|THE BERTRAMS (1859) by Anthony Trollope is an unusual novel of world travel, in addition to the typical subjects of matrimony and money, social strata, couples and relationships, by the author whose best-known work (such as the Barsetshire novels) is normally set in England. |
This one has the flavor of a Middle Eastern travelogue with lively Victorian commentary and satire, and as such it is a fascinating glimpse into the international mindset of the time.
Trollope worked as a civil servant in the post office until he was 52, at the same time traveling extensively in Britain, the U. S., and Europe. He turned his foreign journeys into travel books and his observations on English life into 47 novels. His books deal with most of the typical themes of Victorian literature: class, money, status, youth and age, marriage and sexual mores, and the crisis in the institutions of the Church of England. Each of the novels is self-contained, but many characters, locales, and situations recur. At the age of 57, he suffered a paralytic stroke while laughing at a family read-aloud session, and died a month later.