Anthony Trollope: Autobiography of Anthony Trollope


I do not think that we did make ourselves in any way peculiar,--and yet there was a great struggle made. On the part of the proprietor, I may say that money was spent very freely. On my own part, I may declare that I omitted nothing which I thought might tend to success. I read all manuscripts sent to me, and endeavoured to judge impartially. I succeeded in obtaining the services of an excellent literary corps. During the three years and a half of my editorship I was assisted by Mr. Goschen, Captain Brackenbury, Edward Dicey, Percy Fitzgerald, H. A. Layard, Allingham, Leslie Stephen, Mrs. Lynn Linton, my brother, T. A. Trollope, and his wife, Charles Lever, E. Arnold, Austin Dobson, R. A. Proctor, Lady Pollock, G. H. Lewes, C. Mackay, Hardman (of the Times), George Macdonald, W. R. Greg, Mrs. Oliphant, Sir Charles Trevelyan, Leoni Levi, Dutton Cook--and others, whose names would make the list too long. It might have been thought that with such aid the St. Paul's would have succeeded. I do not think that the failure,--for it did fail,--arose from bad editing. Perhaps too much editing might have been the fault. I was too anxious to be good, and did not enough think of what might be lucrative.

It did fail, for it never paid its way. It reached, if I remember right, a circulation of nearly 10,000--perhaps on one or two occasions may have gone beyond that. But the enterprise had been set on foot on a system too expensive to be made lucrative by anything short of a very large circulation. Literary merit will hardly set a magazine afloat, though, when afloat, it will sustain it. Time is wanted--or the hubbub, and flurry, and excitement created by ubiquitous sesquipedalian advertisement. Merit and time together may be effective, but they must be backed by economy and patience.

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