Anthony Trollope and His Contemporaries: A Study in the Theory and Conventions of Mid-Victorian Fiction - David SkiltonNew York: St. Martin's Press, 1972, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper lightly sunned at the spine with a little wear to the edges. A little age-toning to the edges of the text block. Previous owners' name to the first blank.
Contains: Portrait to the frontispiece; Appendices ;
From the cover: “This book is at once a study of Anthony Trollope, a writer still strangely neglected by scholars, and an examination of the background against which he and his great contemporaries wrote. For readers generally interested in the period, in the Victorian novel, or in the novels of Trollope himself, it provides an introduction to the literary and critical scene of the day, while to the specialist it offers an analysis of some important but neglected aspects of the mid-Victorian theory of the novel.
In it, Mr Skilton has drawn particularly on the vast amount of evidence presented by mid-Victorian periodical criticism to throw light on the conventions which, in part, controlled what the contemporary novelists wrote and the way in which they were read. He shows how the novelist was compelled to write with regard to these conventions, if only deliberately to ignore them.
In tracing the establishment of Trollope’s reputation, he shows how important a novelist’s ‘image’ is to his reception by press and public; he examines Trollope’s own brand of realism in the context of the theories of literary imagination current in the 1860’s; and investigates the Victorian demand for ‘depth’ in characterization. One chapter tackles the mid-Victorian dilemma of how, granted the need to portray vice in fiction, it was possible to write moral novels at all; another, the conflicting demands of social respectability and truth to life, and the way some of the conventions of the novel were designed as escapes from this conflict. Finally Mr Skilton examines Trollope’s own writings on the novel, concluding with an original analysis of the distinctive features of Trollopian realism, and its relation to its age. An extensive bibliography lists many articles on Trollope in the British press of his time.”