From 1830 the situation at home got steadily worse. The farm at Harrow was failing, and Thomas Trollope gave up his practice at the bar.
His temper was now so bad that Anthony thought that his father’s reason would become unhinged. As Thomas could now no longer provide any kind of income for the family, Fanny turned to one of the few occupations open to her, and began to write. She had been writing a record of her crazy trip to America, she called ‘Domestic Manners of the Americans’; it became a bestseller and saved the family financially. Fanny’s writing also gave Anthony an insight into how to write for a living and from his mother’s example he learned the habit of sheer hard work.
In 1834 Thomas Trollope fled to Belgium to avoid being arrested for debt. The whole family moved to Bruges, where they were entirely dependant on Fanny’s earnings as a writer. Thomas’ health failed and a year later he died, so too did Anthony’s siblings, Henry and Emily, of consumption.