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Publisher's Summary

Anthony Trollope is most famous for his portrait of the professional and landed classes of Victorian England, especially in his Palliser and Barsetshire novels. But he was also the author of one of the most fascinating autobiographies of the nineteenth century.
Trollope was born in 1815, the product of a formidable mother and a tragically unsuccessful father who was socially ambitious for his sons. He was the victim of vicious bullying at Harrow and Winchester. But he had inherited his mother's determination, and managed later to carve out a successful career in the General Post Office while devoting every spare moment to writing. How he paid his groom to wake him every morning at 5:30 a.m. and disciplined himself to write 250 words every fifteen minutes has become part of literary legend. His efforts resulted in over sixty books, a sizable fortune, and fame, and his autobiography. Trollope looks back on his life with satisfaction. Perhaps as interesting as the facts he reveals and the opinions he records about Dickens and George Eliot, politics and the civil service are the judgments he passes on his own character.
(P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about Trollope

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

the meaning of work

Trollope gives direct instruction on virtuous work. In his case, he followed his bliss of novel writing while working for a steady income in government service innovating efficient mail delivery guidelines for Ireland. I am changed by Trollope's moral strength. For him, all action follows from character. The narrator is a 19th century elderly voice. The narrator was brilliant.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

definately for the Trollope officianado

Trollope is a fovorite author, so I enjoyed the added depth this book provided. It is very idiosyncratic, and Trollope obviously vented as he was not writing for his own contemporary reading public. The long list of his life's earnings from his novels, I found peculiar and petty, but then, I wonder if Trollope imagined readers decades after his death, plodding through it, and had a last laugh. The reader was perfect-I thought I was listening to Trollope himself.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Frank, lively, thought-provoking

The fascinating candid memoir of a major English writer. He gives a graphic description of growing up in 19th century England. The discussion of novels and novelists is refreshing.

7 people found this helpful

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Required reading for Trollopians, praise for Mayes

I read the Autobiography before I listened to it, and I was surprised how much richer the audio version is. As others have noted, Mayes here has a 19th century voice and delivery, and I really could imagine him as Trollope himself.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

great but flawed autobio

Would you listen to Trollope again? Why?

of course - anytime anywhere because he's a great writer

What did you like best about this story?

his early struggles - when the autobio finished with that it became uninteresting mostly

What does Bernard Mayes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

at first i couldn't stand him - but he grew on me until i felt that i was listening to trollope himself

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

when trollope was a poor schoolboy

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent reading of an excellent autobiography!!

Where does Trollope rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It ranks at the top. Mayes' voice is Trollope's voice. As an avid Trollope reader, this is how I always imagined him as the voice of his novels, telling the story. He says in the autobiography that he actually lived in the character's shoes, so to speak, and knew what and how the character's spoke.

What other book might you compare Trollope to and why?

There is no comparison in biographies (and I have read many); I have read no other autobiographies that I can recall offhand.

What about Bernard Mayes’s performance did you like?

Everything!! I do not like a lot readers, I just stop listening and read the book. The voice in my head is better. Not so with this audiobook. It added to the book tremendously. I can't wait to see if there is another book read by this reader.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The last few pages were the most heart stirring of any book I have ever read, especially with the voice of the reader. I wanted everyone I know to read it, or better still, to hear it.

Any additional comments?

This is my first review that I can remember, even though I've been an Audible member for as long as I can remember. I love books, and as I get older, my eyesight is dimming. I love holding a book, and usually listen partly to any book I read. I worked as an itinerant teacher, listening to books as I drove from school to school, sometimes in another town.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Victorian writing business

Mayes is perfect as AT and the chapters are fascinating for anyone interested in Victorian fiction or who has read AT's novels. AT keeps cards close to his chest and, yes, he is a disappointment as a bit of a bigot. But lovable. And quite right about the writing business

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A delightful autobiography

The text of this book is delightful. The narration is good.
But - the audio production is pretty terrible.
Seldom have I had cause to complain about the quality of books from Audible, but this one is quite bad.
I guess it was recorded quite a while ago, which might explain the poor production values.
But it is fun to listen to anyway!

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Superb Author Autobiography

Anthony Trollope's Autobiography stands out a fascinating look at the life of an outstanding 19th Century novelist. Highly recommended for insights into Trollope's life and his approach to his writing.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting beginning

This starts off well but soon he gets very pedantic, lists of dates and books and amount paid etc.
The parts about working for Her Majesty's postal service are pretty good.
The reader is appropriately even and pompous but the quality of the recording is terrible. It sounds like it was made in an echo chamber.
I love a lot of his novels but not this.

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  • Kindle Kamper
  • 11-28-15

Atrocious sound quality - But still worth it

What did you like most about Trollope?

His dry wit is wonderful

What was one of the most memorable moments of Trollope?

it was a surprise how horrid a childhood he had suffered.

What aspect of Bernard Mayes’s performance might you have changed?

The fact that it sounded as it it been recorded in a living room with a blanket over the actors head was disturbing. And at points made it impossible to hear what was read.

7 people found this helpful

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  • mpd
  • 04-30-22

A thorough narration as his novels

Once you get used to the style of narration it suits Trollope’s narrative well in my view. Quite a detailed account of his actual writing and publishing; intentionally does not cover his personal life. An informative read about a well-loved author.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Susan Harvey
  • 01-21-20

Interesting listen

I only discovered Trollope about 5 years ago and have listened to many of his novels multiple times on audiobooks.
This autobiography was such an interesting insight into his life. I particularly liked his discussions of how much he was paid for each of his books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-26-22

Good book on the whole

I'm annoyed by the pronunciation of the word Clerk , he says it the American way.
Very odd as the rest is quite theatrical and sounds of its time.

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  • W. King
  • 04-23-22

I really enjoyed the whole experience.

I have been listening to a lot of Anthony Trollope's novels on Audible recently and when I saw this autobiography, chose to 'read' that next. It was narrated in 1979, so is rather tinny in sound quality and the narrator has a really unusual old fashioned voice. However, as I got into the book I realised that the voice suited Anthony Trollope very well and it seemed that he was reading it himself. I really enjoyed the whole experience and will try more of his novels now.

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  • terrymoore
  • 03-07-22

Appalling

I love the works of Trollope and so looked forward to hearing about his life BUT the narrator is totally awful - so I could not listen to it - so disappointed.


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  • Lisa
  • 09-12-21

poor narrator

Trollope's life would be most interesting, such a boring voice made impossible to listen

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Moomin
  • 09-01-21

A fascinating biography spoiled by the narrator

I am a keen Trollope reader and was interested to listen to a reading of his biography. Unfortunately the sound quality is so poor and the narration so dry that I gave up listening and am reading the book instead. Trollope is a witty and entertaining writer but the narrator fails him. Not the least irritant is his repeated failure to pronounce the word clerk correctly- as it crops up often this grates on the nerves!
Timothy West or Simon Vance are needed here, please!

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  • David
  • 01-22-21

For Trollope afficianados

A comprehensive autobiographical review that provides real insights into Trollope's life and work, and the circumstances that shaped and influenced it.

A solid performance by Bernard Mayes.