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The Duke's Children (Palliser #6)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  1,349 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
The Duke of Omnium, ever the perfect gentleman, is sorely tested by his children's college escapades and the matrimonial choices of his son, Lord Silverbridge, and his daughter, Lady Mary. This wonderful story is full of love and laughter. Twelve 90-minute cassettes and three 60's.

Hermione Lee - Introduction
Paperback, 667 pages
Published February 9th 1984 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1880)
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Jul 01, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trollope
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 Glencora Palliser, the Duchess of Omnium. This gives him scope to develop the character of the Duke from a mere politician to a family man who has to relate to his children who are now grown and stepping out
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 novel because I wanted to see how the series would be ended and I felt I owed it to the remaining characters to see how they fared. The previous books had such strong, resilient, fiesty female characters b
Feb 25, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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 friend the Duke of Omnium, when the Duchess died.”

The brightest star of the Palliser family had been extinguished, and I was so sorry that I would never meet Lady Glencora again, and that I would never s
Feb 28, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this series of books and feel sad now it's come to an end.

'No-one probably, ever felt himself to be more alone in the world than our friend, the Duke of Omnium, when the Duchess died.'

It was so sad when the Duchess died , the Duke being left with their three children.
Silverbridge the eldest has been sent down from Oxford,
Gerald isn't doing too well at Cambridge; Lady Mary is set on an unsuitable marriage.

Wonderful scenes of fox hunting, parliament, horse racing and gambling!
I loved this bo
John Frankham
Sep 23, 2016 John Frankham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
After reading the six Barsetshire novels, I've now finished the six Palliser novels. With this, the last one, I'm really bereft in saying goodbye to his characters and thoughts in these two magnificent series.

There is, of course, in this volume, the problem the Duke has in connecting with his three children as they reach adulthood after the death of their mother? Trollope's detailed and knowing understanding and portrayal of the human predicament is just wonderful.

But as a commentator on politi
Elizabeth (Alaska)
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 in fact *the* wealthiest. He started life in that manner and added to his wealth through marriage. His wealth increased during his lifetime because he was more interested in politics than spending money.
Bruno Bouchet
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 Duke is naturally superb. His letter to his son on entering parliament should be obligatory reading for every MP at the start of each parliamentary session. It’s a wonderful manifesto of what they should b ...more
Mar 03, 2016 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the strongest of the Palliser series, but nevertheless a wonderful read. Unlike many other readers, I wasn't aware in advance that the brightest light of the series, Glencora Palliser, was going to die between books. So the opening sentence here had the shocking effect on me that it probably did on its first readers: “No one, probably, ever felt himself to be more alone in the world than our old friend the Duke of Omnium, when the Duchess died.” Putting the crucial word at the end. I almost ...more
Aug 27, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite of the Palliser novels. Plantagenet Palliser, the recently widowed Duke of Omnium, a snob and a monster of rigid rectitude, has some very hard passages to make. His younger son looks like becoming a scapegrace indebted gambler. Elder son, heir to the Dukedom, is in love with an American when in his father's eyes he should be courting the high-born (and attractive) English rose that Plantagenet has destined for him. His only daughter has fallen for a title-less young man who's a thoro ...more
Jul 16, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was not going to read this book, because with Glencora dead, really what was to be hoped from it? I thought the previous five books were brilliant (except for the Eustace Diamonds which seemed like it was written by someone else) not just because of her, but certainly her spirit was the one that rescued the books from ordinariness. Certainly I love other characters and find them funny, but she is the one who shines out from the books with real life in her. And so with her gone, I tho ...more
Jul 19, 2009 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian
It's Trollope, so of course I adored it, but this book didn't draw me in they way the other Pallisers did. The loss of one of the most compelling characters in the series in the first chapter was a huge blow, but of course some of the new characters introduced were quite engaging in themselves and it was a pleasure to become better acquainted with the Duke. Less excusable was the last line of the book--it was hard enough knowing there would be no further Palliser novels, but to be left more or l ...more
Elijah Kinch Spector
So glad I found my precious baby:
My baby.
Here endeth the Palliser novels, and as a book it's full of the usual Trollopean messages -- most of which spell out that men and women who scheme at marriage are bound to fail, whereas those who wish to marry for genuine love generally will have their difficulties smoothed over by the end (someone will get into Parliament, someone will be blessed with a last-minute inheritance, that sort of thing). But the real spectre at the feast is the shade of the late Duchess of Omnium, Lady Glencora...or ...more
Bayliss Camp
Jul 19, 2016 Bayliss Camp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Mabel Grex. What a tragically complicated and fascinating character Trollope put together when he set up the love pentagon with Frank Tregear, Plantagent Palliser Jr., Isabel Boncassen, Mary Palliser, and Mabel Grex. If it were a different era, one could write her a different ending: an ending where she decamps to New York and begins editing a fashion magazine (a la Helen Gurley Brown), or writes an expose of a sexist cultural institution and so launches a career as a social activist (a la G ...more
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
I think of Anthony Trollope like Thomas Hardy, but with a sense of humor. He definitely belongs to that category of Victorian writer who was wildly critical of class and gender hypocrisy of the period. Trollope tended to set all of his novels in the same fictional England; protagonists in one novel resurface as bit players in another novel. The plots weave in and out of each other. Taken as a whole, his fiction is amazingly intricate. And even taken one-by-one, they deserve a lot of artistic att ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Spiros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy the amatory travails of Upper Class Twits
Shelves: new, londoncalling
I have to say that Trollope could be a coldhearted bastard at times: in The Last Chronicle of Barset he quite gratuitously killed off the good Rev. Septimus Harding, ruthlessly quashing my desire to have gone on believing that somewhere, in some fictitious Cathedral town, a precentor in his mid-two hundreds was still quietly conducting his choir. He opens this, the last volume in the Palliser Series, by matter-of-factly killing off his most splendid creation, Lady Glencora Palliser, Duchess of O ...more
Laura Leilani
Mar 20, 2016 Laura Leilani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
What's the difference between being determined and being obstinate? If your love is not returned, is it sensible to turn your love in a new direction or is this proof of weak character? Lots of questions of romantic love are explored in this final book of the Palliser series. It is set against a backdrop of social change. The Duke, a man raised in tradition, struggles with the attitudes of the new generation; his children. A good book, but I missed the usual comic characters Trollope usually thr ...more
Aug 26, 2015 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final book in the Palliser series begins immediately with a coda on the marriage of Plantagenet Palliser and Lady Glencora. We learn at the very beginning of the book that Lady Glen has died, and at this moment Plantagenet understands what we have all seen by the end of Prime Minister. That after years of a difficult marriage to a woman whose temperament was the opposite of his and who seemed to have no common interests with him, he had finally grown to understand her a little. And now that ...more
Mar 19, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Olivia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: joy-of-rereading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 05, 2007 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trollope
This is the sixth and final novel in the Trollope's Palliser series. The children of Plantagenet Palliser and Lady Glencora (Duke and Duchess of Omnium) are now entering into adulthood. That presents Trollope with familiar material: parents' concerns about children's marriages (usually resolved with the parent becoming reconciled to the child's choice) and difficulties between fathers and sons (complicated here by differing political alliances).
Peter Ellwood
Well, if you’re reading this you’re already convinced of Trollope’s genius. No one starts a six volume series of novels on the closing one.

Having embarked on The Duke’s Children I read somewhere that scholars have recently reconstructed the original of the novel, as at the behest of his publishers he trimmed trim a remarkable 64,000 words out of it. This intrigues me, as it’s in some ways quite difficult to imagine where those extra words actually lay, in the version that is now widely available
Carol Apple
Nov 05, 2015 Carol Apple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Number 6 in Anthony Trollope's Palliser series, The Duke’s Children, begins with the death of Lady Glencora, Duchess of Omnium. Now why in the world did Trollope kill off one of his most popular characters? My theory is it’s because Glencora’s death triggers a plot that finally puts her shy mild-mannered husband Plantagenet, Duke of Omnium, in the spotlight. In the previous novel The Prime Minister, he is titular character but Lady Glencora still hogged most of the limelight. In The Duke’s Child ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Pgchuis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lady Glencora dies suddenly, leaving the Duke to parent their three children alone. The eldest, Silverbridge, is the part-owner of a race horse and runs up an enormous gambling debt before falling for (shock! horror!) an American. Mary, the daughter, has become engaged to a poor second son with no occupation, but Glencora kept this from her husband and the Duke forbids the match. The younger son, Gerald, also falls into (more minor) scrapes and the Duke becomes generally distressed and horrified ...more
This long novel completes the "political" Palliser series. Two strong-willed children disobey their aristocratic father's wishes regarding the choice of spouses, thereby exposing the contradictory opinions of the old duke in questions of personal liberty and Liberal politics. Plenty of cognitive dissonance leads to happy solutions. Politics actually takes second place in this book, but we get entertaining glimpses of 19th century parliamentary life and electioneering. Trollope's women are bright ...more
Jun 19, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little sad to have reached the end of The Paliser series. The Duke and Madame Max/Mrs. Finn being two of the noblest characters in the canon.

The Duke's Children is a warmer, much less cynical novel than the preceding The Prime Minister.

I found it interesting how Trollope compares and contrasts Francis Tregear of the former with Ferdinand Lopez of the latter. Both are marrying above their class for the same reason: they need their wives' money but otherwise are very different.

Both this r
Michael Milliman
How has this book passed beneath the notice of the people at the BBC or those in charge of Masterpiece on PBS? I picked this book up for free at the library give-away table, not realizing that I'd selected the LAST book in a series. Oh well, I thought, I've always wanted to try a little Trollope, having heard the well-worn anecdotes of his writing whilst Postmaster, and his diligence in page production. While the book is entirely pre-Postmodern; that is, very "tell-y;" it does so in no way to in ...more
Jill Haiselden
Jul 14, 2014 Jill Haiselden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
tA lighter book than some of his earlier works but very enjoyable.Throughout the Summer I've been reading my way through the whole Palliser series and with this, the last one, I'm really sorry to say Goodbye to them. Trollope doesn't use a whole crowd of extras as Dickens does being concerned mainly with a limited group from the top Ten Thousand, but his detailed and wry understanding and portrayal of the human predicament is just as telling. As a political satirist he just as relevant today as ...more
Jun 29, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-white-square
I was never as in love with Lady Glencora as other admirers of the Palliser series ... and yet it still struck me that killing her off in the first sentence was a bit of a gamble.

But it's Trollope and he knew exactly what he was doing. Fabulous!

Bits I liked (including spoilers):

"No doubt by degrees that idea which he at first entertained was expelled from his head,—the idea that she had been cognisant of the whole thing before she came to Matching; but even this was done so slowly that there wa
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Exploring Anthony...: The Duke's Children 3 15 Feb 08, 2015 02:43PM  
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Anthony Trollope became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of Trollope's best-loved works, known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire; he also wrote penetrating novels on political, social, and gender issues and conflicts of his day.

Trollope has always been a popular novelist. Noted fans ha
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Other Books in the Series

Palliser (6 books)
  • Can You Forgive Her? (Palliser, #1)
  • Phineas Finn (Palliser, #2)
  • The Eustace Diamonds (Palliser, #3)
  • Phineas Redux
  • The Prime Minister (Palliser #5)

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“A man can love too.'
'No; -- hardly. He can admire, and he can like, and he can fondle and be fond. He can admire and approve, and perhaps worship. He can know of a woman that she is part of himself, the most sacred part, and therefore will protect her from the very winds. But all that will not make love. It does not come to a man that to be separated from a woman is to be dislocated from his very self. A man has but one centre, and that is himself. A woman has two. Though the second may never been seen by her, may live in the arms of another, may do all for that other that man can do for woman, -- still, still, though he be half the globe asunder from her, still he is to her the half of her existence. If she really love, there is, I fancy no end of it.”
“There are moments in which stupid people say clever things, obtuse people say sharp things, and good-natured people say ill-natured things.” 1 likes
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