Home | Reviews | Blog | Daily | Glossary | Orrin's Stuff | Email

Lunch with the FT: Robert Caro (Sarah Gordon, 1/04/13, Financial Times)

As we share an Italian cheesecake for dessert, Caro tells me that Anthony Trollope is his favourite author and that he is rereading Can You Forgive Her? for the third time.

It’s not surprising he should be so drawn to Trollope, whose sure-footed portrayal of the interplay between politics and the personal, as well as his fluidly elegant prose, could be a blueprint for Caro’s own style.
Introduction to The Duke's Children by Professor Steven Amarnick

Originally published in 2015 as part of the Commentary to the First Complete Edition of the extended version of The Duke’s Children by the Folio Society, in two limited fine edition formats.

Introduction: Notes on the cuts

But now I will accept that as courage which I before regarded as arrogance.

With that sentence, The Duke’s Children comes to an abrupt end. Except not quite. Sixty-four words follow in the manuscript—words that Anthony Trollope had intended to publish but reluctantly left out. Preceding this sentence are some 65,000 other words that were cut—over twenty-two per cent of the manuscript. Now in 2015, in the two hundredth year of Trollope’s birth, The Duke’s Children can be read in full for the first time. By restoring his cuts, we restore his original vision, and present the book in a version that is as close as possible to the one he would have sanctioned had he been able to publish it in his typical fashion.

Although the six book cycle is known as The Palliser Novels, it is only with the final installment that Anthony Trollope turned his full focus on Plantagenet Palliser, the Duke of Omnium, and his titular children. The series famously charts the political rise of several characters including Phineas Finn and the Duke, who had become Prime Minister. While Trollope eventually wrote 47 novels, he thought it was these on which his future reputation would rest. Browsing the web, it seems that The Way We Live Now may vie for that honor, but the Pallisers and the BBC adaptation of the books certainly endure.

But, hitherto, we have all been reading a rather truncated version of The Duke's Children. When his publisher told Trollope to shrink the book from four down to three volumes, the author excised some 65,000 words. and while an expert editor might have cut in such a way as not to do too much damage, Trollope found it expedient to often remove the ends of chapters, in which he provided his wry observations on what had gone before. Since his authorial voice is somewhat conspiratorial, joining the reader in observing the characters from above, the loss of these passages could not help but damage the text. Even setting aside the insights omitted, they cause some disjointedness, as chapters tend to end too abruptly. And because much of the action in the book lies in the Duke's three children disappointing him by their choices, where these endings follow a choice or the revelation to the Duke of such a choice they seem somehow judgmental in their starkness.

Professor Steven Amarnick has lovingly restored the original version, from a text found in the Yale Library. Trollope himself, who had said he could never chop up one of his texts, as he was later forced to do, would be pleased.


Grade: (B+)


See also:

General Literature
Anthony Trollope Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Anthony Trollope
    -The Trollope Society
    -ETEXTS: Anthony Trollope (Gutenberg)
    -AUDIO BOOKS: Anthony Trollope (LibriVox)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Anthony Trollope (IMDB)
    -Anthony Trollope (Victorian Web)
    -The Trollope Jupiter
    -Anthony Trollope (The Literature Network)
    -ESSAY: THE DUKE'S CHILDREN: REDISCOVERING A TROLLOPE MANUSCRIPT (J. W. BAILEY, October 1982, The Yale University Library Gazette)
    -the Restoration of The Duke's Children (Trollope Society)
    -ESSAY: ‘Lost volume’ of Anthony Trollope’s The Duke’s Children reinstated for new edition: Decade-long project to restore 65,000 words of Trollope’s original manuscript results in ‘quite extraordinary’ version of the novel (Alison Flood, 3/02/15, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY: Trollope uncut: 135 years after distraught author was forced to slash 65,000 words from his final Palliser novel, it's released in full for the first time (CHRIS HASTINGS, 15 November 2014, MAIL ON SUNDAY)
    -ESSAY: TROLLOPE TRENDING: Why he’s still the novelist of the way we live now. (Adam Gopnik, 5/04/15, The New Yorker)
    -ESSAY: Anthony Trollope: best TV adaptations: As ITV announce that Julian Fellowes's next job after Downton Abbey is to adapt Trollope's novel Doctor Thorne, we take a look back at some of the best screen versions of the writer's work (Rachel Ward, 25 Apr 2015, The Telegraph)
    -ESSAY: Sadly, the snobs were right about Trollope: Trollope had much in common with Dickens - except that Dickens did everything so much better (Simon Heffer, 01 Jan 2011, The Telegraph)
    -ESSAY: The Way We Live Now: Anthony Trollope knows us, and he loves us just the same. (Laura Miller, May 2016, Slate)
    -BOOK LIST: To celebrate Anthony Trollope’s 200th anniversary, writers choose their favourite novel: Poor man’s Dickens, or master of motives and manners? Authors pick the book that they most admire, from the Bishop of London on The Prime Minister to Antonia Fraser on Can You Forgive Her? (The Guardian, 4/11/15)
    -BOOK LIST: The 100 best novels: No 22 – The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope (1875) (Robert McCrum, 2/17/14, The Guardian)
    -BOOK LIST: Anthony Trollope tops Hatchards poll to find best novel of past 200 years (Alison Flood, 27 November 2015, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY: Mrs. Trollope's America (KIPLING BUIS, JUNE 2007, Vanity Fair)
    -ESSAY: WHY ANTHONY TROLLOPE IS THE MOST JEWISH OF THE GREAT ENGLISH NOVELISTS: Happy 200th birthday, you ‘hair-oil using, false-jewel wearing, tailorish non-gentlefolk.’ You’re one of us. (Ann Marlowe, April 24, 2015, The Tablet)
    -ESSAY: How turning to Trollope saved my life (Amanda Craig, 24 Apr 2015, The Telegraph)
    -ESSAY: A novelist who hunted the fox: Anthony Trollope today (Roger Kimball, March 1992, The New Criterion)
    -ESSAY: Portraits of Human Nature: Anthony Trollope at 200 (SARA HENARY, April 13, 2015, The Millions)
    -ESSAY: The low sculduggery of high Victorian finance: A review of Forging Capitalism by Ian Klaus covers 200 years of theft and fraud in the City (Martin Vander Weyer, The Spectator)
    -ESSAY: TRollope & America (Amanda Claybaugh,
    -ARCHIVES: Anthony Trollope (The Spectator)
    -ARCHIVES: Anthony Trollope (The Guardian)
    -ARCHIVES: Anthony Trollope (
    -REVIEW: of The Duke's Children by Anthony Trollope (John McCourt, Irish Times)
    -REVIEW: of The Duke's Children (Neil Hegarty, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of The Duke's Children (Melanie Kirkpatrick, Wall Street Journal)
    -REVIEW: of The Duke's Children (Charles McGrath, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Duke's Children (Kirkus)
    -REVIEW: of The Duke's Children (Ann Kirschner)
    -REVIEW: of Anthony Trollope's The Fixed Period (David Lodge, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope (Alexander Larman, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Is He Popenjoy by Anthony Trollope (Lorin Stein, The Paris Review)
    -REVIEW: of Australia and New Zealand by nthony Trollope (Nigel Starck, The Conversation)

    -REVIEW: Forget War and Peace – 1970s costume drama The Pallisers is the thing to watch (Neil Clark, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of The Way We Live Now (Jonathan Myerson, The Guardian)

Book-related and General Links: