Anthony Trollope - James Pope-HennessyLondon: Jonathan Cape, 1971, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Private book plate to the pastedown.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Black & white plates; Colour frontispiece;
From the cover: “The grandson of an Irish member of Parliament widely believed to have been the original for the character of Phineas Finn, James Pope Hennessy has written the liveliest, fullest and most absorbing study of Anthony Trollope.
Brought up by his father, a gentleman bankrupt, Trollope endured a childhood of poverty and neglect while his mother struggled to support the family with various literary enterprises. He was sent as a day-boy to Harrow where he was persecuted by his more prosperous schoolfellows. Appointed to a junior clerkship in the General Post Office in 1834, he spent his early manhood in loneliness and debt. After obtaining a position as post-office inspector in Ireland, his prospects began to improve; he wrote his first, initially unsuccessful, novels and got married. Travelling extensively on G.P.O. business, he gained an unrivalled knowledge of Ireland at the time of the Great Famine and, subsequently, of rural England, while his life’s achievements included the invention of the pillar-box.
Anthony Trollope is both biographical and critical, assessing the relative values of Trollope’s novels and emphasizing that his later — and now seldom read — books are, in fact, among the best he ever wrote. Mr Pope Hennessy relates the plots and characters to experiences in the novelist’s life, in particular investigating for the first time the profound effect of his eighteen-year sojourn in Ireland. He examines as well Trollope’s feelings about Victorian High Society and his enjoyment of his travels throughout the West Indies, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The book pays tribute to Trollope’s genius as an interpreter of a now remote age, presenting him as one of the most brilliant English witnesses and recorders of life during the later decades of Queen Victoria’s reign. Lavishly illustrated, with many pictures by such artists as Millais taken from first editions of Trollope’s works, this volume presents both a new interpretation of a great writer and a colourful panorama of his period. It is James Pope Hennessy’s finest achievement since his bestselling biography of Queen Mary.”