Despite a decreasing popularity throughout his career, Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) has become one of the most notable and respected English novelists of the Victorian Era. His penetrating novels on political, social and gender issues of his day have placed him among such nineteenth century literary icons as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and George Eliot. Trollope penned 47 novels in his career, in addition to various short stories, travel books and biographies. A newfound interest in politics led to the publication of "The Prime Minister" in 1876, one of a group of novels sometimes called Trollope's parliamentary novels. This novel tells of the successes, troubles, and eventual failure of what the author calls the completed picture of a statesman, who should have "rank, and intellect, and parliamentary habits, by which to bind him to the service of his country . . . he should also have unblemished, unextinguishable, inexhaustible love of country" (from Trollope's Autobiography).