As time passes, the novels of Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) seem to gain in freshness, stature and influence. He lived long enough to see his modest reputation fade, in contrast to that of many of his famous novelist contemporaries. Nowadays the situation seems to be reversing.
Of special merit, amongst his huge output, are the so-called Barsetshire ("clerical") novels, and the so-called Palliser ("political") novels. Of the former, the last and longest is "The Last Chronicle of Barset". Not only are there fresh concerns, complications and current affairs introduced here, but there are also fond and final appearances of people and places encountered in the earlier Barsetshire novels. Everybody's favourite literary virago, Mrs Proudie, is again denouncing and dominating everybody. Trollope even contrives to create a character who has the temerity to say to her, "Peace, Woman!"
There are the innumerable characters of marriageable age, whose names are perhaps more memorable than their characters, whose charming dialogues and relationship problems are deftly laid out and interwoven. Above all, there is master story-teller Anthony Trollope, admitting finally that for him Barset has been a real place, a place where he as been induced to wander too long by his "love of old friendships, and by the sweetness of old faces".
Superb TV and radio adaptations of Trollope's Barsetshire novels have appeared in recent years. His novels read aloud well, too, and audio cassette readings, some of them unabridged, can provide endless hours of rich listening pleasure.