This classic study of the working life of a professional writer is one of the best - and also one of the strangest - autobiographies ever written. After a miserable childhood and misspent youth, Trollope turned his life around at the age of twenty-six. By 1860 the 'hobbledehoy' had become both a senior civil servant and a best-selling novelist. He worked for the Post Office for many years and stood unsuccessfully for Parliament. Best-known for the two series of novels grouped loosely around the clerical and political professions, the Barsetshire and Palliser series, in his Autobiography Trollope frankly describes his writing habits. His apparent preoccupation with contracts, deadlines, and earnings, and his account of the remorseless regularity with which he produced his daily quota of words, has divided opinion ever since.
As the Introduction to this edition shows, Trollope selected and exaggerated to create his compelling narrative of initial failure and eventual success, and the inspiration that fuelled his creative imagination has too easily been overlooked. The only autobiography by a major Victorian novelist, Trollope's record offers a fascinating insight into his literary life and opinions. This edition also includes a selection of his critical writings to show how subtle and complex his approach to literature really was.