Trollope and the Pious Slippers of Cheltenham
Mullen, Richard, Contemporary Review
CHELTENHAM, that cultivated spa town with its blend of elegant town houses inhabited by retired Anglo-Indian officers and officials, provided a good setting and target for Victorian novelists. To Thackeray it was a place where 'trumps and frumps were found together, wherever scandal was cackled'. That may seem bad enough but there was a novelist who was far more acerbic about Cheltenham. Strangely it was one who is normally regarded as the genial exponent of English life. Anthony Trollope had a curious contempt for the pleasant Gloucestershire town and subjected it to fierce attacks in several novels.
Before proceeding I should mention that at Contemporary Review we look on Anthony Trollope as one of our founders. He was the chairman and driving force in a group of Victorian writers and intellectuals who founded The Fortnightly Review in 1865. It eventually was incorporated into the Contemporary Review which had been founded a year later.
Trollope is not often seen as a writer who was strongly influenced by the 'spirit of place'. Yet it was a visit to Salisbury which inspired his most famous fiction, the six novels which make up …
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Publication information: Article title: Trollope and the Pious Slippers of Cheltenham. Contributors: Mullen, Richard - Author. Magazine title: Contemporary Review. Volume: 278. Issue: 1621 Publication date: February 2001. Page number: 112. © 1999 Contemporary Review Company Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.
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