COMPILING the Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope provided an opportunity to reacquaint myself with his books and pick up along the way a mass of new information about him. But the happiest part of the process has been to renew old friendships and to make new ones in what has proved a most satisfying occupation over several years. At the time of Trollope's centenary conference, held at University College, London, in June 1982, we were, relative to Dickensians or Janeites, a small band of aficionados. The standard biographies and collections of letters were still those of Sadleir and Booth respectively. Now there are four biographies and N. John Hall's outstanding two-volume edition of the letters. Each year sees a number of essays and articles devoted to individual novels and non-fiction, and there is now a Trollope Society in London and New York. Trollope has at last his plaque in Westminster Abbey.
It is hardly surprising, then, that many friends and colleagues came to my aid when the idea for this Companion was proposed, and I must here record my gratitude for all the help they have given me. My advisers, N. John Hall and John Sutherland, not only gave meticulous attention at the outset when I was planning the work, and answered my often frantic e-mails as the work progressed, but also contributed essays. To them and to all those contributors listed by name below I offer congratulations and warmest appreciation. Sadly, one of our number, Walter Kendrick, died in October 1998.
Of equally valued service is the huge team involved in the preparation and production of the text, starting with my two research assistants and ending with the experts who saw the book onto the shelves. My patient, tireless, overworked assistants were Sheila Burgar and Monika Rydygier-Smith, whose presence close at hand as colleagues in the Department of English, University of Victoria, meant that they had nowhere to hide from my constant questions and requests. I acknowledge the co-operation received from Evelyn Cobley, chair of the English Department, and from Puri Pazo- Torres, secretary. When it came to recording, collating and reproducing a vast amount of information, I had the generous secretarial skill of Darlene Hollingsworth, who brought, along with professionalism of the highest order, a discriminating and critical eye to the material in her care. Secretarial assistance was also received from Lisa Powers and Diana Rutherford. I wish to thank colleagues in the English Department, and acknowledge the resources of the University Library's Special Collections, Reference, Inter-Library Loans, and Microforms divisions. A further debt is acknowledged to Sheila Burgar for help with the Chronology, to Graham Handley and Judith Terry for the maps, and to Anthony Jenkins for the Family Tree.
Within Oxford University Press I have been fortunate to have the help of Michael Cox, Pam Coote, Alison Jones, and Wendy Tuckey, and with them an assiduous copy- editor, Jackie Pritchard, whose meticulous reading produced helpful additions to the text, and others in the team, Elizabeth Stratford (desk editing), John Mackrell (production) and Nick Clarke (design). An editor/author working so many thousands of