Trollope, Frances

BORN 10 Mar 1779, Stapleton (near Bristol) - DIED 6 Oct 1863, Firenze, Toscana
BIRTH NAME Milton, Frances
GRAVE LOCATION Firenze, Toscana: Cimitero Degli Inglesi, Piazzale Donatello, 38

Frances Trollope was the third daughter of the Reverend William Milton. Her mother died in childbirth when she was five year old. She learned to read French and Italian and read a lot. In 1803 she and her sister moved to Bloomsbury, London to live with their brother Henry.

In London she met the barrister Thomas Trollope an she married him in 1809 when she was thirty years old. They had three sons and often lived in difficult financial circumstances. Their son Anthony (b.1815) would become a famous novelist. In 1824 she visited La Grange, the estate of the Marquis de Lafayette.

In 1827 she joined Fanny Wright's Nashoba Commune in America with her sons. Her husband stayed behind in England. After her arrival she was so disappointed that she immediately moved to Cincinnati, Ohio with her sons and her friend Auguste Hervieu. There she cooperated with Joseph Dorfeuille's Western Museum on wax figures of historical figures like George Washington, sculpted by the then unknown sculptor Hiram Powers. She suggested he would create a version of Dante's "Divine Comedy" and he did so with the help of Hervieu. This modelling of hell became a sensation.

She founded her own business with 'Trollope's Bazaar', but the public didn't like her department store and it went bankrupt.

She left Cincinnati in 1830 and after she returned to England in 1831 she turned to writing to support her family. In 1832 she published "The Domestic Manners of The Americans". It offended many Americans but it was her financial rescue. "The Abbess" (1833) was an anti-Catholic novel. Several travel books followed. In 1836 "Jonathan Jefferson Whitlaw" was published. It attacked slavery and was the first of her social novels. It influenced Harriet Beecher Stowe who published "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in 1852. Another anti-Catholic novel was "Father Eustace" (1847).

Frances Trollope wrote over 100 books during her life. Her last twenty years she spent in Florence. There she invited Theodosia Garrow to be her guest and Theodosia married her son Thomas. They lived under one roof until Frances died in Florence in 1863.

• Son: Trollope, Anthony

Related persons
• discovered Powers, Hiram
• was written about by Ternan, Frances Eleanor

4/11/1827Frances Trollope and Frances Wright leave for Nabosha. Nabosha was the commune of Frances Wright in America. Frances Trollope took three of her children (the future author Anthony wasn't among them) and the rest of the family should follow later. The French painter A.J.J. Hervieu (a friend of the Trollopes) also joined them on the ship and on this date they were waved goodbye by Mary Shelley. But Frances Trollope didn't like Nabosha and soon she left the commune. [Shelley, Mary]


The grave of Frances Trollope at the Cimitero Degli Inglesi, Firenze.
Picture by Androom (03 Feb 2011)


• Bennett, Betty Y. (ed.), The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1983
• Neville-Sington, Pamela, Fanny Trollope, The Life and Adventures of a Clever Woman, Viking, London, 1997
• Ransom, Teresa, Fanny Trollope, Alan Sutton, Stroud, 1995
• Todd, Janet (ed.), Dictionary of British Woman Writers, Routledge, London, 1989
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Frances Milton Trollope - Wikipedia

Trombetti, Alfonso

Published: 17 Apr 2011
Last update: 08 Mar 2022