2019 Fall Lecture: Trollope and White-Collar Crime

Posted on: August 10th, 2019 by Douglas Gerlach

The Trollope Society’s Fall Lecture is Thursday, October 17, 2019, and will feature Professor George Robb of William Paterson University with a talk on “Trollope and White-Collar Crime.” Reserve your place.

Orley Farm Reading Group in NYC

Posted on: August 6th, 2019 by Douglas Gerlach

This Autumn, The Trollope Society (USA) will sponsor a reading group in New York City of Anthony Trollope’s Orley Farm, led by N. John “Jack” Hall on the fourth Tuesdays of September, October, and November, 2019.

The reading group is sponsored by The Trollope Society and hosted courtesy of the Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity Programs, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. Advance registration is required. There is no charge to participate.

Get more information and register for the reading group.

New York Seminar Group: John Caldigate

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019 by Douglas Gerlach

The Trollope Society (USA) is sponsoring an evening seminar group of Anthony Trollope’s John Caldigate, to be held in New York City on August 29, 2019. Our seminar groups are opportunities to explore some of Trollope’s lesser known works and are open to all.

John Caldigate was originally serialized from April 1878 to June 1879, and then published by Chapman and Hall in 1879. The action of the novel takes place in England and Australia, and features a characteristically Trollopian moral/legal dilemma that hinges on an oddly un-Trollopian postal mystery! As part of our seminar, we will also discuss Simon Grennan’s graphic novel adaptation of John Caldigate entitled Dispossession: A Novel of Few Words.

Advance registration is required. There is no charge to participate. Register for the seminar here.

Edward Gorey’s 1998 Interview on The Connection

Posted on: January 28th, 2019 by Douglas Gerlach

The Connection was a radio program broadcast from WBUR FM in Boston for many years. Hosted by Christopher Lydon, The Connection was broadcast two hours daily and covered a broad range of topics and current events. In November 1998, Lydon interviewed author and illustrator Edward Gorey, covering a broad range of topics including Gorey’s appreciation of Anthony Trollope. The blog Edward Gorey’s Elephant House has published audio of the program.


2019 Winter Reading Group

Posted on: January 5th, 2019 by Douglas Gerlach

This winter we are attempting something new in our New York Reading Group: three relatively short books: Trollope’s An Autobiography; and two novels, Dr Wortle’s School and Cousin Henry, widely regarded as among his very best short fictions. The sessions will be led by N. John “Jack” Hall.

The group will meet on three Tuesdays: February 5; March 12;  and April 9, 2018, at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. Register here.

2018 Fall Lecture

Posted on: September 18th, 2018 by Douglas Gerlach

The Trollope Society’s annual Fall Lecture will be presented by Will Glovinsky of Columbia University on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York. See more and register here.

New York Seminar Group – The Prime Minister

Posted on: August 12th, 2018 by Douglas Gerlach

Registration has closed for The Trollope Society’s evening seminar group of Anthony Trollope’s The Prime Minister, to be held in New York City on August 29, 2018

The Warden/Barchester Towers Reading Group

Posted on: May 8th, 2018 by Douglas Gerlach

Registration has closed for the Trollope Society’s reading group of Anthony Trollope’s The Warden and Barchester Towers, to be held in New York City from September to November 2018, and led by N. John Hall.

Anthony Trollope and “The Salisbury Conundrum”

Posted on: March 14th, 2018 by Douglas Gerlach

On The New Yorker’s website on 13 March 2018, Anthony Lane comments on the recent Russian spy poisoning incident and its setting in a town familiar to Trollopians, Salisbury:

Did he do it? Why would he do it? Such are the questions that Russia-watchers are asking of Vladimir Putin. Needless to say, he is in no mood to answer. What people want to know about is a remarkable saga that began on March 4th, though its roots lie deeper in the past, and which has grown more complicated since. It has spread from a bench in provincial England to the doors of the Kremlin. Were Robert Ludlum to have cooked it up, it would be called “The Salisbury Conundrum.”

Salisbury is a comely cathedral town in the southwest of England, the towering church being the hub of its existence and, over many centuries, a place of pilgrimage for worshippers and travellers alike. The spire was painted by John Constable and became the focus of a novel by William Golding. The Barsetshire novels, by Anthony Trollope, are widely assumed to be based on Salisbury and its surrounding county. Stroll through the Close—the peaceful area around the cathedral, rich in desirable properties—and you can easily picture yourself in the company of Trollope’s ecclesiastical meddlers. Walk a few minutes north and you arrive at the Maltings, a modern shopping mall that Constable, alas, never got to paint.

(Read “Sergei Skripal, Russia, and the Salisbury Conundrum.”)

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.)