The Jermyn Street Turkish baths and Anthony Trollope

Photo of Anthony TrollopeJoan Hassall's wood engraving from the Folio Society edition ofTrollope's story

In the 1951 Folio Society edition of Mary Gresley and other stories by Anthony Trollope, Joan Hassall's wood engraving on the half-title page of The Turkish bath bears a remarkable (if some-what romanticised) likeness to Trollope himself.

Indeed, the author was thoroughly familiar with The London Hammam at number 76 Jermyn Street, as is quite obvious to anyone reading the delightful description of the ritual of the bath in the first part of the story.

Even the plot seems to have had some actuality. Trollope, writing in his Autobiography, says: 'I do not think that there is a single incident in [An Editor's tales—the collection in which the story was republished] which could bring back to anyone concerned the memory of a past event. And yet there is not an incident in it which was not presented to my mind by the remembrance of some fact.' 1

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Trollope's Jermyn Street Turkish bath

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 1. Quoted by John Hampden in his introduction to the Folio Society edition of five of the stories from An Editor's tales. [return]