- Paperback: 736 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (24 Feb. 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014043349X
- ISBN-13: 978-0140433494
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Prime Minister (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 24 Feb 1994
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About the Author
Anthony Trollope (1815 - 1882) established a successful career in the Post Office whilst also writing over forty novels, plus short stories. He enjoyed considerable acclaim during his lifetime. He is best remembered for the Barsetshire Chronicles.
David Skilton is Professor of English at Cardiff. He has also edited Thomas Hardy for the Penguin Classics.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
It is certainly of service to a man to know who were his grandfathers and who were his grandmothers if he entertain an ambition to move in the upper circles of society, and also of service to be able to speak of them as of persons who were themselves somebodies in their time. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
Trollope loosely intertwines two plots in `The Prime Minister'. In the `political' plot Plantagenet Palliser is asked and eventually (though reluctantly) accepts to become prime minister, to the great pride and joy of his wife Lady Glencora. In the `social' plot, Emily Wharton, daughter of a wealthy lawyer, falls in love with and marries, against the advice of all her friends and relatives, a certain Ferdinand Lopez (about whom nobody seems to know much, not who his parents were, or how he makes a living). In both cases the protagonists come to realize before long that it's not all gold that glitters: Palliser learns that being prime minister is not all it's made out to be, and Emily discovers how deceptive appearances can be when she gets to know her husband better.
Trollope investigates several themes in `The Prime Minister' by (implicitly) comparing and contrasting the main characters. As to the men: Plantagenet Palliser is indeed `the perfect gentleman' but this has its drawbacks too, or so it seems: he is scrupulous to a t, unable to socialize and `joke around' with other men, and ever in doubt of his own capability to be a good prime minister. The question Trollope raises is ultimately: can a true gentleman be a good prime minister? Ferdinand Lopez on the other hand is the opposite: he has all the outer trappings of a gentleman, but it turns out that beneath this thin veneer he is a ruthless and egotistical opportunist.Read more ›
The Prime Minister is indeed half social comedy and half psychological. It is a cross, perhaps, between Evelyn Waugh and George Eliot. It tends, besides, to be interested in the emotional side of politics and in the effect of social mores on private life, not the other way around. It is also prejudiced (the villain is a swarthy Latin, and he is an arch-villain), though somehow that doesn't shock too much (so am I: a swarthy Latin, I mean, not an arch-villain). But most importantly, it is a compelling read.
Two more points. First, it is not necessary to have read the previous Palliser novels to enjoy this one. Second, in spite of its length, it is quickly read, even if the last hundred pages are superfluous (the work was serialised and expected to reach a certain length).
As always with Trollope, the women are the standout characters of the piece - Lady Glencora is at her most charming, witty, frustrating, obstinate best in this book. She is ably assisted thankfully by Mrs Finn - the wonderful Madam Max of previous novels. It was such a relief to find Mrs Finn still played a significant role here despite her marriage in the previous book of the series. Emily Lopez is admittedly not my favourite of Trollope's ladies but she is at least not as saccharine sweet as the likes of Lily Dale, and she is made up for by the underused but rather marvellous Mrs Parker.
However, the male characters here do almost live up to their female rivals in interest, which is unusual in a Trollope novel. Ferdinand Lopez is a great example of the complex outsider, and the direct contrast presented with Plantagenet Palliser, the ultimare insider, is brilliantly drawn. Lopez remains largely a mystery throughout the novel, which just adds to it's brilliance. His ancestral origins remain unclear throughout, as does his cultural background.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A reluctant Prime Minister, Plantaganet Palliser, is called upon to lead a Liberal/Tory coalition ministry, a mission he accepts with great reluctance and performs with distaste. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
Here is Trollope on coalition government. Quote: 'Everything must be dead when men holding different opinions on every subject under the sun come together in order that they may... Read morePublished 22 months ago by C. M. Eddy
Found this final book in the Palliser series )The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollop,an excellent read,as being the last book of the Palliser SeriesPublished on 9 Oct. 2011 by joan/poet/pianist
The political theme of the Pallisers is in full sight here - Plantagenet Palliser completes his rise from "Planty Pall", the neophyte politician glimpsed in the Barchester novels,... Read morePublished on 2 Feb. 2010 by bookelephant