While I was whirling away in all my Mary-research, I read a bit about and by Frances “Fanny” Milton Trollope, including the 1997 biography Fanny Trollope: The Life and Adventures of a Clever Woman. My notes remind me that I read that book in the middle of September 1999 (a couple of years into my research), and as I page through the volume now, I am stunned to see how much Trollope wrote in such a short time. Forty-one books between 1832 and 1856. Just twenty-four years.
Equally astonishing: Born in 1780, she did not publish her first volume until she was in her fifty-second year. Novels and travel books were her favorite (especially the former), and among her novels was The Life and Adventures of Jonathan Jefferson Whitlaw; or Scenes on the Mississippi, 1836, now credited with being perhaps the first anti-slavery novel—as well as an influence on Harriet Beecher Stowe.
I’ve not read this novel, and, as I look online today (June 22, 2016), I see that there are available only print-on-demand editions—or some very expensive originals (she published the novel, as was the custom then, in three volumes). I’m going to have to pony up for something because I want to read that novel. (I just now checked: I can get it online—it’s been digitized by Google.)
I did read one of Fanny Trollope’s books, however—her first one, Domestic Manners of the Americans, 1832—a book that propelled her into an almost immediate celebrity and (on our side of the pond) notoriety. She had traveled to America, where, to say the least, she was generally not impressed with many of us—or with our ways.