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The Duke's Children

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

In the last of the six Palliser novels, the sudden death of his wife, Lady Glencora, leaves Plantagenet Palliser, the Duke of Omnium, finding himself in charge of his three children. The eldest, Lord Silverbridge, has recently been expelled from Oxford; his younger brother, Gerald, is about to enter Cambridge; and the youngest, nineteen-year old Lady Mary, has imprudently formed an attachment to Francis Tregear, who, while certainly a gentleman, unfortunately has no income. Before her death, Glencora knew (and approved) of her daughter's attachment; the Duke, however, does not know of it, and is not at all likely to approve. Mrs. Finn (the former Marie Goesler), who was Glencora's closest friend, learns from Mary of her love for Tregear, and is faced with the question of either keeping silent, thus breaking faith with the Duke (who has entrusted Lady Mary to her care) or telling the Duke, and breaking faith with Mary herself.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .t he thinks no good can be attained by a prolonged correspondence." Such, or of such kind, he thought must be his answer. But would this be a fair return for the solicitude shown by her to his uncle, for the love which had made her so patient a friend to his wife, for the nobility of her own conduct in many things? Then his mind reverted to certain jewels,—supposed to be of enormous value,—which were still in his possession though they were the property of this woman. They had been left to her by his uncle, and she had obstinately refused to take them. Now they were lying packed in the cellars of certain bankers,—but still they were in his custody. What should he now do in this matter? Hitherto, perhaps once in every six months, he had notified to her that he was keeping them as her curator, and she had always repeated that it was a charge from which she could not relieve him. It had become almost a joke between them. But how could he joke with a woman w. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Last of the Palliser novels, not the strongest by far, but a good read. The female characters in this book are fairly predictable, but Trollope almost makes up for it with his male characters.
On the first page of the novel Trollope kills off the strongest female character in the series, Lady Glen...more

That was a letdown; I'd hoped to go out with the Pallisers on a higher note.

For the last in a series known as the Parliamentary novels, where were the politics? Instead, we got a Trollopean length disquisition on romantic entanglements and youthful hijinks. Trollope is always a pleasure and this...more

Another fantastic Trollope read. I adored it. I cried and smiled and had a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. A fantastic end to a great series.

And so Trollope's Palliser series comes to a close. This is, again, a stand alone novel, and doesn't rely on previous works in the series. But you would be missing the joy of having read the others.

Plantagenet Palliser, the Duke of Omnium, is one of the wealthiest men in all of England, if not i...more

I enjoyed greatly reading this book. In turn, I wish to highly recommend the novel to all my friends. It is the kind that remains with you forever. Here, we are told of the lives and loves of the Duke of Omnium's children. After his wife's death, he is obliged to undertake the difficult task of r...more

After the sublime The Prime Minister, the final book in Palliser series is a bit of a let down (but only a little bit) - almost like the last episode of your favourite TV series that doesn’t focus on all characters you’ve grown to love over the series but introduces new characters instead. The Du...more

This is a review of the Everyman Library Edition of Anthony Trollope’s The Duke’s Children. The edition matters as the Everyman Edition includes The 65,000 words his editor had required the author to cut in from the first published edition. To the degree I can compare the two, I cannot say that t...more

For the last 15 months, I have enjoyed entering Trollope's England, Barchester and the Duke of Omnium's world. About every month, I would come back to familiar settings and characters and especially wondering how it will all end. Having just finished his last in the series, I wanted to comment ab...more

Initially put off reading this novel after the first few pages because of the demise of a pivotal, well loved female character whose presence throughout the series had been an absolute delight. I couldn't believe when I first saw it mentioned in some reviews of the novel.

I ended up reading the no...more

Even though I knew what had happened between the end of the last Palliser novel and that start of this next – and final – novel in said series, and yet the opening sentence of ‘The Duke’s Children’ was heart-breaking.

“No one, probably, ever felt himself to be more alone in the world than our old...more

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