2018 Annual Dinner

Posted on: November 13th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

Save the Date.

The Trollope Society’s 2018 Annual Dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at the Knickerbocker Club in New York City. Details are forthcoming.

Is Trollope the Originator of the “Dear John” Letter?

Posted on: January 16th, 2018 by Douglas Gerlach

On WeAretheMighty.com, Eric Milzarski postulates that Anthony Trollope may be the originator of the “Dear John” letter.

When, exactly, troops started using [“Dear John”] to refer to an actual letter is lost to time, but it’s been used as a popular saying as far back as 1944 in the St. Petersburg Times. However, the phrase originated many years prior, and was used extensively in Anthony Trollope’s 1864 novel, Can You Forgive Her?

(Read more.)

Phineas Redux Reading Group in New York

Posted on: December 29th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

phineasfinnThe Trollope Society (USA) will host a reading group of Anthony Trollope’s Phineas Redux, the sequel to Phineas Finn and part of Trollope’s series of Palliser novels. Phineas Finn has been lauded as simply the best “political” novel of the 19th Century, and Phineas Redux continues the tale of the Irish politician in London. Led by N. John “Jack” Hall, the group will meet on the second Tuesdays of February and March, 2018, in New York City. Advance registration is required.


The Trollope Society Joins Giving Assistant

Posted on: October 25th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

One action from you could make the difference for us. The next time you shop online, use Giving Assistant! With Giving Assistant, not only do you earn more cash back from your purchases, but you can easily donate your earnings to our cause. Shop, earn, donate—all in one place. Visit https://givingassistant.org/np#trollope-society to sign up and start giving back. We thank you for your continued support!

Wall Street Journal: Five Best Books on Con Men

Posted on: October 25th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

In The Wall Street Journal on October 20, 2017, author and columnist Anne Applebaum lists the “five best books on con men.” Number one on her  list is The Way We Live Now (1875) by Anthony Trollope:

1. ’No one pretends to think that he is a gentleman. . . . But because he has learned the art of making money, we not only put up with him, but settle upon his carcass as so many birds of prey.” Thus does the upright Roger Carbury dismiss the notion of a marriage between his feckless cousin and the unimaginably wealthy daughter of Melmotte, the mountebank around whom this novel circulates. But no one listens to him: Larger than life, vaguely foreign, with horses, carriages, palatial residences and too much money to count, Melmotte is a man of the “City,” London’s financial markets, and thus a figure of envy and scorn among the harder-up members of the British aristocracy. He’s also one of the first truly modern fictional con men: An outsider who outsmarts the insiders, a “new man” who runs rings round the old elite. This is still the Victorian era so Melmotte ends badly, but not before demonstrating that much of the London establishment is just as hypocritical and false as himself.

(Read the full article.)

New York Times: Should Critics Aim to Be Open-Minded?

Posted on: September 1st, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

In the Bookends column of the New York Times Book Review, writers Thomas Mallon and Liesl Schillinger take on the effects of criticism. Schillinger points to some observations on the topic made by Anthony Trollope:

In his 1875 novel The Way We Live Now, one of my favorite authors, Anthony Trollope (several generations older than Maugham and infinitely more indulgent of his fellow man), pointed out the hazard of a charitable critical approach: “Eulogy is invariably dull.’ There’s a distinct line between eulogy and fairness, but every critic knows you make more of a splash when you wield a bludgeon than when you bestow a bouquet.

Yet Trollope also recognized that brickbats too readily brandished lose their power to stun. If you’re a writer known for dispensing venom, he explained, your targets grow immune to your poison: ‘Censure from those who are always finding fault is regarded so much as a matter of course that it ceases to be objectionable,’ making the dependably whip-cracking critic a ‘caricaturist.’ Whereas an open-minded critic makes an enemy every time he or she lays down a harsh verdict: ‘Abuse from those who occasionally praise is considered to be personally offensive.’

(Read the full article.)

A Sad Note to Trollope Society Members

Posted on: August 30th, 2017 by Randy Williams

Every organization if really lucky, finds someone who is as gracious, charming and diligent as Midge (Mildred) Fitzgerald. She has been my right hand and good friend ever since the first few months of the Trollope Society, and has graced us with her time and talents all this time. Sadly, Midge died early on Monday August 28, in New Bern, North Carolina, after a short hospitalization.


How Crestline, Ohio Got into a Victorian Era Bestseller

Posted on: July 30th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

RichlandSourceFrom the Richland Source, an article in the Richland Source on how the tiny town of Crestline, Ohio, made its way into Anthony Trollope’s travelogue, North America:

Crestline is not a significantly sizeable place: you can be in and out of town pretty quickly. This is especially true if you’re on a train. The significance of a place however, is hardly dependent on its size. It takes on considerably more significance if the train you’re riding drops you in the middle of town and leaves you there for four hours. With unanticipated hours to pass, Crestline can become quite significant: especially to a writer who has been sent to America with the expressed intention of searching out the character of the nation. Then Crestline becomes characteristic of the entire country.

This is exactly what happened in 1861 when the famous English novelist Anthony Trollope wrote about the United States in his two volume classic North America….

(Read the article.)

The London Economic: “Books that deserve original film series”

Posted on: July 30th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

TLEHubert O’Hearn writes in “The London Economic”:

“The other book I beg someone to film is Anthony Trollope’s comic masterpiece Barchester Towers. Just the other day David Mamet wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal proclaiming that Trollope was much the greater novelist than Charles Dickens. To which I can only say, David Mamet is a f*-ing idiot. However, I dearly love Trollope. He was the precursor to P.G. Wodehouse and J.B. Priestley … in some ways Kingsley and Martin Amis too, as writers of withering satire of English mores wrapped carefully in the softest cashmere of well-chosen words. The BBC made a series called The Barchester Chronicles back in 1982, however the material surely deserves a fresh update. If done correctly, this examination of a modest vicarage within the class system could and should be a new Father Ted or Vicar of Dibley.”

(Read the article.)

Forbes: What Anthony Trollope Can Teach Us About Finance

Posted on: July 28th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

ForbesMihir Desai’s new book, The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, links the fundamentals of finance to several centuries of literature, history, philosophy, music, visual arts, theater, and comedy in order to make the subject seem less mystifying — more humanizing — to non-financiers. One of the examples in the book is how Anthony Trollope’s novel Phineas Finn offers useful lessons on risk management. Carmen Nobel recently interviewed in Desai, the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School, f0r Forbes magazine. In the article, Desai discusses his approach to interpreting financial concepts.

(Read the article.)

Austen and Trollope

Posted on: July 18th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach


On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, 18 July 1817.

Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of Jane Austen’s Death

Posted on: July 18th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

jane-austenJane Austen passed away on July 18, 1817. Anthony Trollope was but two years old at the time, though by the age of 19 years, as he wrote in his An Autobiography, he had already made up my mind that Pride and Prejudice was the best novel in the English language.” This belief held steady until Trollope encountered Thackeray, at which point Henry Esmond became his favorite novel.

Trollope still held Austen in high esteem for the rest of his life. In the late 1860s as he lectured across England, one of his presentations was a survey course in English literature entitled On English Prose Fiction as Rational Amusement.” Published privately in 1870 in a volume entitled Four Lectures, the lecture traces the history of the novel from its very beginnings with Sir Philip Sidney’s 1580 proto-novels through Thackeray’s Victorian classics. Though Austen was not widely read by the Victorians until the first posthumous republication of her novels in 1870, Trollope was an admirer of Austen as a “surely great novelist.” Following is an excerpt from Trollope’s essay extolling Austen’s virtues.


New Oxford World’s Classics Edition of “The Way We Live Now”

Posted on: February 19th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach


Oxford World’s Classics has released a new edition of The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope edited and with an introduction and notes by Francis O’Gorman. This updated edition of The Way We Live Now includes a biographical preface, introduction, notes on the text, appendices on Trollope’s working materials and dates in the text, and 750 explanatory notes, making it the “go-to” edition for readers and scholars alike.

Francis O’Gorman is also the author of Worrying: A Literary and Cultural History, a singular study of the origins of our contemporary idea of “worry” as it emerged in the Victorian era, including in the works of Anthony Trollope. Published in 2015, this book is also highly recommended.

(More at Amazon.)

“Bibliophilia” by N. John Hall

Posted on: February 18th, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

BibliophiliaFrom noted Trollopian scholar and biographer N. John Hall comes a sequel to his 2011 epistolatory novel Correspondence: An Adventure in Letters entitled Bibliophilia: An Epistolary Novel of One Man’s Obsession with Book Collecting. Flush with $400,000 dollars from selling his great great grandfather’s correspondence with Victorian authors, Larry Dickerson, retired bank clerk, amateur editor, and literary neophyte, needs a creative outlet for his newly acquired funds and quickly escalating love of all things bookish.

In Bibliophilia, Dickerson turns his attention to New Yorker authors, with his determination to acquire growing with each new purchase. James Thurber, E.B. White, Vladimir Nabokov, J.D. Salinger, and Dorothy Parker all find their way onto Larry’s shortlist, standing along previously acquired greats Trollope, Dickens, Thackeray, and Hardy. Being sensible, he approaches the biggest names in the rare book field with childish glee, and with refreshing brashness, finds himself handling copies of authors’ most coveted titles, touring the New Yorker offices, and then involved in one of the biggest scandals book collecting has ever seen. Will the thrill of the chase overwhelm Larry’s ability to see reason? Will his appetite outpace his resources? Join him on this journey as he discovers just how far he’s willing to take his obsession.

(More at Amazon.com.)

President’s Letter February 2017

Posted on: February 1st, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

Doug GerlachAs we embark into another year of Trollopian activities, I extend the Society’s felicitations and all best wishes for 2017! Trollopiana #106 is presently en route from the U.K. and members stateside should have it in their hands shortly.

We will welcome Benjamin Parker of Brown University as the speaker for our Winter Reception on February 20, 2017 at St. Bartholomew’s Church. Professor Parker’s talk is entitled “Does Trollope’s Psychology Follow Newton’s Laws?” You may reserve tickets on the TrollopeUSA.org website

A number of other activities are on the 2017 calendar. The Center for Fiction in New York will host a reading group of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, led by scholar and Trollope Society director N. John “Jack” Hall. Thackeray was Trollope’s idol and mentor, and this is sure to be an invigorating excursion for Trollopians. The group will meet from February through May 2017, and is $120 for members of The Trollope Society. Tickets are available here.


The Duke’s Children “Only Complete Edition” Published

Posted on: February 1st, 2017 by Douglas Gerlach

TheDukesChildrenEveryman’s Library has set April 4, 2017 as the publication date for their edition of Anthony Trollope’s The Duke’s Children: The Only Complete Edition. This low-cost hardcover edition provides the restored text of the last of Trollope’s Palliser novels as it was published in The Folio Society’s 2015 collectible edition.

Trollope wrote The Duke’s Children, his final Palliser novel, as a four-volume work but was required by his publisher to reduce it to three, necessitating the loss of nearly sixty-five thousand words. A team of researchers led by Steven Amarnick has worked with the manuscript at Yale’s Beinecke Library to restore the novel to its original form. The result is richer and more complex, with a subtly different ending: a clearly superior book to the one that has always been published.

Amazon is presently offering pre-orders of the book for $21.24, a savings off the regular list price of $27.50. Your purchase using the link below benefits The Trollope Society (USA).

Order now.