Anthony Trollope, 1815 – 1882

April 24, 1815 – Birthdate of Anthony Trollope, English novelist, essayist, and short story writer.

Trollope was one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Among his best-loved works is a series of novels collectively known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, which revolves around the imaginary county of Barsetshire. He also wrote perceptive novels on political, social, and gender issues, and on other topical matters.

Trollope’s literary reputation dipped somewhat during the last years of his life, but he regained the esteem of critics by the mid-twentieth century.

Trollope also had an impact on the development of postal technology.

From the Royal Mail’s press release:

“A limited edition of stamps was released by Great Britan’s Royal Mail in 2015 to mark 200 years since the birth of Anthony Trollope, who first introduced post boxes to the UK in the 1850s.

“The sheet of stamps features images of Trollope and his life and times, including the first pillar box design.

“Royal Mail is also marking the bicentenary of Trollope’s birth in 1815 by launching an online “family tree” showing post boxes through the ages.

“Famous as a novelist, Trollope is also known as the person who introduced freestanding postboxes or pillar boxes to the UK during his time working at the Post Office, after seeing them first in France.

“The first pillar boxes in the British Isles were erected in Jersey in 1852 as a trial before appearing across mainland Britain from 1853.

“Many of the UK’s first post boxes were painted green, to blend in with the landscape, but that was later changed to red to make them more visible to the public.

“The new colour was introduced in 1874 and it took 10 years to repaint all post boxes. Red has remained the standard colour for UK boxes with only a few exceptions, one being blue post boxes for overseas mail.

“Royal Mail now has 115,300 post boxes of all shapes and sizes across the country.

“Sue Whalley, Royal Mail’s chief operating officer, said: “We are delighted to contribute to this year’s bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Anthony Trollope.

‘He is well known as a former Post Office employee and we have him to thank for introducing pillar boxes to the UK.

‘Whether in walls, on poles or freestanding, the network of post boxes has grown from Trollope’s time to reach around over 115,000 boxes which are now an iconic feature of communities across the UK.'”

anthony trollope - UK commemorative sheet

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