Anthony Trollope: Autobiography of Anthony Trollope

CHAPTER V - MY FIRST SUCCESS - 1849-1855 (continued)

I have already said of the work that it failed altogether in the purport for which it was intended. But it has a merit of its own,--a merit by my own perception of which I was enabled to see wherein lay whatever strength I did possess. The characters of the bishop, of the archdeacon, of the archdeacon's wife, and especially of the warden, are all well and clearly drawn. I had realised to myself a series of portraits, and had been able so to put them on the canvas that my readers should see that which I meant them to see. There is no gift which an author can have more useful to him than this. And the style of the English was good, though from most unpardonable carelessness the grammar was not unfrequently faulty. With such results I had no doubt but that I would at once begin another novel.

I will here say one word as a long-deferred answer to an item of criticism which appeared in the Times newspaper as to The Warden. In an article-if I remember rightly--on The Warden and Barchester Towers combined--which I would call good-natured, but that I take it for granted that the critics of the Times are actuated by higher motives than good-nature, that little book and its sequel are spoken of in terms which were very pleasant to the author. But there was added to this a gentle word of rebuke at the morbid condition of the author's mind which had prompted him to indulge in personalities,--the personalities in question having reference to some editor or manager of the Times newspaper. For I had introduced one Tom Towers as being potent among the contributors to the Jupiter, under which name I certainly did allude to the Times. But at that time, living away in Ireland, I had not even heard the name of any gentleman connected with the Times newspaper, and could not have intended to represent any individual by Tom Towers. As I had created an archdeacon, so had I created a journalist, and the one creation was no more personal or indicative of morbid tendencies than the other. If Tom Towers was at all like any gentleman connected with the Times, my moral consciousness must again have been very powerful.

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