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Anthony Trollope

3 of 27 portraits of Anthony Trollope

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Anthony Trollope

by Julia Margaret Cameron
albumen print, 1864
10 in. x 7 3/4 in. (254 mm x 197 mm)
Purchased, 1982
Primary Collection
NPG P214

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), Pioneer photographer. Artist or producer associated with 119 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 73 Read entry

    In 1863 Julia Margaret Cameron, the wife of a retired coffee-planter, was given a wet collodion photographic outfit by her daughter and son-in-law. As a young woman she had corresponded with Sir John Herschel about the new medium, and she now began to practise photography with great enthusiasm and idealism: 'My aspirations are to ennoble Photography and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art'. She took many portraits of her family and friends, servants and photogenic villagers on the Isle of Wight where she lived, but above all, like the commercial photographers of the day, she pursued celebrities.

    This image of the novelist and postal-official (the inventor of the pillar-box) Trollope was taken when he was on holiday at Freshwater, Isle of Wight in 1864, at a time of crisis in his career with the post-office. In March that year his enemy Sir Rowland Hill, founder of the penny post, had retired, and Trollope hoped at last for preferment. He was, however, passed over, and, though it took him two years to make up his mind, he finally retired. It was the right decision for this passionate devotee of fox-hunting, who found daily attendance at the office to be 'slavery', but it stung him,. Yet he was by this time firmly established as a best-selling novelist; his great human comedies, the Barchester novels were, with the exception of The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867), behind him; the ambitious late political novels such as The Way We Live Now (1875), to come.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 624
  • Truss, Lynn, Tennyson and his Circle, 2015, p. 57
  • Truss, Lynne, Character Sketches: Tennyson and His Circle, 1999, p. 29

Events of 1864back to top

Current affairs

First of the Contagious Diseases Act. These acts allowed for the arrest, medical inspection and confinement of any woman suspected of being a prostitute in the port towns. Following huge public outcry over their discrimination against women, notably led by Josephine Butler, leader of the Ladies' National Association, the acts were eventually repealed.
Octavia Hill starts work on slums, and the International Working Men's Association is founded in London.

Art and science

The Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell presents his discoveries in the field of electromagnetics to the Royal Society. His paper A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field expresses the basic laws of electricity and magnetism in unified fashion. Maxwell's equations, as his rules came to be known, helped create modern physics, laying the foundation for future work in special relativity and quantum mechanics.


Austria and Prussia combine forces to seize Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark.
Britain cedes Corfu, acquired from France in the Second Treaty of Paris (1815) to Greece. Although Britain had vigorously suppressed an uprising in 1849 in Cephalonia aiming to restore Iolian islands, the government changed policy throughout the 1850s and 60s.

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