Final works

With the success of The Barsetshire Chronicles and The Pallisers behind him, Trollope continued to write, but his star was waning, literary fashions had changed and he never reaptured the success of the 1860’s and 1870’s.

Literary tastes moved on and it became fashionable for young intellectuals to sneer at the comfortable world depicted in the novels of ‘old Trollope’. Still, The Eustace Diamonds, the third of the Palliser sequence, proved as popular a success in the 1870s as Phineas Finn had been in the previous decade, and the books kept on coming.Trollope travelled to America, Iceland, Australia and South-Africa, starting and completing whole novels on the long sea voyages, and he stayed active to the very end, travelling over to Ireland in the wake of the Phoenix Park murders to gather material for another novel based on the troubled life of the country that had first inspired him to write.Back in London he was, on 3 November 1882, enjoying a talkative and happy dinner party with friends. After the meal they settled down to read aloud extracts from the latest best-seller, chuckling and joking ever more loudly at this extract or that – until suddenly it was noticed that the loudest guffaw of all had failed to break. Anthony Trollope lay speechless in his armchair, poleaxed by a stroke from which lit never recovered. He finally died on 6 December 1882 at the age of sixty-seven. But he had almost gone out laughing.¬© British Broadcasting Corporation 1974.
The Pallisers Radio Times Special