In June of the year 2001 a group of us on Trollope-l decided to read four of Trollope's five Anglo-Irish novels in chronological order. We omitted Trollope's first and great tragic novel, The Macdermots of Ballycloran (published 1848) because a group of us had enjoyed a reading and discussion together of The Macdermots of Ballycloran (Trollope's first novel, published in 1847) on Ms Thomson's defunct Trollope list. The Macdermots had in fact been our first read together and the opening chapter of Trollope on the Net told the story of that conversation. We also omitted Trollope's two novels centering on Phineas Finn, the "Irish Member" of parliament, for although Phineas Finn and especially Phineas Redux arguably could be placed with Trollope's Anglo-Irish work and might emerge more interestingly about Phineas and Ireland, we decided to be conventional and place them with the Palliser or parliamentary series and save them for a coming read of Trollope's Palliser roman fleuve. We began Trollope's Anglo-Irish novels with his second novel, The Kellys and OKelly's (published 1848), went onto Castle Richmond (published 1860), then An Eye for an Eye (written 1870, but first published 1879), and ended with Trollope's unfinished posthumous The Landleaguers (published 1883).
Except for Castle Richmond, this journey did not regularly bring forth as many or as frequent postings as had our others. Trollope's five Anglo-Irish novels are different from his English and novella kinds: they are melancholy, saturnine romances; Castle Richmond and An Eye for an Eye are gothic books; The Macdermots and The Landleaguers analyze scapegoating and violence in politics. To me and a few other people on our list their mood and art made them all the stronger. I was also gone for about five weeks (I stayed in England with my husband for 5 weeks) and missed part of the discussion of The Kellys and O'Kellys. Therefore, I neither posted nor could I save the postings written for the whole of The Kellys and O'Kellys. The second chapter of my book, Trollope on the Net ("Tales of Western Ireland"), is an essay by me in which I argue that all Trollope's Anglo-Irish novels should be read in the context of Irish-literature and gothic romance and I kept that perspective up; other people wrote about the real Victorian Ireland and the history of the famine. So although I created a slow calendar for The Kellys and O'Kellys which would permit examination which imitated the rhythms of Trollope's manuscript text and the somewhat altered 1859 edition, I have condensed that calender below.
Participants for both books included Clarissa Ackroyd, Suleiman M. Ahmad, Ian Duncan, Roger Batt, Frank Biletz, David Christie, Katie Edgcombe, Sigmund Eisner, Judy Geater, Wayne Gisslen, Jeremy Godfrey,Mary Tyler Knowe, Imme Malin, Pat Maroney, Howard Merkin, Tony Prince, Rory O'Farrell, Teresa Ransom, Jill Spriggs, Todd Yelrom,Judy Warner, Doris White, Dagny Wilson.
The story of the publication of the Kellys and O'Kellys, the alteration in the chapter divisions, its immediate context, initial reception and quiet unexpected later popularity is told in the "Introduction." Trollope wrote his second novel between 1846 and 1847 while he and his wife, Rose, were living in Ireland. The text of the first edition of the novel published in 1848 by Henry Colburn consisted of 3 volumes of 36 chapters. For a later one volume edition of The Kellys and O'Kellys published by Chapman and Hall in 1859, Trollope divided 4 of the original chapters of the 1848 edition into 2; that made another 4 chapters bringing the total of this later edition to 40. The following condensed breakout still follows the 1859 edition of the text.
Castle Richmond is a powerful book. It was quickly translated into 5 different languages within the first year of publication and was read by people across the European continent. It was written shortly after the most devastating and famous of the Irish famines of the 19th century (it was not the only one -- these occurred periodically in Ireland). Castle Richmond is the last of Trollope's unserialized books. It was written between 4 August 1859 and 28 February 1860, and it was published by Chapman and Hall in May 1860. Trollope was so energized at the time -- by his moving to England and by the publication and extraordinary success of Framley Parsonage in the Cornhill that he also wrote 5 short stories while juggling Framley Parsonage with Castle Richmond: these five include one of his masterworks in the short form: "La Mère Bauche". Still like The Kellys and O'Kellys, the original volume divisions in the manuscript of Castle Richmond were not respected, and the chapter divisions in the published first edition differ from the volume divisions in the manuscript. For our calendar I have followed the manuscript as reading the book reveals these first original divisions are the turning points of the book.