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An Autobiography (Anglais) Broché – 11 septembre 2008

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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. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x967c80a8) étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x967b3e70) étoiles sur 5 Could I remember, as some men do, what I read, I should have been able to call myself an educated man 15 octobre 2011
Par H. Schneider - Publié sur
Format: Broché
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)
4 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x967b3dd4) étoiles sur 5 Author 30 novembre 2009
Par Mary E. Sibley - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Trollope recites how the farm at Harrow on which he grew up was the grave of his father's hopes. Michael Sadlier's introduction points out that Trollope's AUTOBIOGRAPHY impaired his popularity. The business of being an author held no mystique for him. At nineteen Trollope was a hobbledehoy. He had no aspirations for his future life. His mother's best novels were written when she was nursing ill family members while living in Belgium. Trollope began to keep a journal at age fifteen and continued the practice until he destroyed his journal in 1870.

The first seven years of his postal career were spent in London. Anthony experienced some of the woes he imposed on his characters. A woman appeared at the post office asking in a loud voice why he wouldn't marry her daughter. A tailor's bill compunded until it was a substantial amount. During that early period Anthony did learn to read French and Latin. After seven years Anthony Trollope volunteered to go to a position in Ireland. He was to live at Banagher on the Shannon. He discovered there one of the joys of his life, riding to the hounds. His new life was opulent in comparison to his old one.

When Trollope married he feels a better life was commenced. Visiting Salisbury for the post office, (he had been transferred back to England), he conceived the story of THE WARDEN. Starting with BARCHESTER TOWERS he did much of his writing in railway coaches. Trollope found George Lewes to be the acutest critic known to him. In 1861 the author became a member of the Garrick Club. In 1864 he was elected to the Athenaeum. Trollope revered Thackeray and George Eliot as English novelists. He notes, though, that George Eliot lacked ease. The book continues on and gives the author's view of politics and a description of his attempt to be elected to the House of Commons. To his dismay his Palliser novel, THE PRIME MINISTER, was not a popular and critical success.

This posthumous work is a success, I believe.
HASH(0x967b3978) étoiles sur 5 Loves it 11 avril 2013
Par j k kelley - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
the wife waited for this with much anticipation it was better than she expected well written as she described it
0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x967b396c) étoiles sur 5 One Star 4 février 2015
Par Susan H. - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The book was stiff and yellowed.
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