Many of Trollope’s novels originated from daydreams that he had as a child. He invented stories that he would carry on in his mind for months at a time. He later recalled: “I was of course my own hero. I was a very clever person, and beautiful young women used to be very fond of me. I was a very much better fellow than I have ever succeeded in being since.”
When Trollope was 19, he began working as a clerk for the post office, eventually being placed in Ireland as a postal surveyor. In addition to his literary achievements, he is credited with inventing the modern British mailbox. It was in Ireland that he began writing novels, churning them out regularly at a rate of three books every two years. He would write 1,000 words an hour before breakfast; he said, “A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules.” He wrote realistic novels about the daily life of ordinary people, including The Warden (1855), Barchester Towers (1857), and Framley Parsonage (1861).