Doctors in Trollope

Trollope portrays a wide variety of doctors in his fiction, from local doctors such as Dr Crofts and Dr Thorne to the eminent Sir Omicron Pie who attends Bishop Grantly and Dean Trefoil in Barchester Towers.

photo of Professor Tabitha Sparks
Professor Tabitha Sparks

Professor Tabitha Sparks join us to discuss Trollope’s doctors, putting them in their historical context and exploring their role in Trollope’s works. The focus of the talk was on Doctor Thorne.

Tabitha Sparks is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Associate Scholar in the Social Studies of Medicine, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Arts at McGill University.

Her professional experience includes script adaptation for Civilizations V (Firaxis Games) and consulting for the Victorian & Albert Museum (London, UK). She has received fellowships and grants from The Dickens Project, Nines (Networked Infrastructure for 19th C Studies), Emory University, FQRSC, and the NEH. She is the representative for Canada at the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies International (Durham, UK). She is currently completing a monograph on Victorian metafiction.

Tabitha Sparks’s The Doctor in the Victorian Novel: Family Practices looks at the trajectory of the figure of the doctor in Victorian literature, examining its evolution from the mid-1820s to the turn of the century. For Sparks, the doctor is, indeed, both a barometer of the evolution of the medical profession and of the Victorian novel.