Anthony Trollope: Novelist of the Democratic Revolution
Anthony Trollope uses the characters and drama of his semi-political Palliser novels to pursue the ends of Alexis de Tocqueville's political science in a lighthearted yet serious way. Describing himself as an advanced conservative Liberal, Trollope claims that his political theory is expressed most fully in the Palliser novels. Preoccupied with the phenomenon Tocqueville designates the democratic revolution, the novels emphasize the historical tendency towards equality, consider its social and political implications, and intimate how traditionally aristocratic England might respond to it. While he endorses the justice of the democratic revolution, Trollope shows that it is accompanied by such disadvantages as a decline in human excellence and greatness. Realistic depictions of character arouse sympathy for his view that by adopting a posture of prudent liberalism toward the advance of equality, the English could both reform their aristocratic institutions and rely on those institutions to mitigate the excesses of democracy.
Henary, Sara. "Anthony Trollope: Novelist of the “Democratic Revolution”." The Review of Politics 83, no. 1 (2021): 45-68.
Review of Politics