Sunday, October 09, 2011

 

Trollope! Trollope!

Richard Mullen, Anthony Trollope: A Victorian in His World (London: Duckworth, 1990; rpt. Savannah: Frederic C. Beil, 1992), p. 64, discussing Domestic Manners of the Americans by Trollope's mother Frances Trollope:
In years to come many American writers came to accept that many of her observations on frontier society were accurate. Longfellow said he would forgive her strictures if she helped to eliminate the horror of tobacco-spitting which was her particular bête noire. For several decades it was quite common for Americans to cry 'Trollope! Trollope!' when they observed some ill-mannered behaviour in public.
This might be an exclamation worth reviving. Tobacco-spitting is less common these days, but there is no shortage of other "ill-mannered behaviour in public."



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