The Prime Minister Paperback
Edited by David Skilton
Plantaganet Palliser, Prime Minister of England - a man of power and prestige, with all the breeding and inherited wealth that goes with it - is appalled at the inexorable rise of Ferdinand Lopez.
An exotic impostor, seemingly from nowhere, Lopez has society at his feet, while well-connected ladies vie with each other to exert influence on his behalf - even Palliser's own wife, Lady Glencora.
But when the interloper makes a socially advantageous marriage, Palliser must decide whether to stand by his wife's support for Lopez in a by-election or leave him to face exposure as a fortune-hunting adventurer.
A novel of social, sexual and domestic politics, The Prime Minister raises one of the most enduring questions in government - whether a morally scrupulous gentleman can make an effective leader.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 736 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 24/02/1994
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780140433494
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Review by pgchuis
Plantaganet Palliser is persuaded to lead a coalition government and a woman called Emily Wharton marries a scoundrel called Ferdinand Lopez. The politics bits are not terribly interesting - mainly Palliser moaning about how mean people can be and worrying too much about what is written in the press about him. (By the way, I thought Quintus Slide had been exiled to America?) The Lopez sections are much more exciting (although coloured by Victorian attitudes to "foreigners" who might or might not be "Jews"). Lopez is definitely not a "gentleman", but it is not clear to me whether Trollope can imagine that a non-Englishman can possibly be a gentlemen. Overall a fairly sad book in a gently relentless way. I spent the last volume wishing Palliser would just shut up and resign and Emily would just get over herself and marry Arthur. Oddly, nothing terrible happens to Lord Fawn in this volume...