The author of this book has not solely relied for his materials on a personal intimacy with its subject, during the most active years of Trollope's life, but from an equal intimacy with Trollope's contemporaries and from those who had seen his early life. These incidents have never before appeared in print, but are absolutely essential for a right understanding of the opinions - social, political, and religious - of which Trollope's writings became the medium, as well as of the chief personages in his stories. All lifelike pictures, whether of place, individual, character or incident, are painted from life. The entirely fresh light now thrown on the intellectual and spiritual forces, chiefly felt by the novelist during his childhood, youth and early manhood, helped to place within his reach the originals of his long portrait gallery, and had their further result in the opinions, as well as the estimates of events and men, in which his writings abound, and which always reveal life, nature, and stimulate thought. The man, who had for his Harrow schoolfellows Sidney Herbert and Sir William Gregory, was subsequently brought into the closest relations with the first State officials of his time, was himself one of the most active agents in making penny postage a national and imperial success, and when he planted the first pillarbox in the Channel Islands, accomplished on his own initiative a great postal reform. A life so active, varied and full, gave him a greater diversity of friends throughout the British Isles than belonged to any other nineteenth century worker, literary or official. Hence the unique interest of Trollope's course, and therefore this, its record.