50 Following


Currently reading

Six Minutes in May: How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister
Nicholas Shakespeare
The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia, Volume 1: The Socialist Offensive: The Collectivisation of Soviet Agriculture, 1929-1930
Robert William Davies
Progress: 56/512 pages
The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
Progress: 219/928 pages
Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888
John C. G. Röhl
Progress: 229/1016 pages

Ending with the promise of more to come

The Duke's Children - Anthony Trollope

In many respects the last novel of Anthony Trollope's "Palliser" series is about new beginnings -- particularly the beginning of adulthood and the changes that brings about. This is especially difficult for Plantagenet Palliser, the eponymous Duke of Omnium, who must serve as sole parent for his three children after the untimely death of his wife, Glencora. The focus of the novel is on the eldest son, Lord Silverbridge, and the daughter, Lady Mary, who are challenging the duke with their courses in life -- particularly those of matrimony, which the duke finds especially difficult to navigate.

It is not a criticism of the novel to say that it is not the best entry in the "Palliser" series. Perhaps this is because of the editing Trollope was forced to agree to (which led to the excising of a quarter of the novel) in order to publish it, and I am reserving final judgment until after I read the unexpurgated version, which is due to come out in a limited edition later this year, and will hopefully be published for a larger audience later on. As it is, though, it offers a frustrating sense of promise, as it seemed to me that he was introducing a new generation of characters to take on further adventures in the British political world that he wrote about so enjoyably in the previous novels in the series. Alas we are left only with this one, which will have to do as a conclusion to the world of the Pallisers.