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Trollope, Anthony

Entry updated 13 October 2020. Tagged: Author.

(1815-1882) UK author whose most famous novels make up the Barchester Chronicles, and whose portrayal of the state of England was more voluminously expressed, and perhaps more exact, than any other novelist's of stature before or since his time. It is of some sf interest that theories about the existence of Extraterrestrial life are brought up in Barchester Towers (1857 3vols), with references to Sir David Brewster (1781-1868) and The Reverend William Whewell (1794-1866), who argued over the possibility of life elsewhere. Trollope's sixty-first book, and sole venture into sf, The Fixed Period (October 1881-March 1882 Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine; 1882 2vols), written a few years before his death, understandably though evasively (no one actually dies in the book) concentrates upon that topic. It is 1980 on an Island 600 miles from New Zealand where sheep farmers are establishing an ambiguous Utopia they call the Republic of Britannula, where no one will be allowed to live past the age of sixty-seven – the age at which Trollope would in fact die, a year after the tale's magazine publication. The Navy – Trollope assumes without comment that it will be the British Navy – arrives in time to avert implementation of the scheme. The Republic is then dissolved by the gunship, and annexed to the British Empire. Though not one of Trollope's stronger novels, The Fixed Period remains a speculation of interest, and demonstrates the vigour of its author's rather gloomy Indian summer. [JC]

see also: Machines.

Anthony Trollope

born London: 24 April 1815

died London: 6 December 1882


  • The Fixed Period (Edinburgh, Scotland: William Blackwood and Sons, 1882) [published in two volumes: first appeared October 1881-March 1882 Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine: hb/nonpictorial]


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