"That was what did it for Lord Harry Hotspur in Trollope. Tell me, was Trollope a gentleman?"

Anthony Trollope
Public DomainAnthony Trollope - Credit: Napoleon Sarony
Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite by popular Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope was published in 1871. The story follows the charming but scheming Harry Hotspur as he attempts to swindle the family inheritance from its future recipient and distant cousin, Emily Hotspur. Although Trollope himself had many admirers -- literary and otherwise -- his reputation suffered following the posthumous publication of his autobiography, in which he revealed the non-artistic and rather frowned upon traits of writing to a schedule and of doing so for money. 'Perhaps the main characteristic of writers like Jane Austen and Trollope is their complete non-literariness", Ford Madox Ford pointed out in The March of Literature (1938). 'Indeed, you would say that they are without the passion to write that distinguishes a Balzac, a Dickens, a Thackeray or even a genuine artist like Gautier.'