Anthony Trollope wrote his memoirs towards the end of his life (which sounds logical, but nowadays it seems that teenagers can write their memoirs too; there is the additional complication that few people know their end with accuracy, hence some memoirs get written too early, while others don't get written or finished because of overoptimism.)
He gave the text to his son and asked him to publish it posthumously, if he agreed. The son agreed. The book did not improve AT's reputation among critics, who liked to uphold illusions about the creative process. It is an interesting book if you like Trollope and if you have an interest in the literary period of Victorianism. It is by far not a masterpiece. AT jumps about his recollections and gives us some anecdotes, which is quite ok, but nothing special.
We learn about his miserable school life. Father was a failure, the boy too poor at school to be accepted as equal by peers. Conflict of social aspirations clashing with material facts of family poverty. As a lonely school boy, AT developed the habit of building dream worlds. The memoirs attribute his later facility at building novel plots to this early mental habit.
A strong mother then took the driving seat in the family. She started at 50 to write books and was able to make a living.
AT joins the post office as a clerk. Father dies, as do several siblings. Consumption and misery. Without doubt mother's experience as a successful writer gave an essential role model to AT.
After several lost years as a postal clerk in London, he moves to Ireland on a postal job and his troubles vanish: enough money, friends, and first books, and starts hunting, the great joy of his life. And meets his wife.
The first two novels flopped. First moderate success is the Warden, conceived in Salisbury. After that, he was a success in both jobs, the post and the books. He travels a lot and writes about it: Egypt, West Indies, the US, Downunder, South Africa.... He published journalistic stuff in periodicals too, e.g. on hunting, or on the American civil war.
What annoyed critics about the book was AT's open explanation of his writing discipline. So unbohemian, so vulgarly disciplined! No writer's block!
I find his ostentatious lack of pretense endearing!
He discusses the question if he wrote too much (yes) and if the quantity came at the expense of quality (he thinks no). He outs himself as a deeply insecure person who craved nothing more than recognition. He blames his miserable youth for that.
AT discusses general questions of the literary world. How does an aspiring writer know he has what it takes? He can't know it for sure until he succeeds. Should an aspiring writer put all his eggs in one basket? Based on his own life, AT advises not to do that, but have a basic income from another source.
What is the task of a novelist? Alas, here AT is too much in the mainstream of his time for my taste. The fiction writer is some kind of moralist or preacher who has to spread rules and standards of right living. Hmmm. I don't follow there. This is the first step to cultural Stalinism.
He also criticizes corruption among literary critics, which was a suicidal thing to do.
AT also tried to become a politician, but he lost his election for parliament. He described himself as a conservative liberal, which is a solid position to take.
On copyright negotiations with the US, AT says: American dishonesty is rampant, but only among a few. (a nice parallel to contemporary complaints about Chinese disrespect of intellectual property)