In his biography of William Makepeace Thackeray, Anthony Trollope posits the ideal of a man without style: 'I hold that gentleman
to be the best dressed whose dress no one observes. I am not sure but that the same may be said of an author's written language'.
Trollope's own appearance, unlike his written language, did not pass without observation, however. A contemporary poet recollects
that he was 'hirsute and taurine of aspect'. This study unravels this paradox. It disentangles the many threads in Trollope's
ostensibly transparent writing and reassembles the political and intellectual fabric that they weave, thus showing how Trollope's
language exceeds and questions the concepts provided by contemporary ideologies.