'A Trollope', c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A carte-de-visite portrait of British author Anthony Trollope (1815-1882), taken at an unknown studio in Belfast in about 1865. Trollope's best loved works include 'Barchester Towers', set in the fictional English county of Barsetshire. He authored some 40 novels, essays, short stories and travel books during his career. Trollope is said to have disliked photography, becoming impatient with people who wanted to take his picture. A carte-de-visite is a photograph mounted on a piece of card the size of a formal visiting card of the 1850s - hence the name. The format was introduced by the French photographer Andre-Adolphe-Eugene Disderi (1819-1889) in 1854. As well as family portraits, commercial cartes of celebrities such as politicians, royalty and popular personalities were published. The craze for collecting celebrity cartes-de-visite in albums reached its peak during the 1860s but the format remained popular until the beginning of the twentieth century. The backs of cartes-de-v