Recently Dr Nigel Stark was an enthusiastic, passionate speaker at our local Jane Austen group. Nigel has entertained us several times and we always enjoy his talks and company. On this occasion he was passing on more stories about Anthony Trollope and his visits to Australia, The First Celebrity (the title of Nigel's latest book) to visit our country, and Trollope received a rapturous welcome from all.
As an observer, journalist and writer, Anthony Trollope wrote about money, class and social position, just like Jane Austen. He was an enormous admirer of Jane Austen saying that her writing was ‘perfect’. Nigel also talked about the similarities in their writing – their characters in clerical life, the indirect instruction, the short tart descriptions, the arguments in favour of novels being respectable, and most of all the fact that they both wrote realistic novels with real people, unlike the earlier Gothic novels.
As you can see from the photo we enjoyed the shared afternoon tea and chat afterwards as well.