Travel writing

Trollope gave many of his novels international settings, trips to Baden Baden, Lake Como and Italy abound in The Palliser novels. But he also visited and wrote about countries outside Europe, including the West Indies, Australia and South Africa.

Trollope made use of his extensive travels in his writing: in his novels, short stories, articles. Wherever he went, he wrote. Throughout his writing career he published five travel books. In the early days he had proposed to publisher John Murray a travel book on Ireland, but this had been turned down.

He believed that the day of the travelogue, the speciality of his mother, was passed. Instead he gave many of his novels and short stories international settings. His first novels were set in Ireland, and later the places he visited appear in his books. In 1859 he made use of his visit to the Holy Land in The Bertrams, complete with descriptions of travelling to Jerusalem by camel, of the Church of the Holy Sepulchar and of  whirling dervishes. He went on to write several novels set outside the UK, including: Nina Balatka set in Bohemia; Linda Tressel, set in Germany; Harry Heathcote of Gangoil, set in Australia, and The Golden Lion of Granpere, set in France. Many other novels have international travel scenes.Trollope’s short stories are full of international tales. Of the 42 short stories that he published, an amazing 22 were set in part, or wholly, outside Britain. His first collection of short stories was called ‘Tales of All Countries’ published in 1861, and was followed in by ‘Tales of All Countries, Second Series’ in 1863. The international theme continued with further collections in 1867, ‘Lotta Schmidt and Other Stories’ and in 1882, ‘Why Frau Frohmann Raised Her Prices and Other Stories.’

In addition to international settings for much of his fiction, Trollope also wrote travel guides to many of the places he visited. He turned his Postal Mission to the West Indies to account in 1859 publishing ‘The West Indies and the Spanish Main’ and following in his mothers footsteps, his visits to the United States gave rise to ‘North America’ in 1862. As well as setting his novel, ‘Harry Heathcote of Gangoil’ in Australia, Trollope published a travel guide, ‘Australia and New Zealand’ in 1873, and in 1878 it was the turn of ‘South Africa’. Finally in 1878 Trollope published privately and account of his visit to Iceland, for his host John Burns, a wealthy industrialist. Copies were given to all members of the party and the work was titled, ‘How the ‘Mastiffs’ Went to Iceland’. The Mastiffs took their name from John Burn’s, of the Cunard Steamship Company, yatch.