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Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

Phineas Finn (original 1869; edition 1975)

by Anthony Trollope, John Sutherland (Contributor)

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1,469247,385 (4.04)2 / 244
Title:Phineas Finn
Authors:Anthony Trollope
Other authors:John Sutherland (Contributor)
Info:Penguin Classics (1975), Paperback, 752 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Satire, Literary Fiction

Work details

Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope (1869)

  1. 00
    The English Constitution by Walter Bagehot (thorold)
    thorold: Parliament at the time of the 1867 Reform Act: in fact and fiction
  2. 00
    Charles Stewart Parnell by F. S. L. Lyons (nessreader)
    nessreader: Phineas Finn, the parliamentary fiction about the struggles of an Irish MP in Westminster, was written before Parnell the member for Meath came to prominence, but Trollope's abiding fascination for politics and society makes it engrossing background reading on the culture Parnell was experiencing. The real Parnell stirred nations before he was destroyed while the fictional Finn sinks into mediocrity, but their situations are parallel in some ways.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
A novel about an Irish member of parliament in the 1860s, could've been written last week. I wish more MPs were like Mr. Finn. ( )
  charlie68 | May 5, 2018 |
I bought this as a more portable edition of the book. I have not yet read it, though I inherited a larger copy from my father years ago. ( )
  antiquary | Apr 9, 2017 |
Phineas Finn is a young Irishman who decides to make his career in politics and takes the unusual step of obtaining a seat in Parliament without first building his career as a barrister. Parliamentary positions did not come with a salary; nevertheless, Phineas sets off for London sure that everything will work out. And because this is Trollope, it does. Phineas starts out rather naive, eventually finds his footing and earns respect by being “useful,” and becomes deeply involved in the central issues facing the British government in the mid-1860s.

At the same time, Phineas is also trying to find his place in society, and because he is such a dashing young man, he has no shortage of marital prospects. There’s “hometown honey” Mary Flood-Jones, his beautiful London contemporaries Laura Standish and Violet Effingham, and the wealthy and influential young widow, Madame Max Goesler. Phineas pursues or is pursued by them all, and is fickle as can be all the way to the end. Should one marry for love and stability? Or should one pursue ambitions of wealth or position in society? Is it possible to have both? Trollope explores each of these alternatives, which also provides an opportunity to showcase several quite different women.

The political aspects of this novel were rather dense at times. The women made this book enjoyable for me. For the first time in his career, Trollope gave his female characters more depth and was sympathetic to the difficulties women faced in Victorian society: the need to marry for financial security, the control men had over women’s lives, and the challenge of living independently when circumstances require it. I’m looking forward to continuing with this series. ( )
1 vote lauralkeet | May 12, 2016 |
Back for my second trip into the Palliser series: this one is much more politically-focused than the first, but without losing any of the human drama that Trollope always brings. Young Irishman Phineas Finn gets tossed into the deep end of parliamentary politics and must quickly learn to swim if he's going to navigate the political shoals. I enjoyed the complexity very much, and somehow I don't think we've seen the last of Mr. Finn ... ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Jan 22, 2016 |
Phineas Finn, son of an Irish doctor, is "elected" to Parliament and then appointed to a junior minister position. He falls for a series of women and has to decide how important his political independence matter to him when he disagrees with his party's policy on Irish tenants' rights. (Thankfully very little hunting in this one).

While I found Phineas a bit tame (he nearly runs into debt on a friend's behalf, but is bailed out by the friend's sister, we wonder if he will have an affair with the unhappily married Laura, but doesn't, he is tempted to be unfaithful to his Irish fiancee waiting for him at home, but resists), I liked many of the other characters. The story of the Kennedys' marriage was convincing and sad and I did enjoy Violet and her tormenting of her aunt. Helpful notes in this edition so that you understand what Trollope feels to be the "right" position on e.g. secret ballots. The ending was extremely abrupt... ( )
1 vote pgchuis | Jun 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dentith, SimonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leslie, ShaneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raven, SimonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, TimothyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dr Finn, of Killaloe, in County Clare, was as well known in those parts - the confines, that is, of the counties Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, and Galway - as was the bishop himself who lived in the same town, as was as much respected.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140430857, Paperback)

The second of Trollope's Palliser novels tells of the career of a hot-blooded middle-class politician whose sexual energies bring him much success with women.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:41 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The second of the six Pallisso novels which have self-contained stories, but recurring characters

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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