Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope

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Maberly, Colonel William Leader ( 1798-1885), Secretary of the Post Office ( 1836-54). He was 'not my friend', Trollope recalled ( Auto III). Maberly treated him 'as though I were unfit for any useful work'. Trollope was constantly admonished by Maberly, not without cause, and came close to losing his position. After seven unsatisfied years as a junior clerk in the Secretary's Office, an opportunity came for Trollope to volunteer for a post in Ireland. Maberly, he states, 'was glad to be so rid of me, and I went'. However, when Trollope later applied for the post of Superintendent of Mail Coaches ( 1852), he not only cited Maberly as a reference, but Maberly wrote a favourable letter to the Postmaster General, the Earl of Hardwicke, commending Trollope for his prompt and effective reorganization of rural posts ( Letters 1, 32). The appointment as Superintendent went to another officer, W. T. Wedderburn, who outranked Trollope in seniority. Sir Boreas Bodkin ( "'Aeolus'") in Marion Fay is probably based on Maberly.


Macaulay, Thomas Babington ( 1800-59), historian, critic, poet, and statesman; achieved celebrity through his essays in the Edinburgh Review. Ranked among the greatest stylists of the day by Trollope ( Auto VI), who recommended that all writers take note of Macaulay's insistence on 'the all-important art of making meaning pellucid' ( Auto XII). Macaulay's 'prophecy' in the Edinburgh Review in 1840 that a visitor from New Zealand in the future would sketch the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral inspired the title of Trollope The New Zealander, which in Carlylean terms warned of Britain's downward spiral through money-worship. To G. W. Rusden in 1878 he suggested that both Froude and Macaulay had made themselves masters of a certain historical purpose, and, though inexact, they had 'left a picture of their periods which the world of readers has acknowledged to be true' ( Letters 2, 791). RCT

M'Buffer, Mr, MP for Tillietudlem. M'Buffer accepts the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds (resigns from Parliament), 'having been a managing director of a bankrupt swindle, from which he had contrived to pillage some thirty or forty thousand pounds' (XXIV), leaving his parliamentary seat vacant for Undecimus Scott. TC MT

McCann, Judy, Father McGrath's faithful servant. TMB MRS

McCarthy, Father Bernard, parish priest of Drumbarrow, respected by the Catholic Irish peasantry, but demonized by the Protestant rector, Mr Townsend, his wife, and Aunt Letty. He abjures their prejudices, yet makes for an eager, even 'malicious antagonist' (X). He prides himself on his clean, starched apparel, in dramatic contrast to the grubby rector, but, according to the narrator, it cannot disguise inferior birth and education. CR MRS

Macdermot, Euphemia (Feemy), Trollope's first fictional heroine, regarded by Hugh Walpole as showing 'a certain poetry and tragic inevitability' not found in later heroines ( Anthony Trollope ( 1928), 27). Sister of Thady Macdermot, impoverished heir of Ballycloran, she is 'ardent and energetic' (II), but lack of education and companionship make her susceptible to Myles Ussher, a police officer in the pay of the English, who seduces her. When Ussher is killed by her brother, Feemy's evidence could vindicate him, but she dies of pre-natal complications before being called to the stand. MB MRS

Macdermot, Lawrence (Larry), demoralized, alcoholic father of Thady and Feemy Macdermot, whose pride in his chieftain ancestry is the catalyst for Joe Flannelly's hatred and persecution of the impoverished family. Subject to a 'despairing apathy' (VI) that, coupled with drink, impairs his reason, he falls victim to his greatest tragedy: not eviction from the ancestral home, but loss of faith in the son who loves him. MB MRS

Macdermot, Thaddeus (Thady), care-worn heir of Ballycloran, a heavily mortgaged estate in Co. Leitrim, whose unintentional killing of Myles Ussher, his sister Feemy's lover, results in exe


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