Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-5c569c448b-s84wp Total loading time: 1.265 Render date: 2022-07-04T07:10:02.053Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

Trollopian “Foreign Policy”: Rootedness and Cosmopolitanism in the Mid-Victorian Global Imaginary

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


Focusing on the prolific mid-Victorian writing of Anthony Trollope, this essay takes present-day theoretical interest in “actually existing cosmopolitanism” for its cue. Trollope's works remind us that from a Victorian perspective, the word cosmopolitan was more likely to evoke the impersonal structures of capitalism and imperialism than an ethos of tolerance, world citizenship, or multiculturalism. Trollope wrote novels eulogizing England's rootedness alongside first-person accounts of colonial travel, making him the arch exemplar of a two-party foreign policy discourse. Whereas Barsetshire novels such as The Warden are archetypes of autoethnographic fiction, Trollope's travel writings construct a transportable mode of racialized Anglo-Saxonness. Evoking the asymmetrical play between two notions of property—heirloom “rootedness” and capitalist “cosmopolitanism”—Trollope's foreign policy imaginary illuminates the difficulties of a genuinely negotiated rooted cosmopolitanism. Exploration of the nineteenth century's actually existing cosmopolitanisms offers the opportunity to historicize the transnational contexts and experiences of an era in which capitalist and imperial expansion was as dynamic as the globalizing processes of our own day.

Victorian Cluster
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Amanda, Anderson. “Cosmopolitanism, Universalism, and the Divided Legacies of Modernity.” Cheah and Robbins 265–89.Google Scholar
Amanda, Anderson. The Powers of Distance: Cosmopolitanism and the Cultivation of Detachment. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. Print.Google Scholar
Amanda, Anderson. “Victorian Studies and the Two Modernities.” Victorian Studies 47.2 (2005): 195203. Print.Google Scholar
Benedict, Anderson. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Rev. Ed. London: Verso, 1991. Print.Google Scholar
Appiah, Kwame Anthony. Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers. New York: Norton, 2005. Print.Google Scholar
Appiah, Kwame Anthony. Ethics of Identity. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2004. Print.Google Scholar
apRoberts, Ruth. The Moral Trollope. Athens: Ohio UP, 1971. Print.Google Scholar
Stephen, Arata. “The Occidental Tourist: Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization.” Victorian Studies 33.4 (1990): 621–45. Print.Google Scholar
Arnold, R. Arthur. The History of the Cotton Famine. London, 1864. Print.Google Scholar
Walter, Bagehot. The English Constitution. 1867. Ed. and introd. Crossman, R. H. S. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1963. Print.Google Scholar
Ian, Baucom. Out of Place. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1999. Print.Google Scholar
Murray, Baumgarten. “Seeing Double: Jews in the Fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, and George Eliot.” Between “Race” and Culture: Representations of “the Jew” in English and American Literature. Ed. Cheyette, Bryan. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1996. 4461. Print.Google Scholar
Duncan, Bell. The Idea of Greater Britain: Empire and the Future of World Order, 1860–1900. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2007. Print.Google Scholar
Walter, Benjamin. “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” 1940. Illuminations. By Benjamin. Ed. Arendt, Hannah. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken, 1978. 253–64. Print.Google Scholar
Jessica, Berman. Modernist Fiction, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Community. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. Print.Google Scholar
Nicholas, Birns. “The Empire Turned Upside Down: The Colonial Fictions of Anthony Trollope.” Ariel 27.3 (1996): 723. Print.Google Scholar
Ilana, Blumberg. “‘Unnatural Self-Sacrifice’: Trollope's Ethic of Mutual Benefit.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 58.4 (2004): 506–46. Print.Google Scholar
Patrick, Brantlinger. Dark Vanishings: Discourse on the Extinction of Primitive Race, 1800–1930. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2003. Print.Google Scholar
Patrick, Brantlinger. Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830–1914. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990. Print.Google Scholar
Timothy, Brennan. “Cosmopolitanism and Internationalism.” Debating Cosmopolitics. Ed. Archibugi, Daniele. London: Verso, 2003. 4050. Print.Google Scholar
Edmund, Burke. Reflections on the Revolution in France. 1790. Ed. O'Brien, Conor Cruise. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981. Print.Google Scholar
James, Buzard. Disorienting Fiction: The Autoethnographic Work of Nineteenth-Century British Novels. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2005. Print.Google Scholar
Craig, Calhoun. “The Class Consciousness of Frequent Travellers: Towards a Critique of Actually Existing Cosmopolitanism.” Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context, Practice. Ed. Vertovec, Steven and Cohen, Robin. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003. 86109. Print.Google Scholar
Muriel, Chamberlain. Pax Britannica? British Foreign Policy, 1789–1914. London: Longman, 1989. Print.Google Scholar
Cheah, Pheng, and Robbins, Bruce, eds. Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1998. Print.Google Scholar
Bryan, Cheyette. Constructions of “the Jew” in English Literature and Society: Racial Representations, 1875–1945. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. Print.Google Scholar
Corbett, Mary Jean. Allegories of Union in Irish and English Writing: 1790–1870. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
“Cosmopolitan.” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. Print.Google Scholar
Michael, Cotsell. “Trollope: The International Theme.” Creditable Warriors, 1830–1876. Ed. Cotsell, . London: Ashfield, 1990. 243–56. Print. Vol. 3 of English Literature and the Wider World.Google Scholar
Adriana, Craciun. British Women Writers and the French Revolution: Citizens of the World. Houndmills: Palgrave, 2005. Print.Google Scholar
Valentine, Cunningham. “Anthony Trollope and Law, Laws, Legalisms and Assorted Legislations.” REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 18 (2002): 89107. Print.Google Scholar
Nicholas, Dames. “Trollope and the Career: Vocational Trajectories and the Management of Ambition.” Victorian Studies 45.2 (2003): 247–78. Print.Google Scholar
Davidson, J. H.Anthony Trollope and the Colonies.” Victorian Studies 12.3 (1969): 305–30. Print.Google Scholar
Davison, Roderic H. “Britain, the International Spectrum, and the Eastern Question, 1827–1841.” New Perspectives on Turkey Spring 1992: 1535. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Richard, Dellamora. Friendship's Bonds: Democracy and the Novel in Victorian England. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2004. Print.Google Scholar
Charles, Dilke. Greater Britain. 1868. New York, 1869. Print.Google Scholar
Bo, Earle. “Policing and Performing Liberal Individuality in Anthony Trollope's The Warden.Nineteenth-Century Literature 61.1 (2006): 131. Print.Google Scholar
Ter, Ellingson. The Myth of the Noble Savage. Berkeley: U of California P, 2001. Print.Google Scholar
Findlay, Suarez Eileen. “Portable Roots: Identity and Memory in Nuyorican Life Stories, San Juan Puerto Rico, 1965–2000.” U of Illinois, Urbana. 10 Mar. 2005. Address.Google Scholar
Kate, Flint. “Why ‘Victorian‘?: Response.” Victorian Studies 47.2 (2005): 230–39. Print.Google Scholar
“Foreign Policy.” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. Print.Google Scholar
Franklin, J. Jeffrey. “Anthony Trollope Meets Pierre Bourdieu: The Conversion of Capital as Plot in the Mid-Victorian British Novel.” Victorian Literature and Culture 31.2 (2003): 501–21. Print.Google Scholar
Jonathan, Freedman. The Temple of Culture: Assimilation and Anti-Semitism in Literary Anglo-America. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.Google Scholar
Simon, Gikandi. Maps of Englishness. New York: Columbia UP, 1996. Print.Google Scholar
Simon, Gikandi. “Race and Cosmopolitanism.” American Literary History 14.3 (2002): 593615. Print.Google Scholar
Gilmour, Robin. Introduction. Trollope, The Warden vii–xxvi.Google Scholar
Paul, Gilroy. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1993. Print.Google Scholar
Robbie, Goh. “Subversive Modernity: Coleridge, Gothic Imagery, the ‘Body Politic,‘ and the Contestation of the Romantic Nation-State.” Postcolonial Cultures and Literatures: Modernity and the (Un)Commonwealth. New York: Lang, 2002. 161–76. Print.Google Scholar
Goodlad, Lauren M. E. Victorian Literature and the Victorian State: Character and Governance in a Liberal Society. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2003. Print.Google Scholar
Goodlad, Lauren M. E., and Wright, Julia. “Introduction and Keywords.” Victorian Internationalisms. Spec. issue of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net Nov. 2007: n. pag. Web. 14 Jan. 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Catherine, Hall. Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination, 1830–1867. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2002. Print.Google Scholar
Catherine, Hall. “Going a-Trolloping: Imperial Man Travels the Empire.” Gender and Imperialism. Ed. Midgley, Clare. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1998. 180–99. Print.Google Scholar
John, Halperin. Trollope and Politics: A Study of the Pallisers and Others. London: Barnes, 1977. Print.Google Scholar
Sherman, Hawkins. “Mr. Harding's Church Music.” ELH 29.2 (1962): 202–23. Print.Google Scholar
Christopher, Herbert. Culture and Anomie: Ethnographic Imagination in the Nineteenth Century. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1991. Print.Google Scholar
Hobson, J. A. Imperialism: A Study. 1902. Introd. Philip Siegelman. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1965. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bonnie, Honig. Democracy and the Foreigner. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. Print.Google Scholar
[Hutton, Richard Holt]. Unsigned Essay. Spectator 9 Dec. 1882: 1573–74. Rpt. in Trollope: The Critical Heritage. Ed. Donald Smalley. London: Routledge, 1969. 504–08. Print.Google Scholar
Audrey, Jaffe. “Trollope in the Stock Market: Irrational Exuberance and The Prime Minister.” Victorian Studies 45.1 (2002): 4364. Print.Google Scholar
Fredric, Jameson. The Geopolitical Aesthetic: Cinema and Space in the World System. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1992. Print.Google Scholar
Keirstead, Christopher M.Stranded at the Border: Browning, France, and the Challenge of Cosmopolitanism in Red Cotton Night-Cap Country.” Victorian Poetry 43.4 (2005): 411–34. Print.Google Scholar
John, Kucich. The Power of Lies: Transgression in Victorian Fiction. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1994. Print.Google Scholar
Laurie, Langbauer. Novels of Everyday Life: The Series in English Fiction, 1850–1930. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1999. Print.Google Scholar
George, Levine. The Realistic Imagination: English Fiction from Frankenstein to Lady Chatterley. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1981. Print.Google Scholar
Karen, Liftin. “Towards an Integral Perspective on World Politics: Secularism, Sovereignty and the Challenge of Global Ecology.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 32.1 (2003): 2956. Print.Google Scholar
Joseph, Litvak. “Jewish Geography: Trollope and the Question of Style.” Nineteenth-Century Geographies: The Transformation of Space from the Victorian Age to the American Century. Ed. Michie, Helena and Thomas, Ronald R. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2003. 123–34. Print.Google Scholar
Patrick, Lonergan. “The Representation of Phineas Finn: Anthony Trollope's Palliser Series and Victorian Ireland.” Victorian Literature and Culture 32.1 (2004): 147–58. Print.Google Scholar
Macpherson, C. B. The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke. Oxford: Clarendon, 1962. Print.Google Scholar
Malcolmson, Scott L.The Varieties of Cosmopolitan Experience.” Cheah and Robbins 233–45.Google Scholar
Sharon, Marcus. “Same Difference: Transnationalism, Comparative Literature, and Victorian Studies.” Victorian Studies 45.4 (2003): 677–86. Print.Google Scholar
Harriet, Martineau. Suggestions towards the Future Government of India. 1858. The India Question. Ed. Logan, Deborah. London: Pickering, 2004. 169248. Print. Vol. 5 of Harriet Martineau's Writing on the British Empire.Google Scholar
Karl, Marx. “The Story of the Life of Lord Palmerston.” 1853. Marxists Internet Archive, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2008.Google Scholar
Marx, Karl, and Engels, Friedrich. 1848. Manifesto of the Communist Party. The Marx-Engels Reader. Ed. Tucker, Robert C. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1978. 473500. Print.Google Scholar
[Masson, David]. “Politics of the Present, Foreign and Domestic.” Macmillan's Magazine Nov. 1859: 110. Print.Google Scholar
McMaster, Juliet. Trollope's Palliser Novels: Theme and Pattern. New York: Oxford UP, 1978. Print.Google Scholar
Michie, Elsie B.Buying Brains: Trollope, Oliphant, and Vulgar Victorian Commerce.” Victorian Studies 44.1 (2001): 7797. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mill, John Stuart. 1848. Principles of Political Economy with Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. Ed. Robson, J. M. [Bks. 3–5 and apps.] Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1965. Print. Vol. 3 of Collected Works of John Stuart Mill.Google Scholar
Miller, Andrew H. Novels behind Glass: Commodity Culture and Victorian Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miller, D. A. The Novel and the Police. Berkeley: U of California P, 1988. Print.Google Scholar
Jane, Nardin. Trollope and Victorian Moral Philosophy. Athens: Ohio UP, 1996. Print.Google Scholar
O'Brien, Patrick. “The Myth of Anglophone Succession: From British Primacy to American Hegemony.” New Left Review Nov.-Dec. 2003: 113–34. Print.Google Scholar
John, Plotz. “One-Way Traffic: George Lamming and the Portable Empire.” After the Imperial Turn: Thinking with and through the Nation. Ed. Burton, Antoinette. Durham: Duke UP, 2003. 308–23. Print.Google Scholar
Psomiades, Kathy Alexis. “Heterosexual Exchange and Other Victorian Fictions: The Eustace Diamonds and Victorian Anthropology.” Novel 33.1 (1999): 93118. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Michael, Ragussis. Figures of Conversion: “The Jewish Question” and English National Identity. Durham: Duke UP, 1995. Print.Google Scholar
Bruce, Robbins. Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress. New York: New York UP, 1999. Print.Google Scholar
Bruce, Robbins. “Introduction Part I: Actually Existing Cosmopolitanism.” Cheah and Robbins 119.Google Scholar
Michael, Sadleir. Trollope: A Commentary. Rev. ed. London: Constable, 1947. Print.Google Scholar
Seeley, J. R. The Expansion of England. 1883. Ed. Gross, John. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1971. Print.Google Scholar
Stanton, Domna C.Presidential Address 2005: On Rooted Cosmopolitanism.” PMLA 121.3 (2006): 627–41. Print.Google Scholar
Stocking, George W. Jr. Victorian Anthropology. New York: Free, 1987. Print.Google Scholar
Super, R. H. The Chronicler of Barsetshire: A Life of Anthony Trollope. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1988. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
John, Sutherland. Introduction. Trollope, Way vii–xxviii.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. Australia and New Zealand. 2 vols. London, 1873. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. An Autobiography. 1883. Ed. Skilton, David. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1996. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. Doctor Thorne. 1858. Ed. Skilton, David. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. The Eustace Diamonds. 1873. Ed. McCormack, W. J. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1983. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. The Last Chronicle of Barset. 1867. Ed. Gill, Stephen. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1980. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. Lord Palmerston. 1882. Ed. Halperin, John. New York: Arno, 1981. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. The New Zealander. 1971. Ed. Hall, N. John. London: Trollope Soc., 1995. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. North America. New York: Harper, 1862. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. “On Sovereignty.” 1867. Writings for Saint Paul's Magazine. New York: Arno, 1981. 7691. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. The Prime Minister. 1876. Ed. Skilton, David. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1996. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. South Africa. 1878. Ed. Davidson, J. H. Cape Town: Balkema, 1973. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. The Tireless Traveler: Twenty Letters to the Liverpool Mercury. 1875. Berkeley: U of California P, 1978. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. The Warden. 1855. Ed. Gilmour, Robin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. The Way We Live Now. 1875. Ed. Sutherland, John. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1986. Print.Google Scholar
Anthony, Trollope. The West Indies and the Spanish Main. 1859. New York: Caroll, 1999. Print.Google Scholar
Irene, Tucker. “International Whiggery.” Victorian Studies 45.4 (2003): 687–97. Print.Google Scholar
Walkowitz, Rebecca L. Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism beyond the Nation. New York: Columbia UP, 2006. Print.Google Scholar
Wood, Ellen Meiksins. Empire of Capital. London: Verso, 2005. Print.Google Scholar
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Trollopian “Foreign Policy”: Rootedness and Cosmopolitanism in the Mid-Victorian Global Imaginary
Available formats

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Trollopian “Foreign Policy”: Rootedness and Cosmopolitanism in the Mid-Victorian Global Imaginary
Available formats

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Trollopian “Foreign Policy”: Rootedness and Cosmopolitanism in the Mid-Victorian Global Imaginary
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *