence from Thomas' uncle that will never come. Thomas's business falls off, as his temper alienates clients.

1822       Becomes a day boy at Harrow School. He is the dunce of the class, dirty and sloppily-dressed. He takes repeated floggings.

1825       Transfers to Arthur Drury's private school at Sunbury.

1827       Goes to his father's old school, Winchester. There his older brother Thomas, a prefect, continues the abuse. His mother goes to America, in on a plan to build a bazaar in Cincinnati for the sale of English goods. The bazzar's failure precipitates the ruin of the family financially.

1830       Depleted finances force his spring return to Harrow. Uncouth, ill-dressed, and oversized, he is an unhappy outcast among the aristocrats. He endures constant jibes about his poverty; his tutor takes him without a fee but by spreading the news embarrasses Anthony greatly.

1832       His mother, Frances, publishes Domestic Manners of the Americans, a satiric novel that, though widely disliked in America, becomes popular in Britan, enabling her to support the family.

1834       Unable to win a university scholarship, Trollope moves with his family to Bruges, Belgium. There he becomes an usher in a school, picking up French and German in anticipation of a commission in the Austrian cavalry.

1834-1841       Finds work in London as a junior clerk in the general post office, at 90 a year. Lonely, with few friends, he earns a reputation for insubordination. His father dies in Bruges (1835); his older brother, Henry, and his younger sister, Emily, die there the following year.

1841-1845       Transfers to Banagher, Ireland, as deputy postal surveyor. Takes up fox hunting; comes to love the freedom of the outdoors. Begins writing novels. Marries Rose Heseltine, the daughter of a Rotherham bank manager (1844).

1845-1859       Earns promotion to a post in Mallow, Ireland. Travels on postal missions to western England in 1851, to Belfast in 1853, to Donnybrook near Dublin in 1854, and to Egypt, Scotland, and the West Indies in 1858-1859. Takes a post as surveyor general of the post office in Waltham Cross (near London) at 800 a year.

1847-1848       Publishes his first novel, The Macdermots of Ballycloran, searching for the sources of Irish discontent, and The Kellys and the O'Kellys, another political novel. Neither does well.

1855       Publishes The Warden;, the first of the Barset chronicles, a series of six novels set in the imaginary county of Barset.

1857       Publishes Barchester Towers, a Barset novel.

1858       Publishes Doctor Thorne, a Barset novel depicting the caste system of landed property-holders.

1861       Publishes Framley Parsonage, a Barset novel.

1864       Publishes The Small House at Allington, a Barset novel.

1867       Publishes The Last Chronicle of Barset, the last of the Barset novels. Over the years of the Barset chronicles, Trollope writes every morning, from 5:30 to 8:30, before going to work at the post office, at the rate of 1000 words per hour.

1865-1880       Publishes a second series of novels, the political novels, less witty and humorous but more difficult and complex than the Barset series. These novels, covering the lives of the Plantagenet Palliser family, include Can You Forgive Her? (1865), Phineas Finn (1869), Ralph the Heir (1871), The Eustace Diamonds (1873), Phineas Redux (1874), The Prime Minister (1876) and The Duke's Children (1880). They depict the inner political workings of the House of Commons, the political clubs, and the social entertainments of the great political hostesses.

1868       Resigns from the civil service to become the Liberal party candidate for Beverley in the House of Commons.

1875       Travels to Australia to visit his second son, a sheep rancher there.

1882       After years of depression and seclusion in a Sussex village, Trollope dies in London at an evening party at his brother-in-law's.

1883       Autobiography is published posthumously, along with two novels: The Landleaguers and Mr. Scarborough's Family.


Victorian Web Overview Anthony Trollope The Way We Live Now

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