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Anthony Trollope is most famous for his portrait of the professional and landed classes of Victorian England, especially in his Palliser and Barsetshire novels. But he was also the author of one of the most fascinating autobiographies of the nineteenth century. Trollope was born in 1815, the son of a formidable mother and a tragically unsuccessful father. Poor, ill-dressed, awkward, and sullen, he was the victim of vicious bullying at Harrow and Winchester. But he managed later to carve out a successful career in the General Post Office while devoting every spare moment (except in hunting season) to writing. How he paid his groom to wake him every morning at 5.30 a.m. and disciplined himself to write 250 words every quarter of an hour has become part of literary legend. His efforts resulted in over sixty books, fortune, and fame, and in An Autobiography Trollope looks back on his life with some satisfaction. The facts he reveals and the opinions he records – about Dickens and George Eliot, politics and the civil service – are as revealing as the judgements he passes on his own character.
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