This chapter explores Anthony Trollope's (1815-1882) first novel, The Macdermots of Ballycloran (1847), which was set and written within Ireland. It examines how Trollope's travels in Ireland led him to narrate place in ways that were somewhat unconventional, and which served to challenge the relationship between an author and his audience. As an early work of fiction 'The Macdermots' was quite crude and was not, ostensibly, a work of travel literature, but it resulted from, and was inspired by, the journeys that Trollope made around Ireland as a Surveyor's Clerk for the General Post Office. In his capacity as a civil servant Trollope was not a conventional traveller, he travelled for work not necessarily pleasure, and this, combined with his length of residency in place - he resided in Ireland for 15 years - served to complicate his narration of it, for it brought in question his status, was he an insider, an outsider, a resident or a visitor? Ireland occupied an ambiguous place within the 'English' imagination at this time. It was simultaneously seen as a colony, a sub-region and a constituent part of Great Britain. Its religious difference was accentuated by ethnic and racial stereotyping (Perry Curtis, 1997), which made for few dispassionate representations of Ireland and the Irish. Yet, Ireland made Trollope; it was here that he found professional success as a civil servant, where he met his wife, where he brought up his children and where he turned his hand to writing. Thus, while Trollope was 'English' his long residency in Ireland served to trouble these stereotypes and gave him, instead, a unique insight into the nation and its people. The challenge for Trollope, then, was how to write about a place, which while 'other' had made him.
|Title of host publication||Narratives of Travel and Tourism.|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2012|
- travel writing
- literary geography
- anthony trollope