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.
©2004 Anthony Trollope (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
Until last week if you bought this you only got the first third of the book. It is now all present and correct.
To me it is one of the most interesting of the Palliser series, contrasting an upright man trying to lead the nation with the bounders taking over the world at, as Trollope saw it, a time of moral decay. There is an arch-cad, involved in double dealings and who gets into Parliament. Lady Glencora is drawn into shady dealings, scandal is whipped up by the gutter press and falls on the Prime Minister's head. It was written shortly after a massive financial crash which led to a Great Depression which lasted over 20 years.
Sound familiar? So it should. And because Trolllope is a great psychologist it is gripping stuff, which really makes me feel there is nothing new in the world, though I will admit that the ingenue (Emily) is dull.
Superbly read by Timothy West, as ever.
Dear Julie (in Sydney): I'm not surprised you find this book weak as there's only one volume there - 3 or 4 are missing. I've contacted Audible to investigate and make good. I've given 2 stars in anticipation, but hopefully to be increased to 5 as with the others so far in the series.
I am working my way through the complete Palliser series, of which this is the fifth of six. Timothy West is a total revelation, each character beautifully and consistently voiced throughout the entire series. I find Trollope's characters engaging and the stories brilliantly told. Sometimes the political stuff can get a bit tedious but this is a small criticism when the series is giving me so much joy.
This is a weakish book in Trollope's great Palliser series, beautifully read by Timothy West.
I am pleased I listened to follow the story through, not a waste of time at all, and anything with this narrator is worth hearing, but the other volumes in the series are so much better books.
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