Popular and prolific, Anthony Trollope wrote 47 novels as well as dozens of short stories that provide fascinating insights into Victorian life, behavior, and morals. A careful observer of people and places, Trollope created realistic, unsentimental depictions of everyday life that offer enduring entertainment as well as vivid reflections of the attitudes of his era.
These six stories originally appeared in periodicals, and Trollope may have drawn upon his experiences as an editor in writing "Mary Gresley," concerning a young woman with literary ambitions, and "The Spotted Dog," chronicling a harried scholar's attempts to work in peace. Christmas stories include "The Mistletoe Bough," a tale of a broken engagement, and "Not If I Know It," relating a family falling-out. Courtship and class distinctions receive wry treatments in "The Parson's Daughter of Oxney Colne," in which a well-to-do suitor receives his comeuppance, and "The Two Heroines of Plumplington," a tale of romance stymied by parental snobbery.