Contrasting with the polemical writing of Dickens and Reade, or the acid satire of Thackeray, Anthony Trollope is well-known for his balanced approach to characterization. His villains, such as Obadiah Slope or Ferdinand Lopez, are unpleasant and ungentlemanly; but their motives, however low, are understandable and often do not differ markedly from the aspirations of more admirable characters. But Trollope does explore the monstrous when he considers the effects of monomania (a term he popularized in English) on otherwise rational and decent people. Louis Trevelyan in He Knew He Was Right, Josephine Lovel in Lady Anna, and President Neverbend in The Fixed Period each become gripped by an idée fixe, which leads them to behave monstrously and even murderously. Their conduct is in sharp contrast to that of the characters Trollope most admires, such as his ideal statesman, Plantagenet Palliser, who displays the cardinal virtue of flexibility.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 28-41
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.