Biography of Anthony Trollope

Photo of Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope was a nineteenth century political novelist.

When and Where was he Born?

24th April 1815, Bloomsbury, London, England.

Family Background:

Anthony Trollope was the fourth son of a barrister and failed gentleman farmer, Thomas Anthony Trollope and and Frances Milton Trollope, a lawyer and author.


Harrow School. (1822-25) Winchester School and then back to Harrow.

Timeline of Anthony Trollope:

1816: The Trollope family moves to a country house near Harrow on the expectation of receiving an inheritance from his father’s brother however this never materialises. Business begins to fail due to his father Thomas’s bad temper.

1822: He becomes a day boy at Harrow School. He has a bad experience as one of the poorest and worst dressed pupils.

1825: He is transferred to a private school at Sunbury.

1827: Trollope is sent to his father’s old school, Winchester and is bullied even by his own brother. His mother goes to America with the three youngest children but not Anthony with the idea of selling English items in Cincinnati. This is not a success and contributes to the financial misfortunes of the family.

1830: He returns to Harrow School to save money where he again is the but of constant jibes about his poverty stricken background.

1831: His mother returns to England and makes her name as a writer and earns the family some money. His father gives up his legal practice completely and cannot pay the rent.

1832: His mother’s novel “Domestic Manners of the Americans” a satire of life in America is hated in the the USA but earns money in Britain.

1834: The Trollope family move to Bruges in Belgium to escape debt and as Anthony is unable to win a scholarship to go to University. He learns French and German hoping to join the Austrian cavalry but decides to return to London later in the year. He becomes a junior clerk in the General Post Office and is promoted to clerk after six weeks.

1835: Death of his father in Bruges.

1836: Death of his older brother Henry and his younger sister Emily also in Bruges.

1841: He moves to Banagher in Ireland and takes a job as Deputy Postal Surveyor. There is no competition for the job and he is eager to move away from his debts. He enjoys the open countryside and especially fox hunting. He begins writing novels.

1844: Trollope amassed enough money to marry Rose Heseltine, the daughter of a Rotherham Bank Manager whom, he first met in a pub. They then move Clonmel in the south of Ireland.

1845: Trollope is promoted to a post in Mallow, Ireland.

1848: He publishes his first novel which has an Irish theme, “The Macdermots of Ballycloran”. It is not a popular success.

1851: He travels to England as part of his job to investigate and reorganise the rural mail delivery in the west. He traveled for nearly two years on horseback. He is said to have conceived the plot of “The Warden” on a visit to Salisbury Cathedral.

1853: He travels to Belfast as part of his job.

1854: He travels to Dublin as part of his job.

1855: “The Warden” is published and Trollope receives half of the publication profits. Although the money was not huge he was becoming noticed as a novelist.

1857: Trollope publishes “Barchester Towers” which is to become one of the famous Barsetshire series of novels.

1858: He travels in Scotland, the West Indies and Egypt as part of his job.

1859: He takes up a post as Surveyor General to the Eastern District of the Post Office in Waltham Cross, then just outside London. He was responsible for the postal service in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, and parts of Hertfordshire.

1865: (Circa) Trollope is credited with inventing the Pillar Box, the famous red postal boxes which where to become a feature of every town in Britain. He was to write every day between 5.30 and 8.30 a.m. before going to work, often at the rate of a thousand words per hour. He begins writing a new series of political novels based on the lives of Plantagenet Palliser and his family.

1867: He had always dreamed of entering Parliament himself but this was impossible for a servant of the crown so he resigns his post at the Post Office having earned enough to tide him over until his pension.

1868: He is successful in becoming the Liberal Party candidate for Beverley in Yorkshire at the General Election although he did not enjoy campaigning. He was not expected to win and came fourth behind two Conservative candidates but he was put there by the party hierarchy to expose the electoral corruption then rife. After the findings of a Royal Commission the Borough was disenfranchised in 1870. Afterwards he went back to writing novels and editing the St Paul’s Magazine which serialised some of his material.

1871: Trollope travels to Australia with his wife and cook and arrives at Melbourne in the summer. The purpose of the visit was to see their younger son who was a sheep farmer.

1875: He makes a second trip to Australia to visit his second son and help him close up his failing farming business.

1880: Trollope settles in South Harting in West Sussex. Here he became increasingly depressed and led a solitary life.

When and Where did he Die?

6th December 1882, London, England, at a party in his brother-in-law’s house after a stroke.

Age at Death:


Written Works:

1847: “The Macdermots of Ballycloran”.
1848: “The Kellys and the O’Kellys”.
1850: “La Vendée: An Historical Romance”.
1855: “The Warden”.
1857: “Barchester Towers”.
1858: “Doctor Thorne”. “The Three Clerks”.
1859: “The Bertrams”. “The West Indies and the Spanish Main” (Travel Book).
1860: “Castle Richmond”.
1861: “Framley Parsonage”.
1862: “Orley Farm”, “The Struggles of Brown, Jones & Robinson”, “North America” (Travel Book).
1863: “Rachel Ray”.
1864: “Can You Forgive Her?”, “The Small House at Allington”, “Malachi’s Cove”.
1865: “Miss Mackenzie”.
1866: “The Belton Estate”.
1867: “The Claverings”. “The Last Chronicle of Barset”. “Nina Balatka”, “Lotta Schmidt & Other Stories”.
1868: “Linda Tressel”.
1869: “He Knew He Was Right”. “Phineas Finn.” , “Did He Steal It?” (Play), “Phineas Finn”.
1870: “The Vicar of Bullhampton”.
1871: “Ralph the Heir”, “Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite”.
1872: “The Golden Lion of Granpère”.
1873: “The Eustace Diamonds”, “Australia and New Zealand” (Travel Book).
1874: “Lady Anna”, “Harry Heathcote of Gangoil”, “Phineas Redux”, “New South Wales & Queensland” (Travel Book).
1875: “The Way We Live Now”.
1876: “The Prime Minister”.
1877: “The American Senator”.
1878: “Is He Popenjoy?”, “South Africa” (Travel Book).
1879: “Thackeray”, “Cousin Henry”, “An Eye for an Eye”, “John Caldigate”.
1880: “The Duke’s Children”, “Life of Cicero” (Biography).
1881: “Ayala’s Angel”. “Dr Whorttle’s School”.
1882: “Not If I Know It”, “The Two Heroines of Plumpington (Short Novel), “Marion Fay”, “The Fixed Period”, “Kept in the Dark”, “Lord Palmerston (Biography).
(1883): “Autobiography”, “The Landleaguers”, “Mr. Scarborough’s Family”.


1844 To Rose Heseltine the daughter of a Rotherham Bank Manager.

Site of Grave:

Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London, England near to Wilkie Collins.

Places of Interest:


There is a plaque on the Custom House, Belfast.