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Anthony Trollope - The Early Years

Simon Whalley

From 2015-2016, Simon Whalley was the Organist and Music Director of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in New York City. An aficionado of Victorian novelists, Simon Whalley enjoys reading Anthony Trollope.

Born as the fourth son of a somber and profligate father in 1815, Anthony Trollope bounced between various schools as a youth. Large for his age and often unkempt, he felt unwelcome at the illustrious schools he attended. Due to his father’s character, the family’s fortunes grew progressively worse, and the young lad proved unable to land a University scholarship.

His family moved to Belgium in 1834, and Trollope became a school usher in Brussels with the hopes of learning enough French and German to join the Austrian Cavalry. However, fate had other plans for the young genius, and he became a postal worker in London, where he endured seven years of loneliness and poverty.

Eventually promoted and transferred to Ireland, he finally gained some financial security. At age 29, Trollope married a banker’s daughter before beginning his writing career.


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