Fanny Trollope

Frances Trollope was born in Bristol in 1779. She grew up mostly in the care of her vicar father, as her mother died when she was young. In 1809 she married Thomas Trollope, a barrister, with whom she had seven children. Their married life was dogged by Thomas’s temper and financial worries and so in 1927 Fanny travelled to America with two of her daughters. They spent time in Tennessee in a community dedicated to the education and emancipation of slaves, and then travelled along the Mississippi to Cincinnati, Ohio, not returning to Britain until 1831. In 1832 Fanny published Domestic Manners of the Americans, her best-known book and a work highly critical of Americans whom she saw ‘With one hand hoisting the cap of liberty, and with the other flogging their slaves’. Fanny went on to write a total of forty books. Her novels often tackled social issues of the day: slavery, church corruption and worker’s rights. Her sons Anthony Trollope and Thomas Trollope also became well-known writers. Fanny died in 1863, aged eighty-four.

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