Anthony Trollope In “The People’s Friend” Archive

Did you see our piece recently, celebrating the life of renowned Victorian novelist, Anthony Trollope, on the occasion of his birthday?

While I was putting it together, I was in touch with Barry Sullivan, one of the Archive Team here at DC Thomson. In discussion, Barry mentioned that Anthony Trollope “may well have shared some similarities with the Friend’s own Annie S. Swan. Both were very popular and widely read in their heyday, and both very prolific. Both knew the value of their work, and had no pretensions, authors who put pen to paper to pay the bills”.

Barry looked through our old bound volumes of the time, to see if other DC Thomson publications may have had any further mention of Mr Trollope. I thought you might like to see what he found:

From Saturday Dec 18, 1880; “The Dundee Advertiser” publicises the first instalment of “Ayala’s Angel” in the “Friend” (below).

Pic: DC Thomson


“The Dundee Advertiser”, Feb 9, 1882 (below); advertises the “People’s Friend” Bound Volume for 1881 which included our Trollope serial:

Pic: DC Thomson

“The Dundee Advertiser”, Thursday August 14, 1879 advertised the Selections from “Thackeray” in “The Evening Telegraph”:

Pic: DC Thomson

“The People’s Journal” for Dundee, Saturday Jan 27, 1872 – The new story by Anthony Trollope is begun in “Good Words” (below):

Pic: DC Thomson

Pic: DC Thomson

“Good Words” was a magazine founded in 1860 for a pious readership; a ‘fireside’ magazine featuring fiction and non-fiction, and general articles on subjects such as science – so perhaps not so very dissimilar to the “Friend” in its early days. Like some of the Trollope novels, it also featured illustrations by John Everett Millais.

Norman Macleod, the editor of “Good Words”, was a friend of Trollope’s, and commissioned him in 1863 to write a novel for serialisation in the magazine. After initially declining the commission, Trollope wrote “Rachel Ray” – but it was deemed unsuitable for the readership, and never published in serial form.

“The most popular magazine serial writer of his day.”

Finally, there’s a mention of Mr Trollope in “The Dundee Advertiser” of Saturday, March 6, 1897 (below).

“Sensational fiction was evolved when magazines and newspapers began to publish tales in instalments. In order to keep the attention of his readers for several months, the serial writer must provide something stirring in almost every chapter…

“Anthony Trollope, whose novel “The Warden”, a most excellent performance, appeared in 1855, was the most popular magazine serial writer of his day. A mid-century magazine was scarcely considered complete without an instalment of a novel by Anthony Trollope.”

Pic: DC Thomson

We’re so fortunate to have our Archive here in Dundee – so much history woven through the issues.

When restrictions allow, I hope to be back in the Archive before too long. Until then, we’re grateful to the Archive guys for their help – we’re currently working together on the next volume in our Classics Collection. We’ll keep you posted!

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!