Wolverhampton BTW

Frances Trollope

Trollope, Frances née Milton, 1779—1863

by Benjamin Colbert

Frances Milton Trollope was born at Bristol, daughter of the Reverend William Milton (1743-1824) and Mary Trollope (d. c.1785). Frances Milton married a barrister, Thomas Anthony Trollope (1774-1835; ODNB), in 1809. In expectation of his inheriting a substantial Hertfordshire property from an uncle, the couple had seven children (including the novelist, Anthony Trollope in 1815) and leased an 160-acre farm near Harrow. In 1818, the uncle remarried and bore an heir.

Although now in straightened circumstances, Frances Trollope visited Paris in 1823, 1826 and 1827, moving in liberal circles that included Frances Wright, Benjamin Constant, and General Lafayette. In 1827, Trollope hatched a plan to establish her drifting son Henry as a teacher at Wright’s utopian community in Tennessee, Nashoba. Leaving her husband behind, Trollope travelled to the United States with Henry, two daughters, and August Hervieu, a young French artist who later illustrated many of her books. When she returned nearly four years later with a MS travel account, the Trollopes were further in debt. Her Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832), however, was a popular success, and two novels and another travel book, Belgium and Western Germany (1834), followed, without improving their solvency. Trollope fled with her family to Bruges in 1834, where she wrote another novel and travel book, Paris and the Parisians (1835), while nursing her son, Henry, and then her husband in their final illnesses. Vienna and the Austrians followed in 1838. In all, in the 25 years between Domestic Manners and her death, Trollope produced 32 novels and 6 travel books. She died in Florence.


Heineman, Helen. 'Frances Trollope'. British Travel Writers, 1837-1875. Ed. Barbara Brothers and Julia Gergits. Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 166. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 1996. 321-36. Print.

---. Mrs. Trollope: The Triumphant Feminine in the Nineteenth Century. Athens, OH: Ohio UP, 1979. Print.

Neville-Sington, Pamela. 'Trollope [née Milton], Frances [Fanny] (1779–1863), travel writer and novelist'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 24 May 2008. Oxford University Press. Web. 3 Oct. 2014. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/27751


Title Published
Domestic Manners of the Americans 1832
Belgium and Western Germany in 1833 1834
Paris and the Parisians in 1835 1835
Vienna and the Austrians 1838
A Summer in Brittany 1840 Editor

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