Allegories of Union in Irish and English Writing, 1790-1870: Politics, History, and the Family from Edgeworth and to Arnold

By Mary Jean Corbett | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER FOUR
Plotting colonial authority: Trollope's Ireland,
1845–1860

In taking up his position for the Post Office in Ireland in 1841, Anthony Trollope like so many other men of his time and place migrated to a colony to better himself professionally and economically. 1 According to his own report in An Autobiography (1883), his peers among the clerks in the London office did not view the move as especially clever: “There was a conviction that nothing could be worse than the berth of a surveyor's clerk in Ireland It was probably thought then that none but a man absurdly incapable would go on such a mission to the west of Ireland. 2 Yet the material benefits were considerable, as Trollope soon realized, particularly compared to English conditions of paid work:

My salary in Ireland was to be but £100 a year; but I was to receive fifteen shillings a day for every day that I was away from home, and sixpence for every mile that I travelled. The same allowances were made in England; but at that time travelling in Ireland was done at half the English prices. My income in Ireland, after paying my expenses, became at once £400. This was the first good fortune of my life. (An Autobiography 58–59)

Financially speaking, then, it is no exaggeration to say that “Ireland made Trollope. 3 Moreover, his position there not only increased his income and earned him preferment back in England: it also gave him the material for his first two novels, The Macdermots of Ballycloran (1847) and The Kellys and the O'Kellys (1848), as well as three subsequent ones Castle Richmond (1860), An Eye for an Eye (1879), and The Landleaguers (1882–83) all set primarily in Ireland. Trollope thus experienced the colony as literary capital even after he returned to England. And from the first, his employment as a traveling colonial administrator was intertwined with his work as a novelist-to-be.

By contrast with the previous one, this chapter charts the westward flow of mid-century imperial traffic, with a focus on the “good fortune” of one Englishman rather than the material and discursive immiseration

-114-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Allegories of Union in Irish and English Writing, 1790-1870: Politics, History, and the Family from Edgeworth and to Arnold
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?