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Phineas Redux (Palliser, #4)
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The Trollope Project - Archives > Phineas Redux Aug 26-Sep 1: Ch 49-56

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message 1: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1896 comments Mod
I am away for the remainder of August and have difficulty starting new threads from my phone. I will post more at the appropriate time, but feel free to go ahead and start discussing if you are ahead.


message 2: by Lori, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1400 comments Mod
Trollope ruined Lady Laura. The character he drew of her in the first book was not a woman who would become obsessed over any man or make an idiot of herself in the way she is now (acting almost as ridiculous as Lily Dale). She was a much stronger character with other interests. I’m disappointed.


message 3: by Robin P, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
Yes, I also thought her hysterics were out of character and very disappointing. I did find amusing how Madame Max and Glencora devoted all their energy, money and ideas to schemes for helping Phineas. Their plans were unrealistic and unethical, but perhaps not more so than other political shenanigans that were going on. They had no concern for law or precedent, just for saving their protege.


message 4: by Lori, Moderator (last edited Aug 27, 2018 06:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1400 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "They had no concern for law or precedent, just for saving their protege."

Yes, this is true. It's easy to see this as not such a big deal because it's Phineas and we know he is innocent, but what if they happened to be supporting a dangerous criminal? (Glencora was once a supporter of Lady Eustace after all, who was guilty though not particularly dangerous.) There have been serial killers who completely fooled everyone and were very popular with women. And, of course, it does happen that "money talks" in the legal system (as do race and social class).


message 5: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1896 comments Mod
Good point, Lori. While I was finding LL’s antics made me feel almost ashamed for her, you’re right that they seem out of character both for what we know of her previously and, given that Phineas has been mostly quite reticent towards her, what would be typical behaviour for a woman of her upbringing. While her consenting to a liaison if he had actively pursued her would be possible, her throwing herself at him so brazenly without his encouragement seems most unlikely.


message 6: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments I agree with your observations about Laura and her out of control emotions regarding Phineas. Since the relationship of a person’s changing psychological state to their behavior is something Trollope explores, I am trying to decide if there is a case for that with Laura. She had been abused by Kennedy, accused by some of being unfaithful, vilified because she abandoned her wifely duties for which she now feels guilty since his death. She had suppressed her feelings for Phineas for such a long time, perhaps the stress and emotional toll of all she has gone through just made her “snap” and become consumed with her love for Phineas whom she is afraid may hang even though innocent. Plausible?

Glencora also seems to have gone off the deep end in trying to find ways to help Phineas. I can’t decide if she is just naive or if Trollope meant the reader to take her efforts as satirical- the lengths one will go to in support of a cause. Madame Max seems the more serious and perhaps will be the most helpful to Phineas.


message 7: by Robin P, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
As far as psychological states, Kennedy seemed to move into dementia, which can include paranoia and miserliness.


LiLi | 280 comments Once again, Linda, you've said exactly what I was thinking. I wholeheartedly agree about Lady Laura.


LiLi | 280 comments I think Lady Glencora/The Duchess of Omnium is just well aware of how these games in life are played. Money and influence do talk, and she's prepared to use them.


Brian Reynolds | 738 comments Linda and Elizabeth are both correct in their assessment of Glencora. Glencora knows what money and prestige can accomplish and has successfully used them herself. However, she is naive a bit to the extent this can be used. It does have limitations when dealing with the judges and prosecutors, and all involved in a criminal trial. In her experience, money and prestige are limitless as influences, so she is naive to the where, when and how best to use money and influence here, As Linda points out, Trollope uses Glencora's enthusiasm to add a bit of satire here. It adds to my enjoyment of Glencora.


message 11: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2917 comments Mod
I too am disappointed in Lady Laura. She probably realizes all too well that it is her fault for marrying a man she didn't love, but she had no idea of Kennedy's real character, so her sufferings are intensified. She is an emotional wreck and I do hope she gets help.
As for Glencora, I just can't like her in this book. She seems flighty and not too bright, but she does know that money talks.
As for Madame Max, she will probably achieve conscrete results while Laura falls apart and Glencora schemes.


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