President’s Letter: January 2016

Posted on: February 1st, 2016 by Douglas Gerlach

Doug GerlachTrollopian celebrations in the New Year kicked off with Stephen Amarnick and Robert Wiseman’s lecture earlier this month at the Yale Club on the extensive research that went into the publication of the first complete edition of The Duke’s ChildrenCopies of the deluxe edition are available in ever-diminishing quantities from The Folio Society, but a lower-priced trade edition is also expected in 2017, which is exciting news.


2015 Trollope Prize Winner

Posted on: January 29th, 2016 by Douglas Gerlach

Trollope PrizeCongratulations to Sarah Faulkner, a graduate student at the University of Washington, who is the winner of the 2015 Trollope Prize graduate competition. Faulkner will receive a $2000 honorarium for her winning essay, “The Temporality of Realism and Romance in He Knew He Was Right.” In addition, her essay will be published by The Fortnightly Review, which also provides an additional monetary reward.

According to the judges, they “welcomed Faulkner’s close attention to a novel by Trollope that is beginning to receive more critical attention. In concentrating on the various subplots of the intricately structured He Knew He Was Right (1869), Faulkner investigates how Trollope’s realism operates in temporal juxtaposition to other genres, particularly that of romance. Trollope locates romance in temporally marginal spaces of the narrative (the past or the future) in order to solidify the present realism of the novel.” The judges — Elsie B. Michie, Professor and Chair of the
English Department at Louisiana State University; Ann Wierda Rowland, Associate Professor of English at the University of Kansas; and Tamara S. Wagner, Associate Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore — commended the fluency, clarity and analytical rigor of Faulkner’s writing. There was no undergraduate prize awarded this year. The Trollope Prize is administered by the University of Kansas.

Read Faulkner’s winning essay, “The Temporality of Realism and Romance in He Knew He Was Right.”

The Guardian: “The Pallisers” Is the Thing to Watch

Posted on: January 27th, 2016 by Douglas Gerlach

The GuardianIn the U.K., the BBC is re-br0adcasting on BBC2 its 1974 26-part mini-series of The Pallisers at lunchtime (a welcome break to soap operas and daytime talk shows for many, I would think). The sweeping adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s Palliser novels, The Pallisers was initially broadcast over eight months in 21 hours of television. Set on the backdrop of Victorian parliamentary politics, The Pallisers features a cast of rising and prominent actors who bring Trollope’s characters to life most visibly. On The Guardian‘s “TV and radio blog,” Neil Clark writes that:

Quality period costume drama is back on the BBC. Not just in War and Peace, but now the return of what I would argue is the best of them all: the 1974 series The Pallisers…. The BBC made 26 episodes, and watching them again reminds us how different television dramas were in the 1970s, and how much more enjoyable they are than most of today’s productions. Unlike, for example, Jamaica Inn, you can hear every word. The actors, of the Olivier school rather than today’s more realist style, all enunciate their lines properly. There are no clever camera angles to make us dizzy, and scenes last longer than 30 seconds.

Here in the States, the series is available on DVD from PBS in a special 40th Anniversary edition released in 2014, and is of course available for lending from many public libraries. If you’re expecting more snow this winter, may I suggest that The Pallisers might be a worthwhile addition to your household emergency kit? The Pallisers makes for a perfectly pleasant way to spend a day or two while homebound due to winter storms.

Read more.

Oxford’s New TV Tie-in Edition of “Doctor Thorne”

Posted on: January 24th, 2016 by Douglas Gerlach

Doctor ThorneThe Bookseller reports that Oxford University Press is publishing an official television mini-series tie-in of Julian Fellowes’ ITV adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Thorne:

Fellowes, best known as the creator of “Downton Abbey”, first announced in April 2015 that he was adapting Anthony Trollope’s Victorian era novel Doctor Thorne as a three-part drama for ITV. Starring Tom Hollander, Ian McShane, Rebecca Front and Cressida Bonas, it follows Trollope’s original story of “the battle between family honour and desires of the heart.” The tie-in book will be published as part of the extensive Oxford World’s Classic series on 3rd March 2016, in advance of the series airing that month. It will be released in paperback, priced £9.99. Fellowes, an ardent fan of Trollope, will write the foreword; the introduction will be penned by Simon Dentith, a professor at the University of Reading.

Fellowes said: “He is my favourite Victorian novelist. I think what I admire about him is that he has a very non-judgmental quality. Dickens’ heroines are always virginal and perfect, and his villains are always black-hearted. Of course, Dickens is a wonderful writer, but Trollope has a much more modern approach. Nobody is all bad or all good, and that seems to me to be very contemporary.”

Read more.

Dr. Thorne Reading Group

Posted on: January 20th, 2016 by Douglas Gerlach

Doctor ThorneThe Center for Fiction in New York will host a reading group of Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Thorne, led by scholar and Trollope Society director N. John “Jack” Hall. The group will meet four times, on the second Tuesday of the month from February through May 2016, from 6 – 7:30 pm on February 9, March 8, April 12, and May 10. The cost to attend is $140 (non-members register here), or $120 for members of the Center for Fiction or The Trollope Society (members register here).

Amarnick & Wiseman on “The Duke’s Children” at the Yale Club

Posted on: January 16th, 2016 by Douglas Gerlach

Amarnick & WisemanEminent Trollopians Steven Amarnick and Robert Wiseman delivered a lecture at the Yale Club on January 13, 2016, that was attended by many members of the Society. Entitled “The Lost Chronicle of Omnium,” the duo described the work they carried out to painstakingly recreate the full original text of The Duke’s Children, which was edited down from a four-volume length to a three-volume length at the request of Trollope’s original publisher. Their work took more than a decade and resulted in the publication by The Folio Society in 2015 of the first complete edition of The Duke’s Children.

Irish Times: The rich man’s Dickens?

Posted on: December 9th, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

TheIrishTimesIn today’s Irish Times, John McCourt, author of the excellent Writing the Frontier: Anthony Trollope between Britain and Ireland, writes on Anthony Trollope and his “low-key bicentenary.” As McCourt writes, “Trollope is still popular so why was interest in his bicentenary so patchy? Perhaps because mainstream fans lean to the right while his academic champions lean to the left”:

Although Trollope is much published and read, both academic and media interest in and coverage of the Trollope bicentenary was patchy and thin when compared to what is accorded to other writers who were his contemporaries. Especially given the year that’s in it, when the longest articles devoted to the writer are to be found in Country Life and the conservative tabloid, The Mail on Sunday, and when the biggest (indeed the only) conference dedicated to a writer, who ranks with Thackeray, George Eliot, and Dickens, takes place not in one of the great British universities but in Leuven in Belgium (and it was an absolutely wonderful conference in a splendid location in one of Europe’s oldest universities) something is clearly out of joint….

Read “The rich man’s Dickens? Anthony Trollope and his low-key bicentenary” in the Irish Times.

The Guardian: Trollope tops Hatchards poll as best novel of past 200 years

Posted on: November 30th, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

The GuardianLondon’s oldest bookshop, Hatchards, chooses the first installment of Anthony Trollope’s Barsetshire Chronicles, The Warden, as best novel published since the shop’s opening in 1797. The customers of Hatchards chose Trollope’s “gentle satire” of the Church of England, The Warden, as their favorite novel of the past 200 years. An initial list of about 100 titles was drawn up by Hatchards, drawn from books published in the 218 years since the shop opened on Piccadilly, was then whittled down to a shortlist of six. Then, using a mix of public votes and sales to determine the winner, The Warden emerged victorious.

Hatchards has commissioned a limited print run of the book from Penguin Classics, with the hardback featuring a new Hatchards introductory page and William Morris endpapers, as well as a new cover design.

Read more.

City Journal: “Reading Trollope” by Melanie Kirkpatrick

Posted on: October 31st, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

City Jourmal Summer 2015Melanie Kirkpatrick, former deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page (and a member of The Trollope Society) has penned an appreciation of Anthony Trollope for the City Journal.

“I had received two degrees in English literature, written a thesis on Dickens, and studied almost every major work of Victorian literature before I thought to read a book by Anthony Trollope. My interest in the great nineteenth-century British novelist was sparked, not by a classroom discussion, but in a casual conversation over cocktails in Hong Kong. It was the early 1980s and Hong Kong was still a British colony. An American banker, visiting from what was then known as Peking, told me about a Trollope craze that had overtaken the American community there. Paperback editions of Trollope’s novels were being passed from reader to reader….

“Not long after our drink, I picked up a copy of The Warden, the first in Trollope’s series of novels set in the fictional cathedral town of Barchester. After speeding through the Barchester novels, I moved on to the Palliser series, Trollope’s six parliamentary novels. I was enthralled. Trollope’s narrative power, along with his astute psychological insights, drew me in to the fictional worlds he created. I came to agree with Virginia Woolf, who said that we believe in the reality of Trollope’s characters ‘as we do in the reality of our weekly bills.'”

Read more.

3rd Annual Pacific Northwest Trollope Reading Group

Posted on: October 30th, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

SeattlePublicMarketTrollope Society USA President Doug Gerlach will again be joining Trollopians in Seattle for the 3rd year in a casual gathering. All are invited to join the “reading group” at dinner with a promise of fine literary conversations about our author (and perhaps other worthy contenders). This year, it’s a dutch-treat dinner in downtown Seattle at the Virginia Inn on Thursday, November 5, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.

(More details.)

The Greatest English Novelist You’ve (Probably) Never Read

Posted on: October 27th, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

Douglas Gerlach, President of The Trollope Society (USA), will be delivering a lecture entitled “Anthony Trollope: The Greatest English Novelist You’ve (Probably) Never Read” as part of the Director’s College series at the Farmington (Connecticut) Libraries Main Branch on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, from 7:00-8:00 pm. There is no charge for this event but registration is requested.

(Read more.)

Anthony Trollope and the Introduction of Pillar Boxes in Great Britain

Posted on: October 22nd, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

Linn's Stamp NewsLinn’s Stamp News provides a history of the pillar box as introduced to the U.K. by Anthony Trollope in 1852:

Pillar boxes — the red, cast-iron mail receptacles on the streets and roadways of the United Kingdom — are as iconic to England as Big Ben and red double-decker buses. Pillar boxes were introduced to the British Isles in 1852. Their inspiration came from Europe. A surveyor for the British Post Office, Anthony Trollope (1815-1882), was sent to Europe to observe postal schemes there. He was much taken by large kiosk-like cylindrical pillars located in public spots that had slots at the top of them through which the public deposited mail for the post office to pick up and deliver. He thought the devices worthy of adoption in the United Kingdom….

The British Postal Museum and Archives says of Trollope: “Certainly, it was Trollope that … had the vision to see the potential for the first use of pillar boxes by the British Post Office and actually recommend and see through their introduction.”

(Read more.)

The Weekly Standard: Why Read Trollope?

Posted on: October 16th, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

The Weekly StandardAnn Marlowe has penned an appreciation of Anthony Trollope’s “Fearsome productivity and equally fearsome artistry” in The Weekly Standard of 26 October 2015:

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) may be the best-kept literary secret in English—a secret hiding in plain sight. His collected works take up a long bookshelf: 47 novels and 18 works of nonfiction. Once, most educated English and American households owned some of those volumes; today, there are still plenty of Trollope boxed sets in bookstores—probably because his works are in the public domain so publishers needn’t pay royalties—yet he is culturally almost invisible. Unlike Charles Dickens, Trollope never created characters and phrases that entered popular culture; unlike those of his friend William Makepeace Thackeray, his novels have not been made into movies. Trollope enters the conversation every few years when a critic argues that the description of banking frauds in The Way We Live Now illuminates our own feverish plutocracy. (Yes, it does, but that’s the least interesting thing about it.)

(Read more.)

President’s Letter, October 2015

Posted on: October 3rd, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

Doug GerlachAs I write this letter, I have just returned from the Trollope Bicentenary Conference held in Leuven, Belgium in September. More than 60 scholars from around the world convened to discuss Anthony Trollope’s works, present current research, and make new friends who share a passion for Trollope. Many of the presenters have addressed our members in New York, including Lauren Goodlad, Deborah Denenholz Morse, Nicholas Birns, Steven Amarnick, Elsie Michie, and Lucy Ludwig Sheehan. Other distinguished participants included Robert Polhemus, James Kincaid, and David Skilton. Two books were launched at the Conference: Dispossession, a graphic novel adaptation by Simon Grennan of John Caldigate, and Writing the Frontier: Trollope between Britain and Ireland by John McCourt. I hope that we will be able to bring many of these writers and scholars to speak to our members in 2016 and the years ahead.


Western Daily Press: “Hope for Downton Abbey fans”

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

Western Daily PressThe Western Daily Press (covering the West Country) covers the new adapation of Anthony Trollope currently being filmed in an article entititled “Hope for Downton Abbey fans as creator Julian Fellowes adapts Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Thorne.”

The cast and film crew have descended on Lacock, a picturesque National Trust village near Chippenham, Wiltshire, along with livestock and market stalls. Lacock was used in the Harry Potter films and BBC series Cranford and has now been transformed into the fictional 19th century village of Greshamsbury, in Barsetshire. British actors Ian McShane and Tom Hollander will join American favourite Alison Brie in the new ITV series, with Prince Harry’s on-off girlfriend Cressida Bonas also in the cast. It also stars Gwyneth Keyworth, who appeared as Clea in the Game of Thrones series….

(Read more.)

Casting Set for ITV Adaptation of “Dr. Thorne”

Posted on: September 28th, 2015 by Douglas Gerlach

Deadline HollywoodDeadline Hollywood reports that North American rights to the ITV adaptation of “Dr. Thorne,” adapted by Julian Fellowes, have been acquired by The Weinstein Co. Filming begins in October 2016, and casting has been completed:

Tom Hollander (The Night Manager, Pirates Of The Caribbean) will play the title role of Dr Thomas Thorne, who lives in the village of Greshamsbury in Barsetshire, with his young niece, Mary (newcomer Stefanie Martini), a girl blessed with every gift except money. Mad Men and Community‘s Alison Brie is playing wealthy American heiress, Miss Martha Dunstable.

No word on dates or channels for the American broadcast of the three-part drama.

Read more.