TROLLOPE, Mrs. Domestic Manners of the Americans.


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Two volumes. Illustrated. London: Printed for Whittaker, Treacher, & Co. Ave Maria Lane 1832. Fourth edition. pp. (1) xi, 300 (2) vii, 303, [1 (advertisement)], 24 (lithograph plates by August Hervieu). Contemporary half calf on marbled boards. From the library of Frederick T. Jessop, Doory Hall, County Longford with his armorial bookplate on front pastedown. A very good set. Frances Trollope travelled to America together with her son Henry, having been partly instigated by the social and communistic ideas of a lady whom I well remember, a certain Miss Wright, who was, I think, the first of the American female lecturers"". (Anthony Trollope - An Autobiography) She briefly stayed at the Nashoba Commune, a Utopian settlement for ex-slaves which Wright had set up in Tennessee, where she was dismayed by the primitive conditions.
The book created a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic, as Frances Trollope had a caustic view of the Americans and found America strongly lacking in manners and learning. She was appalled by America's egalitarian middle-class and by the influence of evangelicalism that was emerging during the Second Great Awakening. Trollope was also disgusted by slavery, of which she saw relatively little as she stayed in the South only briefly, and by the popularity of tobacco chewing.
Her views were understandable for a number of reasons. It had been only fifteen years since the United Kingdom was at war with the United States and the earlier American Revolutionary War was still remembered; as her own views on church, politics and social values were overtly conservative, she did not feel at ease with much in American religion, government and culture; and while in America she was unhappy as a result of financial and marital difficulties.
Two sons also became writers: her eldest surviving son, Thomas Adolphus Trollope, wrote mostly histories. Her fourth son Anthony Trollope became the better known and received novelist, establishing a strong reputation, especially for his serial novels such as those set in the fictional county of Barsetshire, and his political The MacDermots of Ballycloran and The Landleaguers.
There are fine lithographed frontispieces in each volume, ant twenty-two lithographed plates.

[L1 5F]


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