Anthony Trollope, (born April 24, 1815, London, Eng.—died Dec. 6, 1882, London), English novelist whose popular success concealed until long after his death the nature and extent of his literary merit. A series of books set in the imaginary English county of Barsetshire remains his best loved and most famous work, but he also wrote convincing novels of political life as well as studies that show great psychological penetration. One of his greatest strengths was a steady, consistent vision of the social structures of Victorian England, which he re-created in his books with unusual solidity.
Trollope grew up as the son of a sometime scholar, barrister, and failed gentleman farmer. He was unhappy at the great public schools of Winchester and Harrow. Adolescent awkwardness continued until well into his 20s. The years 1834–41 he spent miserably as a junior clerk in the General Post Office, but he was then transferred as a postal surveyor to Ireland, where he began to enjoy a social life. In 1844 he married Rose Heseltine, an Englishwoman, and set up house at Clonmel, in Tipperary. He then embarked upon a literary career that leaves a dominant impression of immense energy and versatility.
The Warden (1855) was his first novel of distinction, a penetrating study of the warden of an old people’s home who is attacked for making too much profit from a charitable sinecure. During the next 12 years Trollope produced five other books set, like The Warden, in Barsetshire: Barchester Towers (1857), Doctor Thorne (1858), Framley Parsonage (1861), The Small House at Allington (1864), and The Last Chronicle of Barset (serially 1866–67; 1867). Barchester Towers is the funniest of the series; Doctor Thorne perhaps the best picture of a social system based on birth and the ownership of land; and The Last Chronicle, with its story of the sufferings of the scholarly Mr. Crawley, an underpaid curate of a poor parish, the most pathetic.
The Barsetshire novels excel in memorable characters, and they exude the atmosphere of the cathedral community and of the landed aristocracy. (britannica.com)