In the eighteenth century, Justin Aloysius Trotter, or the Great Trotter, tumbles earthward to his death while surveying his vast lands and admiring his wealth from a hot air balloon. Two centuries later, the Seventh Trotter, Eugene Aloysius, narrates the epic story of a family at the fraying ends of its past glory.
Laced with verses, advertisements, journal entries, elegies, quotations and learned interpolations, The Trotternama is the chronicle of seven generations of Trotters as they struggle to hold on to their shifting identities. They are Indian at lunch and British at dinner; eat curry with a dessert spoon and dessert with a teaspoon. Over the years, the expanding clan of Trotters produces soldiers, artists, poets, politicians-even a dhoti-wearing nationalist. As their excesses slowly turn to improvidence and the family chateaux is turned into a hotel, their increasing numbers and declining fortunes strain against a rapidly changing country. Allan Sealy's epic comedy of manners about Britain and India's motley offspring is as much a treat today as it was thirty years ago.