Dr Julian Thompson's primary area of research is the fiction of the Victorian novelist, Anthony Trollope (1815-1882). Victorian contexts, attitudes, beliefs, language and leisure all differ subtly from our own, and he has tried to point out ways in which this is so in the various Trollope works he has have edited. These include the Complete Short Stories, the late comic novel Ayala’s Angel, the brief mystery Cousin Henry, and the poignant love-story, The Small House at Allington, which many Trollopians regard as their favourite book. He has written a detailed study of Trollope’s obsessive attitude to work and an internet guide to his most highly regarded serial fiction, the six Palliser novels. He is currently engaged on a study of the subtlety and variety of Trollope’s presentation of the inner life of women.
In addition he has edited the Complete Shorter Fiction of Trollope’s near-contemporary, Wilkie Collins, and has thus helped to get some out-of-the-way items by this still underestimated writer back in print. He is fascinated by the strange circumspection with which that prolific literary professional Kingsley Amis seems to have ensured he would go down to posterity as a drunken, woman-hating bigot, and he has published a long essay on the seriousness and profundity of his writings on religion. He is assembling a series of meditations on (generally unfamiliar) spiritual literature as a contribution to the college’s commitment to interdisciplinary study in Theology and Literature. He has also published on the classic English Ghost-Story.