Tuesday, March 3, 2009

He Worked For the Post Office Too

Just finished Victoria Glendinning's Anthony Trollope and now trying to decide whether I'm up to the six volumes of his Palliser novels. I finished the first some years ago, but chickened out at the prospect of reading five more.

As a writer who agonizes over every word, I'm in awe of the amount Trollope produced--scores of novels, stories, essays, travel books. He set himself a goal of so many hundred words a day, rising early to write before going to work as an administrator at the British Post Office.

(Some people credit him with inventing the letter box, but Glendinning says he only supported the real inventor in getting it adopted by the PO and placed on city streets.)

One of the small pleasures of Glendinning's biography are the books she quotes from, books with titles like "Reminiscences of a Literary Life," "Things I Have Seen and People I Have Known," "Collections and Recollections by One Who Has Kept a Diary" and, my favorite, "Memoirs of an American Prima Donna."

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