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Trollope: The Greatest Novelist You’ve (Probably) Never Read

December 9, 2015 @ 7:00 pm


Douglas Gerlach, President of The Trollope Society (USA), will deliver 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.

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Victorian writer Anthony Trollope (1815-1882), author of 47 novels and more than a dozen other books. A colleague of Dickens, Thackeray, and George Eliot, Trollope’s prodigous literary output was more than all those authors combined, and his reputation today continues to ascend. Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire and Pallisers series enchant readers who are fortunate to discover them, and fans of his work include Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, who has adapted Trollope’s Dr. Thorne as a three-part mini-series recently filmed in England and scheduled for broadcast in 2016. As Adam Gopnik wrote in The New Yorker in May 2015, “Amateur readers have taken up Trollope as a cause and a favorite in a way that they have taken up perhaps no other nineteenth-century English novelist except Jane Austen.” (Interestingly, Jane Austen was one of Trollope’s favorite writers.)

Trollope’s work habits are legendary. Employed by the British Postal Service for most of his life, he wrote for three hours every morning without fail, producing a consistent 2,500 words whether at home or traveling by train or even journeying by steamer to North America or Australia. Once he completed a novel, he immediately began working on the next one. Trollope is also credited with introducing the ubiquitous red pillar letterboxes to England.

Trollope was an acute observer of human behavior, and his works explored or incorporated a number of themes and styles, including psychological profiles, political dramas, social comedies, moral tales, detective procedurals, progressive gender studies, and even a dystopian steampunk fantasy. Readers who explore the novels of Anthony Trollope are sure to find a book (or several) to their liking.

Please register in advance for this program by calling the library at 860-673-6791, using the online registration form, or visiting the Information Services Desk. There is no charge for this event.

About The Director’s College at Farmington Libraries

The Director’s College at Farmington Libraries brings robust intellectual, at times scholarly, and always-educational programs to adults in the community. Offerings include presentations on historical and literary figures, world travels, tales of survival, and scientific discovery, in the form of professorial lectures, performing arts presentations, travelogues, musical performances, or other programming as developed with the interests of the community in mind.

About Douglas Gerlach
Doug GerlachIn May 2015, Douglas Gerlach was elected President of the US branch of The Trollope Society, a non-profit organization established in 1987 and devoted to supporting interest in the life and works of Anthony Trollope. A financial author and editor, Doug is also an inveterate reader. He adapted Mrs. Inchbald’s regency play Lovers’ Vows (which figures so scandalously in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park) as a slapstick quick-change two-actor comedy in which he also performed at an Austen conference. Last year, he presented a talk on “Card Games in Jane Austen’s Novels” to the Jane Austen Society Connecticut Region, demonstrating how the position within and preference for particular games illustrates characteristics of both players and non-players alike in Austen’s novels.

More information on “Anthony Trollope: The Greatest English Novelist You’ve (Probably) Never Read.”


December 9, 2015
7:00 pm
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Farmington Libraries Main Branch
6 Monteith Drive
Farmington, CT 06032 United States
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Farmington Libraries