Mr Anthony Trollope’s name was so essentially associated with the novel of modern life, dealing mainly with London or country-house life of people well up in the social scale, that hardly one of his many readers suspected him of suddenly turning his hand to semi-historical romance. Yet if they had remembered certain of The Tales of All Countries, they would have seen at once that if Mr Trollope had not as yet distinguished himself in the line of romantic fiction of the ordinary three-volume length, it was certainly not for want of a romantic vein in his composition.1 Romance also of a kind, and very deep and true of its kind, may no doubt be found in his more familiar novels — in, for instance, the character and history of Mr Crawley in The Last Chronicle of Barset — but it is of a special kind; of the kind that a man of such invention and observation as Mr Trollope had could detect in the most everyday surroundings, and could bring out in what seemed the most everyday manner. I say ‘seemed’, because I think that the ease with which he wrote, the uniform swing or beat of style which he always adopted, were not unapt to prevent the art of his method and the genius which underlay that art from being perceived and appreciated…
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