Anthony Trollope, if you don’t know, was a Victorian era novelist who was less than successful in other pursuits, including practising law, because of a somewhat bad temper. The author of 47 novels and other works, he ironically earned a reputation for a comic bent, which is still appreciated by critics and readers today. Perhaps fittingly, his best novel, The Way We Live Now, was a satire. It was published in serial form and told of greed that let to financial scandals of the era.
Trollope died on this day in 1882 of a stroke after reading the comic novel Vice Versa by a contemporary, F. Antsey. It was said that the stroke was brought on by a “fit of giggles.” If there is any truth to the story, then he literally died laughing, a distinguishing footnote that he shares with Cleopatra and a few others.
Perhaps there is a joke somewhere in this anecdote, but it might be a stretch to include it here. Suffice it to say, that if you must die, Trollope chose the best way to go.