Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope 1

Anthony Trollope was the fourth son of five children. He was born in the UK on April 24th 1815. He endured a childhood of poverty and neglect. He was sent to Harrow as a dayboy where he was treated very badly by the affluent and more aristocratic boarders.

In 1834, he was appointed to a junior position in the General Post Office (G.P.O.) His early adult life was spent in debt and loneliness. When he was 27 he obtained the post of Post Office Inspector in Ireland, and his prospects improved. Also he had written his first novel “The MacDermots of Ballycloran” which was unsuccessful. At the age of twenty-nine Anthony married a Yorkshire girl Rose Heseltine in June 1844. Rose’s father was a bank manager in the town of Rotherham.

Their first child, a boy, was born on March 13th 1948, in Clonmel. He was named Henry; a second son, Fredric James Anthony was born on 27th September 1847. Soon after the birth of Frederic, his father’s position was improved once more when he was appointed Inspector at Mallow. The little family settled in a tall Georgian house, 159 Main Street, within a short walk of the post office, next to St. Mary’s Church and opposite the current post office. The post office of the time consisted of one room and it is still identifiable today, albeit with an extension on it.

Anthony travelled a great deal on G.P.O. business and he gained a great knowledge of Ireland at the time of the great famine. This must have brought back memories of his life of poverty in London.

While in Mallow he was working as an ‘Overseer’ in the local post office., He was also an active ‘Hunts Man’, who regularly participated with the Duhallow Hunt Club (the oldest club in Ireland founded in 1745) and in turn he transformed his hunting images and experience of the local countryside into some of his most famous novels. Between his first book “The MacDermots of Ballycoran” 1847 and his last “The Land Leaguers” (which was published posthumously as an unfinished novel in 1883), he had written some forty-five novels, most of them exceedingly long, and also innumerable short stories and articles. He later travelled the globe and his work attained a height of fame. He enriched two generations of readers.

 

post box

His life’s achievements included the invention of the pillar-box. One can see a pillar-box here in Mallow dating from the 19th century with the initials V.R. (Victoria Regina) on it; this makes it very rare in Ireland and Britain. It stands at the corner of Shortcastle and Main Street, opposite Paddy Powers betting shop (which occupies the site of the Trollope’s home).

He died in 1882 and is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in London.