Palliser Books

Palliser is a series of six novels written by Anthony Trollope. Starting with “Can You Forgive Her?” in 1864, the books revolve around Plantagenet Palliser, an aristocrat and Politician, and his wife Lady Glencora. British and Irish politics take center stage, with the story spending considerable portions of time in and around parliament.

Order of Palliser Series

# Read Title Published
1 Can You Forgive Her? 1865
2 Phineas Finn 1869
3 The Eustace Diamonds 1873
4 Phineas Redux 1873
5 The Prime Minister 1876
6 The Duke's Children 1880
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Anthony Trollope described the novels as a sprawling epic of Victorian England spanning sixteen years between the first and last book. Despite initial assumptions, politics is not nearly as central to the Palliser novels.

Rather, Parliament merely acts as a backdrop for the lively social scene that Anthony Trollope creates. Anthony’s series brings a notable number of characters to the fro, this including Alice Vavasor who is always wavering between suitors, MP Phineas Finn who undergoes notable maturity, Ferdinand Lopez who is little more than a determined social climber and, of course, the elegant Lady Glencora.

Plantagenet Palliser acts as the force that connects all threads in the different books. The primary players of the Palliser series are all members of high society. Individuals from the lower echelons of the community do make an appearance, though they are primarily introduced to give insightful yet humorous opinions about the goings on of society.

Palliser Books into movies

Palliser was adapted into a television show called The Pallisers in 1974. The show explored the major events and characters of the six novels from the Palliser series, following them over a period of two decades.

The show took 13 months to produce, and it was initially delayed because of a sudden election called for in early 1974; because the show played with political storylines involving The Liberty Party, certain parties thought that the Pallisers would elicit anger from some sections of society.

While the show eventually resumed, another general election called later that year caused additional transmission complications.

Best Palliser Books

The Palliser series isn’t as well known as some of Anthony Trollope’s other works, though the series is pretty decent, with the best books including the following:

Phineas Redux: Phineas Finn returns to London following the death of his Irish Wife. Finn might have been drawn back to the House of Commons by seemingly irresistible forces but politics no longer holds the same appeal. At the very least, he no longer approaches politics with quite the same zeal.

What Anthony Trollope describes in this book is a sad and somber journey that leads one man towards a level of wisdom and maturity.

Phineas Redux is popular because it transforms Phineas into a more mature individual. He is still quite charming and straightforward, but he has been changed by the hardships of life, this including the death of his wife.

Lady Glencora plays a notable role in the book, this along with Madam Max. Plantagenet Palliser isn’t nearly as prominent here, though he finds the time to comment on the major events of the story.

The Prime Minister: As Duke of Omnium, Plantagenet Palliser finds himself occupying a crucial role when the major parties in the country fail to compromise. The reserved and seemingly unemotional Palliser must lead a coalition government.

Leading the country invites all manner of complications, especially when his wife begins to take interest in Ferdinand Lopez, a handsome financial speculator.

This book is very subtle in the way it portrays marriage and politics, not to mention misplaced love. Trollope shows a particularly impressive ability to intertwine the themes of love and politics.

Palliser takes center stage when he is indirectly pushed into taking the position of prime minister. Palliser proves to be quite ill-suited for the position, a little too noble, scrupulous and high-minded to maneuver the dirty waters of politics. His wife Glencora watches from behind the scenes, far more suited for the task but unable to assist her husband the way she would like.

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