Trollope pp 140-145 | Cite as

His Manners Were Rough and, So to Speak, Tumultuous

  • James Payn


Trollope was the least literary man of letters I ever met; indeed, had I not known him for the large-hearted and natural man he was, I should have suspected him of some affectation in this respect. Though he certainly took pleasure in writing novels, I doubt whether he took any in reading them; and from his conversation, quite as much as from his own remarks on the subject in his autobiography, I should judge he had not read a dozen, even of Dickens’s, in his life.1 His manners were rough and, so to speak, tumultuous, but he had a tender heart and a strong sense of duty. He has done his literary reputation as much harm by the revelation of his method of work as by his material views of its result. He took almost a savage pleasure in demolishing the theory of ‘inspiration’, which has caused the world to deny his ‘genius’; but although he was the last, and a long way the last, of the great triumvirate of modern novelists (for Bulwer is not to be named in the same breath, and George Eliot stands per se), he hangs ‘on the line’ with them.2


Clay Amid Taurine Ghost Dine 


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1987

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  • James Payn

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