Frances Trollope and the Novel of Social Change
Greenwood Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 199 pages
Victorian writer Frances Trollope has largely been relegated to a mere footnote in literary history as simply the mother of Anthony. Equally unfortunate is that, aside from her nonfiction work Domestic Manners of the Americans, her 34 novels have been out of print since the nineteenth century. She was, nonetheless, the most provocative female writer of the early Victorian period who used the novel to impel social change. She has been credited for writing the first anti-slavery novel that predates Uncle Tom's Cabin, along with a number of works that incited reform legislation regarding bastardy clauses, poor laws, and labor conditions.
Expert contributors examine her life and writings, her social activism, and the impact of her works. The book includes discussions of her influence on Anthony Trollope, the rivalry between Frances Trollope and Charles Dickens, her belief in the power of female friendship, her ambivalence toward the ability of women to effect social change, her thoughts on Evangelicalism, her views on women and aging, and her innovative contribution to early crime fiction. Contributors argue for the value of reprinting her novels and travel books and point to her enduring literary legacy.