Early Short Stories by Anthony Trollope
Trollope's ventures in the field of short fiction came relatively late, following a series of trips abroad. Short stories struck him as a means of bringing together his traveller's tales, while at the same time exploiting the earning opportunities of the new monthly magazines which were springing up in Britain and America during the 1860s. This collection of "early" short stories covering the years 1860 to 1865, when Trollope was in his prime as a writer, offers some refreshingly un-Trollopian experiments in narrative. The tone varies from rollicking humour to grim, Balzacian realism. There are tender studies of courtship and stories dealing with the current realities of the American Civil War. Some of the stories flout the moral conventions and sexual standards of the mid-Victorian age, and they suffered at the hands of censorious editors, among them Thackeray. The stories are arranged in order of composition to give a sense of Trollope's rapidly developing skills as a practitioner in the genre. Even those who know Trollope well should find something novel and unusual in this collection.