Anthony Trollope's Late Style: Victorian Liberalism and Literary Form

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This study focuses on Anthony Trollope's stylistic innovations in relation to Victorian liberalism

In his biography of William Makepeace Thackeray, Anthony Trollope posits the ideal of a man without style: `I hold that gentleman to be the best dressed whose dress no one observes. I am not sure but that the same may be said of an author's written language'. Trollope's own appearance, unlike his written language, did not pass without observation, however. A contemporary poet recollects that he was `hirsute and taurine of aspect'. This study unravels this paradox. It disentangles the many threads in Trollope's ostensibly transparent writing and reassembles the political and intellectual fabric that they weave, thus showing how Trollope's language exceeds and questions the concepts provided by contemporary ideologies.

Key Features:

  • Shows how Trollope's stylistic peculiarities perform his inflection of Victorian liberalism
  • Reads Victorian literature through the lens of German (post-)Romantic thinkers such as Goethe and Walter Benjamin
  • Presents a panorama of Victorian liberalism in its literary, intellectual, and political context
  • Examines the writings from the last decade of Trollope's life that have received only scant critical attention, such as his novellas and his biographies

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Edinburgh University Press
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