"An Editor's Tales" describes a series of encounters between various magazine editors and those who wish to have their works published. While containing some amusing bits, the tales are relatively grim compared to most Trollope stories.
In "The Turkish Bath", an editor, upon visiting a Turkish bath, is accosted by an Irish stranger, who, after some conversation, requests to submit a manuscript to the magazine. The editor's reactions to the solicitation and subsequent familiarity with the writer's circumstances forms the frame of the story. Humor arises about the Turkish bath situation and the reluctance of editors to make themselves available to amateur writers.
"Mary Gresley" is the rather sad tale of a young girl's giving up her writing career to satisfy the deathbed wish of the curate she was engaged to. The editor in this tale (and also in the next) becomes rather involved emotionally with the girl and wishes her to continue writing.
"Josephine de Montmorenci" is actually the proposed pen name of a disabled young lady, who only becomes acquainted with the editor because her attractive sister-in law-initially pretends to be that author.
"The Panjandrum" (meaning "appearing to be important") is a magazine proposed by a group of literate but incompatible, inexperienced, would-be writers. The clash of personalities brings about the demise of the venture.
"The Spotted Dog" is the story of a writer down on his luck. He and his wife drink excessively. He's well educated and the editor offers him the task of indexing the work of a third person, but his drunken wife destroys the manuscript.
"Mrs. Brumby" is the most amusing of the tales. In this one the editor encounters a poor writer who is, unfortunately for him, also a remarkably aggressive and ambitious woman.
Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) was one of most succesful British authors of the Victorian era. He has written more than forty novels, as well as many short stories and travelogues. Trollope was also an editor and an active member of the London literary scene. Among his most notable works is the series "The Chronicles of Barsetshire", a series of six novels set in fictional Barsetshire.
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